If you're marketing your books online, then you've probably heard of Twitter. It was all the rage last year in social media, and millions of people have joined this micro-blogging community. Maybe you even started a profile page and sent out a tweet or two. If so, that's great. And if you've been avoiding it for one reason or another, it might be time to try it out.
Why? With millions of people tweeting every day, it's a huge source of potential readers for your book. It's easy to get followers and it's a great way to interact with your reading audience. But one of the main excuses I hear about why people aren't on Twitter-or they aren't using it fully-is that it's so time consuming. Well, it can be. But not if you try the following tips.
Automate Your Tweets
With so many people on Twitter, you need a lot of tweets per day to really maximize your exposure. But you don't want to spend all day tweeting. Automation is the answer. You can use the following tools to tweet on your behalf.
Hoot Suite: This program allows you to schedule tweets ahead of time. So once a month, you can go into your Hoot Suite account and set it up to tweet several times a day for you. You have to enter each tweet and schedule them one at a time, which can be tedious, but it's worth getting several days of tweets out of the way at one time. I use this tool especially when I'm announcing a teleseminar or other event that's scheduled on my calendar.
Social Oomph: This tool also allows you to schedule tweets for later, but the true beauty of Social Oomph is that you can set it to send all your new followers a welcome message. This saves time contacting everyone who follows you, and allows you to start building a relationship with them right away.
Twitter Feed: This tool allows you to link your blog or any other RSS feed to your Twitter account. This means any time you update your blog, a tweet is automatically sent out. You only have to set this up once, and then it works automatically. And it's a great way to get new eyes on your blog posts.
Make Tweeting Easy
You can only automate so much of your Twitter activity. You'll also have to check in periodically through the day to communicate with people and send out the more personal tweets, like what you're working on that day or what you're excited about. The key to getting it down to ten minutes or less is making it super easy to tweet. Here are a few tips.
Link Your Twitter Account to Your Cell Phone: When your cell phone is linked to your Twitter account, you can take advantage of spare minutes in your day, like when you're waiting in line or stuck in traffic, to post updates. When you sign up for a Twitter account, you'll be asked if you want to use your phone with it. And they'll give you the steps for setting everything up.
Use a Desktop Twitter Manager, Like Tweet Deck: Tweet Deck is a free program that you can download to your computer and use to see everything that's happening on Twitter in one place. It has a column for the live feed, a column that shows everyone who's mentioned you, and a column for all the direct messages you receive. This makes the all-important social interaction easy.
Send Quality Tweets
If you want people to respond to you and follow you, then you need to keep them interested. Plus quality tweets will maximize the time you do spend on this social media site. I've heard a few different formulas from different Twitter experts, but basically you want a daily mix of tweets that include:
Giving away good information that will interest people in your target audience, such as links to your blog posts, tips, interesting quotes, links to other people's blog posts, links to articles, etc. This should be the bulk of your Twitter activity-and these are the easiest types of tweets to automate, by the way.
Being nice to people by complimenting them, retweeting their tweets, engaging in conversation, responding to their questions, etc. This is what you do when you check in with your mentions and direct messages.
Being real. Social media is all about being approachable. So once or twice a day, check in with what you're working on, what's bugging you, what delicious restaurant you ate lunch at, something funny you found on the web, or what's going on in your life. Let your followers know the real you, even if you don't think it's interesting.
Asking for a sale. The whole point of your Twitter participation is selling books, right? Well, then, at some point you need to ask folks to buy your book. However, you can't blatantly promote your book all the time (maybe once or twice a day if you have ten-fifteen other tweets going out), and you can't just come right out and ask people to buy. Try tweeting about some tip from your book and link to a sales page, making it informational as well as subtly promotional.
Tweeting Your Way to Book Sales
Twitter is too big to ignore-especially if you're marketing your book online. It's a great, free way to get traffic to your site and find a reading audience. But no one wants to spend all day tweeting. When you use these tips for automating, simplifying, and maximizing your Twitter time, you can reap all the benefits from this using this social media site in ten minutes a day or less!