Since I posted the original piece a few weeks ago my followers have increased by nearly 2,000. So how has this happened? Here are a few more advanced tips for people keen to enhance their exposure:
Concentrate on your target audience
Firstly as an author you need to embrace Twitter as a marketing tool; yes I know us authors hate the thought of anything but writing, but what is the point of writing a modern day classic novel if no-one knows it exists? Now this doesn’t mean becoming a spam bot; that’s the quickest way to lose followers & credibility. But you need to realise that Twitter is your platform to express your views and enhance your profile to your target audience, not the general public, the vast majority of whom will have no interest in what you are doing or your writing.
So, in my example, I decided my target audience was going to be developed in two strategies; firstly other writers, then readers of my genre (which I will come back to in a later piece). The reason I started with writers first is that I am new to this game, with an awful lot still to learn. So the fastest way to receive information, and easiest for me to digest, was from other writers who had been through the process before, or where currently going through the same stages as me. I broke my writers down into two areas: successful, published authors, and secondly indie authors who had less exposure and were ‘under the general public radar’. This was intentional as I wanted to see the variants of how writers write, promote and market themselves, and the results were varied and extremely insightful.
A certain percentage of your followers will find you organically; they will see your posts from mutual friends or come across the hastags they have searched evident in your tweets, and will follow you accordingly. However until you
have a significant presence (and I’m talking tens of thousands of followers) this organic growth will be small, and painstakingly slow.
The approach I took was to ‘find’ more followers, namely go out and find people that I thought would be interested in my tweets. This takes time, but is a worthwhile exercise as these people should be interested in you, and this is the quickest way to grow a quality, credible following.
Where do you find them?
The starting point is a mutual connection or interest between you; with me, I was looking for writers, so I searched for
people to follow that also followed accounts associated with writing. Now here you need to be careful, as if you are specific to a certain writer, then the chances are their followers are readers of their work, and will have no interest in you.
Instead focus on more generic accounts, such as @Writerly , @Writersrelief or @Advicetowriters.
These accounts are solely about writing and the lives of authors, so I knew the people who read those tweets were interested in the same topics as me. Therefore I could make an educated assumption that they would also be interested in what I had to say.
But how do you know who reads their tweets?
I would not recommended randomly adding other users who follow these accounts from the followers link.
Remember you want to connect with active people, who are active right now, and many of the users that follow that account might be dormant or no longer use twitter. So how do you know who is active? I started by expanding each recent tweet, and following those who retweeted or favourited the tweets that I to was interested in.
These are the people you want to connect with; not only are they interested in the same topics as you, but importantly they retweet and favourite tweets of interest to them. They are active, and that is what you want, so each tweet you send gains maximum exposure.
The other area I use to find people who have the same interests as me is from reviewing the followers of lists which I have been added to. Often you will come across people who are exactly the profile you wish to connect with, and it can save time searching. Just be careful to review them before you follow, to check they are still active.
As everyone is probably aware twitter has limits in place to prevent spam.
Basically when you reach 2,000 followers, twitter imposes a restriction on you to only be able to follow an additional 10% of your followers. So if you have 200 followers, you will only be able to follow 2020 accounts.
When you reach this stage you need to review who you actually follow, and whether there is any reason to continuing following them.
Now nearly everyone I know follows a certain number of celebrities, renowned authors or high profile companies.
This is fine, as typically this should only be a few hundred or so, and as per my earlier post, you should also be following people who follow you back. But what about those who don’t follow you back and aren’t a ‘celebrity’ you have an interest in? These are the people who are preventing you from expanding your network, and as they haven’t followed you, they are oblivious to the amazing tweets you are sending! In order to maximise your marketing and exposure, these followers need to be ‘unfollowed’.
There are numerous ways you can do this, but a couple of apps I use are justunfollow.com and unfollow.
These apps allow you to see the people who don’t follow you back, and how active they are on twitter (i.e last time they tweeted). review my ‘non followers’ every couple of days; any that have never tweeted, or haven’t tweeted in the last week I unfollow, as this shows me they are not active, so unlikely to see my tweets. Any that I have added a few days ago, but not reciprocated and have tweeted since, I then remove, as it is unlikely they now will and again they won’t see my tweets.
This may seem a little harsh and ruthless, but twitter is competitive, and these people are preventing you from adding other interesting people who will return the favour!
So in summary, by being clear on who you want to connect with, finding common areas and being proactive, it is possible to help increase your follower network without waiting for it to occur naturally.
Remember as an author twitter is a marketing tool, but also it is so much more than this.
Embracing it fully will not merely increase your following base, but it will also enhance the experience as the network of amazing people you interact with expands!
Good luck and get going!