Writers are a tough crowd. Many are very set in their ways. Convincing some of them of the value of Twitter is about as easy as selling parkas to people in hell. But, we’re gonna try anyway. (What can we say? We love a challenge) Here are but a few of the lies writers tell themselves about Twitter, and why it's costing them followers (and readers).
Lie #1: I’m a writer. I don’t have time to sit around all day tweeting.
Fortunately, you won’t have to. Tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Buffer allow you to schedule your tweets throughout the day or week. You can invest as little as an hour per day, whenever you have time, and set up as many tweets as you’d like in advance, giving you a solid Twitter presence without taking too much time away from your writing.
That being said, using scheduling tools doesn’t mean you shouldn’t jump on Twitter every so often and interact spontaneously. The value of interacting can never be taken too lightly.
(Note: scheduling tweets is totally different than automating them. Automation involves using a Twitter app to automatically tweet when you publish a blog post. Scheduling is done manually and goes live at a future time.)
Lie #2: Fine. If I have to, I’ll use Twitter. I’ll just send out a bunch of promos for my books.
Good idea. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy spam, right? The answer is: no one enjoys spam. Don’t spam your followers with a constant stream of “buy my book, buy my book” pleas. It’s desperate and smarmy and, well, spammy. We understand that self-promotion is a necessary evil, but your Twitter content shouldn’t contain more than 25% of it. Anymore than that and people will either unfollow or mute you. (Yes, they can do that)
Lie #3: I have a great Twitter following. They’re mostly writers like me.
It’s great to connect with other writers...but what about potential readers? Consider branching out and looking for readers. They most likely won’t be interested in the same things your writer friends are interested in, so include some content in your tweets that will appeal to them (and hopefully, convince them to buy your book).
Lie #4: Maybe I can find an agent or editor on Twitter and pitch my book to them. Surely that would be OK...
(Sound the Star Trek “red alert” sound effects here) No! It’s not OK. We know it’s tempting, but for the love of God, don’t make a business pitch on Twitter. If you’re looking for an agent or editor, find them online and query them per their submission guidelines. (You’ll thank us later)
Lie #5: I’m sure my followers will be interested to know if I hit my word count for the day.
We hate to be harsh, but your followers don’t care if you wrote 1 or 1,000 or 10,000 words today. That’s boring. You’re a writer. Surely you can tweet something more interesting than your daily word count. Make something up if you have to. We suggest something that involves dragons. Dragons are ALWAYS interesting.
Lie #6: All of the social networks are the same. I’ll just manage Twitter like all the others.
All social networks are most definitely NOT created equal. Auto-posting from Facebook does not a Twitter strategy make. Some people on Facebook don’t care for Twitter at all, and vice versa. It’s important to remember that every social network’s audience is a little different. They all have their own quirks and etiquette, just like the folks that use them. Get to know the different audiences and tweak your messages accordingly for each.
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