Mining Your Writing for Twitter Gold

Welcome back to our Wednesday series on effective author marketing.

Today, we continue our look at effective use of Twitter, with a focus on providing valuable content to your followers and others.

Many authors tell me “I’d like to use Twitter more, but I don’t know what to say.” Getting tongue-tied on social media is a common problem, but fortunately, it’s also easily fixed. Most authors have volumes of valuable information to share — they simply don’t realize there’s gold in the mine.

No matter what kind of books (or articles) you write, the odds are high you’ve done either research or world building to create them. Also, odds are most of your research (or world building) didn’t make it into your book.

People love to watch “deleted scenes” and other special content on videos. They’re often equally interested in what an author knows.

Translating your research or world building into effective Twitter content is essentially a three-step process. Let’s examine those steps now:

First: Create a hashtag for your content, preferably related to your books or series as a whole. 

You can establish a hashtag for each book, but that makes it harder for followers. Best to use one tag that applies to everything. Check to make sure your hashtag isn’t already in popular use – for example, #PubLaw is essentially taken. While it’s not illegal to use a hashtag someone else is using, it can be confusing to followers (and impolite).

Second: Pull out your research files, and find the useful nuggets of information you can share.

If you have a lot of useful information to share, you may want to write blog posts as well as tweeting “fun fact” nuggets. For example, with the #PubLaw stream, I write blog posts in 140-character sentences and then tweet each one using that hashtag – doubling the content benefit.

If you haven’t got time for blogging, simply find the useful content you can translate into twitter-sized portions.

Make sure you can get the entire fact in one tweet. Followers get confused if you cut – (See?)

Good twitter facts are pieces of information that people find interesting and might not already know. For example: what people ate for breakfast in medieval Japan. Go through your research files and make lists of that information. You probably have much more than you think.

Third: Make a regular twitter schedule, and stick to it, even if you’re only tweeting one fact a day.

You don’t have to tweet every day, or for an extended period. Quality and regularity are more important than volume.

Building a reputation as a provider of specialized content will help you establish a twitter presence connected to your writing. 

Be sure to respond to people who comment on or reply to your content tweets. Unlike some other forums, Twitter works best when it generates interaction.

Next week, we’ll look at the third (and final) topic in our author marketing overview of Twitter: providing effective content without becoming stuck in a time-sucking quagmire.