Tweet Spot: Promoting Yourself 280 Character at a Time - article

So you’re looking to engage in the popular world of social media, but need some ideas on how to do so effectively? The social interface known as Twitter offers an opportunity to not only promote your book and build author recognition, but to create connections.

This micro-blogging giant connects people in a unique, limited way using only 280 characters or less for each posting.

How can a writer use Twitter? What are some author-specific tips for promoting yourself on Twitter?

Your goal is to increase the number of your followers; so when you have a message to broadcast, you’ll cast the widest possible net.

To build up the number of your “followers,” first you need to “follow.” Use the Twitter search function to find anyone with an interest in your genre or topic. Feel free to get creative with your search as results from creative searches might yield promising contacts.

In the Twitterverse it’s not uncommon to follow people you don’t know. Part of the process is reciprocating an initial “follow” with a “follow.” Not everyone adheres to this protocol, but many do, especially if you have something in common with them.

While seeking to increase the number of your followers, you should run a contest. A Twitter contest is easy to run. All you have to do is tweet! In the contest, pledge to give away a copy of your eBook to anyone who retweets one of your messages.

For this type of value-added tweet, there is a time and place that might be considered a “tweet spot” according to Studies show that if you follow a few simple tips, your tweets will get a much better response than if you just blast blasting them out randomly.

Some tips, not just for contests, but for any of your tweets:

If you want people to retweet your message, use the magic word, “Please!” Research done by shows that the occurrence of the word “please” in successful retweets far outnumbered that of other tweets. So the call to action is “Please retweet.”

Research also shows that if you tweet your message Monday through Wednesday between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., you’ll get more retweets. This pattern or spike in retweets seems to reflect what happens when the public returns to work after the weekend, eager to check in and connect.

Finally, other than finding those interested in your genre, there is another cool use for the twitter search tool. Search for relevant conversations into which you can interject an opinion. An author will be seen as an expert if he fields and answers questions related to his book

Then, just throw in a few personal, entertaining off-the-wall anecdotes, and you’ve got the complete package, regardless of your style.

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