#1) Lists. When you have so many followers, and I hit over 20K recently, how can you possibly follow any one person at a time? The stream goes by so very fast. My suggestion is to make “lists.” Go to your home page, hit your followers and pull up the list option. I make lists dependant on a few things. Some I specialize under specific interests, some based on location. (all of which I cull from their bios and via conversations) Some I privatize – meaning I’ll have a list just for family and close friends, some lists are people I want to check up on often. I even have a list for “people who know more than me.” This list is comprised of tweeps I’ve seen who are neurophysicists, doctors, pilots, experts in various fields. This way, if I want to contact specific people, I can go to my particular list and pull them up and see what those folks are doing. I’ve actually needed advice and sometimes I will directly tweet someone from one of those specialty lists. More times than not, they’ve actually responded with some help, a link, or advice. And they don’t even really know me. The cool part is, in 140 characters, you’re really not committing to all that much, and you’ve engaged them and asked a question. People really do like helping each other out.
#2) Bios: An interesting bio is a great way to start a conversation. Here’s mine:
Author, Gastronaut, TKD BB, Mom of Twins (one’s an Aspie), owns a ferret. THE HUNT FOR XANADU, THE WORLD OF KAROV and THE RUBY AMULET on Amazon. Long Island, NY · elysesalpeter.com
Do you have any idea how many people have asked me “what is a Gastronaut?” I’ve had people simply follow me because I’m an author, or because I’m a mom of twins. They’ll literally say hi and tell me something about themselves that coincides with my own bio. It’s a great way to start a conversation. So I suggest to put something interesting or thought provoking in your bio. It gives a tiny bit of your personality to create additional conversations and have people follow you back.
#3) Favorites: I love this option on my list area. It’s like my own little storage area of goodness. It could be a great little nugget of information, an inspirational quote, just a person I want to remember to check up on, or a link to a great article. Favorites are fun and they’re even MORE fun when someone has favorited one of YOUR tweets. I get a little “puffed up” when that happens. Sort of like Sally Field when she did her Oscar speech and said “You like me, you really like me!”
#4) Complaining (oh, I mean “Therapy”): I know, this is not really a tip, but it kind of is. When you’re frustrated, when you’re running out of ideas, when you are hungry, mad, or just plain cranky, twitter is a great way to post your feelings without committing to an entire blog diatribe of complaining. And guess what? People will usually respond with uplifting words. Exactly what you wanted. Just to know that someone and understands and empathizes. I posted this the other day:
That moment you check KDP and see someone bought your book! Um & then your eyes wander another column & see they also just returned it! :p
I know, silly, but I just don’t understand returns on books that are discounted so much. But, I was annoyed and put it out into the twitter universe. And guess what… I had immediate responses. Some people favorited it. (kindred souls, I guess) and some commented. My mini tantrum was then averted by some chatting and I moved on. 🙂 (and I didn’t have to pay a therapist $150 to listen to me and offer advice)
#5) Book Links: Yeah, I said it. We are authors, we STILL need to post our book links – but do it differently. Don’t just say “Buy this great book, here’s the link.” And then do that same link 20 times a day for weeks at a time. That’s called “Spamming your followers” and you will be unfollowed super fast if you keep that up.
Really try to utilize those 140 characters to let readers know about your book, and only tweet it between 2X to 6X a day. Use hashtags and try to switch up its content. Sometimes do a book link with a little recap of the book. Sometimes discuss your great reviews. Sometimes say when it launched, or when the print version is up. Here’s some I’ve done for my thriller, THE HUNT FOR XANADU: (remember, twitter will shorten your url links for you)
“Kelsey Porter is on a quest for revenge. But how do you fight the buddhist devil?” My #thriller THE HUNT FOR XANADU http://ow.ly/uQQFM
Just finished the sequel to THE HUNT FOR XANADU, my buddhist thriller! Come check out Book #1! 19 5* Reviews! http://www.amazon.com/Hunt-Xanadu-Kelsey-Porter-ebook/dp/B00H6TM1MI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395454339&sr=8-1&keywords=the+hunt+for+xanadu …
#6) Good will: I try to do this every day. Go and retweet someone you haven’t engaged… ever. Tweet their book link, or something important to them. You will be AMAZED at how thankful they are and how good you will feel. Do it just to be nice and not because you expect a retweet or something in return. Put Karmic energy out into the universe and just let the happiness flow.
So, I implore you to look at twitter differently. Don’t just post book links. Your followers will simply look at your tweets as white noise if that’s all you do – so switch things up, have a mix within all the noise. You’ll be very surprised at what beautiful music you will hear when you allow it to come through.