Pamela Meyers here with another post on marketing your book.

Last month, my post involved social networking and how new and veteran authors
can make it all work. I shared many tips that author, Jane Steen, presented at my local ACFW chapter in October, and promised this month I would share her tips on increasing your Twitter presence to your advantage.

If you are like me, you’ve been on Twitter a while now, probably used it a lot at first and then as life got in the way, found yourself only going there on occasion. After hearing Jane’s method on how to quickly build a following on Twitter, I found myself rethinking things.

So fasten your cyber seatbelts and get ready to build Twitter followers fast.

1. Follow 10-20 new people who interest you daily. Jane stressed, not to limit yourself to only people in the publishing industry. Spread out. Get your name and books out there.

This really takes very a short time. Nearly every day I get a notice from Twitter with at least three people who have started following me. I often delete the message unless I know the person, but lately I’ve taken the time to click on each follower’s link, read about them, and most times I  follow back.

Another way to find new people to follow is by going to the Twitter page of people you follow. On the left side of the screen, Twitter lists about three people that person follows. Choose one to follow and another person come in to take the place of the one you just followed.

2.  Unfollow the same number of people who have not followed you back (use JustUnFollow, ManageFlitter, or similar sites to keep track)

I haven’t yet done this (blame it on a tight deadline), but I plan to do it once I head into the holiday quiet period and see how it works. Jane has been using these sites for a while and says the system works well.

3. Keep your number of followers just above the number you follow.

4. Tweet interesting stuff, but not too often.

I think the last point is very important. You want to keep it interesting, and most people aren’t interested in what you had for lunch or what chore you just finished. I stopped following someone once because it seemed most of her tweets were about the load of laundry she just finished or what she was cooking for dinner. Now, maybe if you are following Wolfgang Puck or Mario Batali (both famous chefs) their daily menu would be interesting, but probably not in most of our cases.

Also, you don’t want to tweet too often. Sometimes I’ve seen tweets come through one right after the other from one person. It’s apparent they set up the tweets ahead of time and scheduled them to send all at once. Spread them out.

Another point, not made on Jane’s list, but one I think important. Be careful to not self-promote ourselves right out of  a Twitter following. Nothing loses a follower faster than making our tweets all about us and our books. I once unfollowed a person because every single tweet she sent was a line from her current release, or a reminder where to buy the book. One or two is fine, but a dozen in one day is overkill.

If you are really organized, you can set up a time once or twice a week and schedule Tweets to release throughout the next several days. Jane recommends using HootSuite to do this. Also Buffer or Timely are other sites that offer similar functions.

One last thing. Don’t feel you have to respond to people’s tweets, but try to respond back to people who respond directly to you. This is good for building relationships with potential readers.

So, get on Twitter. Open an account if you don’t have one, reacquaint yourself with it, if you do,  but haven’t been there in a while. If you have other suggestions that have worked for you, please comment!

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