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  • P. Barrera

Now What? Series - Social Media Part 2

Last week we talked about Goodreads. Did you set up an account and your author page? How did it go? Did you run an ad? What were your stats?

This week we're going to tackle the monster known as Twitter!

Twitter is a nice little social media outlet that allows users to send messages. Unfortunately and unlike Facebook, Twitter limits its users "tweets" to 140 characters. This may seem like a lot, but trust me, it's not as much as you think!

So what's the trick to Twitter? I'm going to give you a few tips that will help you be successful with your tweeting.

1. Hashtags!

Hashtags can seem intimidating. There are so many to choose from, and how do you know what's trending? But don't be afraid, hashtags are your friend.

Since your character limit is so small, hashtags are great ways to make use of your space. Take this tweet for example:

You can build your hashtags into whatever your message is. Hashtags are great because they allow people to find things that they're looking for. So if someone is looking for indie books, the #indie hashtag is what they would search for. It will bring up all the times that particular hashtag was used. Don't be afraid to build hashtags into your message. Use all the space you're provided!

2. How to find what's trending?

What hashtags are trending is a pretty simple thing to find. If you're writing a political thriller and you're looking for what hashtags to use, simply look to the menu on the left-hand side on your home page:

As you can see, it lists the most popular tags at the time. You can also change it so that you can see what's more relevant to what you're looking for.

3. Some good resources.

Despite having these shortcuts, there are loads of websites out there that are designed to make your Twitter experience easier. Here are a few:

- Hootsuite: If you're not using Hootsuite, what are you doing with your life? I'll tell you: You're wasting it posting on social media! Hootsuite allows you to schedule your posts. A lot of authors I know will spend one day a month planning out all their posts and scheduling them on Hootsuite. So much more time for writing!

- Bitly: Since there's so little room for you to write tweets, don't clog it all up with long URLs. Use Bitly to shorten your links and copy/paste them into your tweet.

- This List of Hashtags: This is a great resource I found in a fellow blogger's post that I've been using. It's a list of 70 hashtags that every author/business person should know.

- Crowdfire: Crowdfire is great. It helps you clean up your Twitter list and allows you to send automated messages when someone follows you. A good rule of thumb is to have more followers than people you are following, but that doesn't always happen. Crowdfire will help you sort out your list and help you find people to follow who are more closely aligned with what you're doing.

So that's a little to get you going on Twitter. Remember that some things work for some people better than for others, so experiment with your hashtags and such until you find that thing that works for you. You'll know it's working when you have retweets!

Next week we will tackle another monster: FACEBOOK. Super scary, right? I'm going to try to make it easy to digest! In the meantime, leave a comment with your thoughts about this series and what you'd like to see me write about!

#editing #socialmedia #advertising #NowWhat #writing #publishing #Twitter

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