I have to say right now that Twitter for an author is much different than the way I've used Twitter with my clients.
Generally, my clients tweet (or I tweet for them) as a business, not as an individual. You know what I'm talking about, like the businesses you follow so you can get exclusive awesome deals. Or the other businesses that give you good solid information. Those types of Twitter accounts don't have to worry about saying anything cute or cool or responding to people or building their own list of people they follow. For these accounts there is a rule of Don't Follow Everyone Just Because They Follow You. For the schools of thought associated with this, read here.
While I subscribe to the rule above for most businesses, I do not for individual writers. I believe in the etiquette of following who follows you. And so do many other people. Therefore, if you want to build your followers, then one way is to follow, follow, follow. Not automated people trying to sell you things, of course, but humans.
Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself. First, you need to decide how you plan to use Twitter as a writer. Some suggestions:
- To build a huge following so that if (when!) your book comes out, you have people to tell.
- To stay up on contests and agent advice.
- To learn from fellow writers.
- To hear general buzz about books and the literary world.
- To socialize.
- All of the above or any combination of the above.
Here's my marketing advice: if you are planning on writing a book that you will one day have to publicize, then build followers. Now, following others is not the only way to build followers yourself. Another way is to have great, original, useful, etc. tweets.
Over the next few weeks I will give you some tools to help you find and manage your followers, but for now the goal, for myself at least, is start following.
If you aren't using Twitter: I've said before that only 20% of adults use Twitter. That's a low amount, but still, it's still 20% of adults you can reach with a FREE tool. Also, Twitter can give a ton of exposure. Read this.
Note: Do not buy followers. Ever. Ever, ever. I don't think I need to explain why.
Are you using Twitter? If so, how? Who are you following? If you follow me, I'll likely follow you :)