Twitter for authors and writers

Twitter is just one of numerous social media tools that writers and authors can use for marketing.

Here are a few reasons why it’s a good tool to consider:

  • It’s free
  • The learning curve is short
  • You can follow people who can help in your success (agents, publishers, and so on)
  • Retweets and @ replies help your content reach beyond who you follow and who follows you
  • You can have real conversations with your fans by responding personally to their tweets
  • It’s a good research tool
  • You can easily find who’s talking about you and your books through @ and hashtag (#) searches
  • As a writer, you can take the 140-character limit to express yourself as a challenge
  • The availability of third-party tools (such as SocialOomph, TweetDeck, HootSuite, and one I’ve only recently heard about – MarketMeSuite) at no or low cost, give you a lot of additional functionality, such as sorting tweets by list, topic or hashtag; scheduling tweets; getting reports on statistics; and more
  • It’s fun to use

When you’re using Twitter for marketing, here are some questions to help you assess yourself and your efforts:

  • Look at your last 15 tweets (or pick a number that works for you). How many were @ replies? How many were retweets of others’ posts? How many were self-promotion versus pointing toward others?
  • Do you use Twitter search regularly to find people or trends of interest?
  • Do you use the hashtag (#) on your Tweets so you’ll be found more in searches?
  • How often do you tweet? Should you tweet less? More? Do you queue your tweets to post at a certain time, or do you only tweet when you find time to log on to Twitter?
  • Do you post content relevant for your current or future readers? Or do you post personal updates on what you are doing today?
  • If you have a blog, are you having the posts relayed through your Twitter account so people can click through and read the posts?

Everyone’s answers to these questions will be different, and none are right are wrong, they are just questions you can use to assess the benefit of Twitter to you.

Are you on Twitter? Sisters in Crime New England is there as @SinCNE. I’m there as @lisajjackson. Let’s connect!

If you’re already there, what is your best tip for writers regarding Twitter?

Lisa Jackson Haselton writerLisa J. Jackson is an editor, writer, New England-region journalist, and a year-round iced coffee lover. She writes fiction as Lisa Haselton and has an award-winning blog for book reviews and author interviews. She is on the staff of The Writer’s Chatroom (5-time winner of Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers) where she moderates guest author chats on Sunday nights. She is a member and part of the national membership subcommittee of Sisters in Crime. She is also a member and membership secretary of the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime.


About Lisa Haselton

Lisa Haselton has had several short mystery stories published and has a couple of novels in various stages of completion. She always enjoys learning new tidbits about other writers, and takes great pride as an editor when working with writers on polishing their manuscripts. She's living a life around her passions for writing, photography, volunteering, and anything related to New England, particularly New Hampshire.
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2 Responses to Twitter for authors and writers

  1. Lisa, thanks for the post! Do you have any broad suggestions about what percentages of the tweets should be @’s, versus retweets, versus self-promotion?

    • Lisa Jackson says:

      Hi Lucy,

      No real numbers of any kind, but you want to engage your audience more often than pitching yourself and your work. @ replies are most engaging and personal, retweets are quick and easy ways to share fun and interesting posts from others with your audience, and self-promotion should be low key, in my opinion.

      You actually listed them in order of importance. 🙂 Of course, sharing your own recommendations of interesting links, articles, blogs, videos, and so on should come at the top of the list too. @ replies get you seen by your audience and the audience of the person you’re talking with.

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