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12 Ways Authors Can Get Noticed On Twitter

Turgay Birand

September 8, 2016

authors on twitter Social media is a massively powerful tool for authors. There are dozens of social media sites available, but Twitter may be the best social network for authors. Considered the easiest social network to engage with strangers on, Twitter gives authors the opportunity to connect directly with current and potential readers unlike any other social network. Most authors are no longer wondering if they should be on Twitter. Instead, they are asking:

How can authors stand out and get noticed on Twitter?

In this post we will discuss 12 ways authors can get noticed on Twitter. These tips will help you gain more followers, sell more books and find inspiration for your future books.

1. Choose The Right Twitter Handle

Most Twitter users never change their Twitter handle. That is why it is extremely important that you choose the right Twitter handle from the beginning. So, what is the “right” Twitter handle? Simply put, your Twitter handle should quickly communicate who you are. As an author, a few ideas are:
  • Your name + author (Example: @JohnDoeAuthor)
  • The name of your book series
  • Your first and last name
Don’t overcomplicate your Twitter handle, but don’t underestimate the importance either. A memorable Twitter handle will make you easier to remember and engage with.

2. Don’t Be An Egg

The easiest way to ensure you fail on Twitter is to not upload a profile picture. Your profile picture should be a headshot of yourself. Don’t be an egg. Seriously, don’t do it.

3. Fill Out Your Bio Wisely

Your Twitter bio can have up to 160 characters. We are writers, so writing a concise message shouldn’t be too difficult. Make sure your bio explains who you are, mentions your books and includes a few keywords relevant for your target market. Twitter indexes bio information, which means your profile will come up in searches if you include keywords potential readers would search for. Include the genre you write, the word author, etc.

4. Include A Link To Your Website

If you have read any of our other blog posts you will know that we are huge proponents of author websites. Even if you haven’t finished your first book yet you should have a website. Your website is a perfect place to build an audience and sell more books. Twitter allows you to add one URL to your profile. You should make sure you add a trackable URL to your website in this section. Tools like Bitly make it easy to create a custom link that can be tracked. You will be surprised how many people will check out your website when you connect and engage with them on Twitter. Without a trackable link though, you will never know.

5. Share Valuable Content

When asked in 1996 about where he expected most of the money to be made in the future, Bill Gates responded: “Content is where I expect most of the money will be made on the internet.” He went on to say the famous phrase:

"Content is King."

Sharing valuable content is by far the most important part of social media. If you do not share valuable content, people will have no reason to connect with you. You want to find or create content that will interest and attract your target audience.

6. Stick To The 80/20 Posting Rule

The 80/20 rule, in regards to social media posting, states that 80% of what you share should be non-promotional. The flip side of this of course is that 20% of what you share should be promotional. Below are some examples of both types of content. Non-promotional content ideas:
  • Industry news
  • Tips for your followers
  • Quotes
  • Other people’s content
Promotional content ideas:
  • Reviews of your book(s)
  • Small excepts from you book(s)
  • Book giveaways or sales

7. Use Relevant Hashtags

Hashtags were started on Twitter and they are still used on Twitter more than any other social network. A hashtag allows your tweet to be categorized with other tweets that include the same hashtag. This makes it much easier for people that are interested in the hashtag to find you tweets. As an author, using the right hashtags can help you greatly increase your exposure. The good news is that there are hashtags for nearly everything. The bad news is that means you have literally millions of options. The best way to figure out which hashtags you should use regularly is to determine who your target audience is and study what hashtags they use. Make sure you keep in mind that relevancy is much more important than popularity when it comes to hashtags. Using irrelevant, but popular hashtags will just cause your tweets to go unseen amongst millions of other tweets.

8. Connect With Influencers

The term influencers refers to individuals that have the ability to control thoughts or actions of a larger audience. For example, when Oprah recommends a book the sales explode through the roof. That is because Oprah has a large following that trust and is influenced by what she says. Now if you can connect with Oprah on Twitter to share you book good for you, but chances are that won’t be the case. The good news is there are plenty of smaller influencers that you can connect with. Do a little research every week to find 1 or 2 influential people that could help you sell books to their audience. Much like hashtags, relevancy is far more important than overall popularity. Engage with these people on Twitter to build a relationship. Even consider offering them a free copy of your book. Connecting with the right influencers can and will send your book sales and your Twitter followers soaring.

9. Create Twitter Lists

You may need a way to keep track of these influencers you connect with. Twitter Lists are the perfect way to do this. If you click on your profile picture in the upper right corner of Twitter, you will be able to access your Twitter Lists (see below). authors on twitter You can create as many of these lists as you would like as a way to keep track of specific followers. As you continue to grow your following on Twitter, these lists will act as a way to manage what you see and who you engage with.  One important thing to note is that Twitter Lists can be public or private. If you are creating a list for potential influencers to engage with, make sure you set it to private so they are not notified when you add them to the list and other Twitter users can not see the list.

10. Include Your Books In Your Cover Image

authors on twitter Joanna Penn has an amazing social media presence that surely has helped her become a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author. When you visit her profile you immediately know that she is an author of many books thanks to her custom cover image. All authors should include a visual representation of who they are in their cover image on Twitter. Making a custom cover image doesn’t have to be hard. Use the tool Canva to create a stunning cover image that will immediately communicate with people on Twitter who you are.

11. Retweet Other People’s Tweets

Remember that 80/20 rule we talked about earlier? One of the non-promotional types of content we discussed was other people’s content. A great way to share this type of content is by retweeting it. A retweet shares someone else’s tweet with your followers. Think of it as a way of telling them that you enjoyed their post and are sure your followers will too. Aside from providing your followers with valuable content, you are also building up report with new Twitter users. The chance of them sharing one of your tweets greatly increases after you share one of theirs.

12. Engage, Engage, Engage

At the beginning of this post I talked about how Twitter is the best social network for authors because unlike other networks engaging with complete strangers is acceptable. In fact, it is often encouraged. Retweeting a tweet is one way to engage, liking a tweet is another. These types of engagement are somewhat passive. The more direct type of engagement is to mention a Twitter user. You can do this by including their Twitter handle in your tweet. When you reply to a tweet Twitter automatically attaches their Twitter handle, which in turn send them a notification that they were mentioned. I highly encourage you to mention users on Twitter everyday. Let them know you enjoyed their post. Jump into a conversation if you have something valuable to say. Twitter is the most conversational social network in the world, so use this to your advantage. Avoiding engagement is the easiest way to go unnoticed on Twitter.

Final Thoughts

In this post we discussed 12 ways authors can get noticed on Twitter. I did my best to include 12 of the best ways authors can get noticed on Twitter, but I know there are plenty of other great tips that can be applied. If you have any additional tips for authors who are looking to grow their Twitter following, comment them below. If you enjoyed this post and/or found it valuable, please take a minute to share it with your Twitter followers.

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