Those of you who follow my blog probably connected with me via Twitter, whether you’re a fellow author or not. Now that I’m closing in on 25K followers, I feel like I’ve got a little experience I can share that will be helpful. And with that, here comes today’s blog post: 6 Twitter Tips for Authors.
- Don’t put “Aspiring Author” in your description – Look, I get it. You’re an aspiring author, and you hope to be published some day, whether traditionally, by yourself, or some other way. But to other authors, it just kind of looks bad. It sounds like you’re hoping something will happen. Something will happen, if you work for it. Better option: “Working on my first novel,” “working on my first book,” or “working on a short story collection.”
- Don’t put “Published Author” in your description, either – This might seem like a no-brainer for authors, but you’d be amazed by how many times I’ve seen this. Again, I get it, you want everyone to know that you’re now published…no longer “aspiring!” But many people will view that description and think “What other kind of author is there? When you’re still unpublished, you’re just another writer. An author is someone who’s been published!” I’m not saying these people are right to think that…but many people will think it. And nothing turns off a potential reader like a redundant writer.
- Please do not just put “Writer” as your description – Unless you’re already a household name, we really want to know more about you. Your Twitter description should be the opening gambit in an enrollment conversation. Mine starts with “Author of the Metaphysical & Visionary time travel novel Whizzers, available worldwide: msahno.com.” I’m not saying that’s the best Twitter profile in the world…but it’s not as unimaginative as the single word “Writer.” Who wants to check out a book by that guy?
- Do add something personal – The remainder of my profile says “🚫DMs🚫porn.” Now, you might not think that’s very personal, but it tells you a couple things about me: I don’t respond to direct messages from strangers, and I don’t want porn showing up in my Twitter feed. Works for me.
- Don’t #hashtag a #bunch #of #words – Seriously, don’t. It’s annoying and hard to read. If you’re going to hashtag something in your Twitter profile, I’d suggest limiting it to a word or short phrase. Unless you’re already a celebrity, in which case the rules probably don’t apply to you anyway.
- Avoid the Direct Message trap – I have to admit it: I used to have an automated greeting message that went out to every new follower I gained. But it was a rookie move, and I paid the price. First of all, most of those messages come with a Call to Action. So they’re like, “Hi, thanks for following me. Now that you’ve done me a kindness, please give me much more by following me on Instagram, liking my Facebook page, and buying my stuff.” Uh, no. Secondly, who the heck has time to read all these? If you’re getting a couple hundred new followers per month, as I do, and 10% of them send an auto-DM, that’s 20 messages per month! I don’t have time to read all those.
And there you have it. A short Twitter tips post for a Monday in September. Hope these help someone!