What’s Your Next DIY Project? Part 2

Now that we have Facebook under control, the next social media we’ll attack is Twitter. I’ve had so many people ask how I grow my feed, what I tweet, and how do I attract attention. It’s rather simple, if you take the time to learn Twitter.
First, you have to make sure your feed is friendly and inviting. To do this, you need to have a fabulous banner to grab the eye and your picture. Fans want to know what their author looks like. Don’t put your book cover up instead of a picture of you. They’ll see the book cover a lot if they follow you. Discover a great artist who can assist you with making an inexpensive but eye catching banner.

Growing your Twitter feed is important, but don’t try to do that too fast. Until you have at least 2,000 followers, never follow too many people back. What’s the idea ratio? Stay at or under 10% of your followers. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in Twitter jail. That’s where you won’t be able to tweet until your follower/follow ratio matches.

Now that you have that under control, utilize one of Twitter’s new features—pin a post to the top of your feed. Feature one of your books for a week or two, a video trailer, or an upcoming attraction.

With your pinned post in place, look into utilizing one of the scheduling programs, such as TweetDeck or HootSuite, to set up the times when your posts will appear. It will take you only a few hours once or twice a month to set up those, and you don’t have to worry about getting them up on time. To minimize the amount of time you actually spend scheduling these posts, create a document with everything already done. Then just copy and paste everything. Don’t forget to tag your publisher and use hashtags. Those items go a long way to getting more people to retweet your posts.

Here’s the daily part of using Twitter. Go to “Notifications” and check out the feed. You’ll see colored icons on the left side of each posting. The green ones are those who have retweeted your work. Blue indicates people who have recently followed you. Yellow is for favorites, people have clicked on the star on your post, to show you that they like it. Then there are posts without a colored icon in front of them. Those are responses to your tweet.

How do you deal with these?

We’ll start with the last item first. People who interact with you deserve a response. It can be as simple as a “TY” (thank you) or “YW” (you’re welcome). These posts can also start a conversation. Sometimes the person has initiated that, or you can with a simple response that includes a comment to the person.

Yellow icons don’t usually require a response, but you can, if you so desire.

Blue icons are a great way to connect with people who share your interests. Hover your mouse over the picture, hold down CTRL, and click. You’ll be in a new window with the new follower’s feed in front of you. I like to search for one of their tweets and retweet it before following back.

Green icons will appear the most. These are the people who have retweeted your work, and  you need to return the favor.

This takes time, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more a night, but it’s well worth the effort. Soon, you’ll find yourself zooming through hundreds of posts a night, responding, laughing, initiating conversations, and it won’t seem like work. All the while, your followers will be growing and you’ll be discovering new friends, people willing to help you get your books out to more fans.