Sunday, March 22, 2015

Adventures in Self Publishing - Twitter

Start off with a couple accounts at least, as it's harder to separate your Spam and Interact personas here than at facebook.

Spam Mode:
Here is how the game works.  Create a separate account, as your feed will be a mess after this.  Follow a bunch of authors - it doesn't hurt to stick to a similar genre.  They will (hopefully) follow you back.  Authors will then follow you, hoping you like them back, which you should do.  If you follow 20 people and 10000 people follow you, you're either real-life famous, buying followers, or a jerk.

Now you have an account like one of mine.  I have about 1000 followers.  I don't read their posts, and they don't read mine.  There are maybe 10 actual readers in there, and I'm sure they've muted me.

Now, retweet some of those folks' posts.  Hopefully, they'll be nice and retweet yours, but more likely they've hired a company to set up a computer program to randomly retweet junk.

Now you're in a position to tweet an ad, get it retweeted, and hopefully out of the tens of thousands of timelines it show up in, maybe 10 people will actually have it appear on their screen.

The analytics page of twitter is good for tracking this.  It's kind of buried.  First, log onto twitter, then open another tab and search for twitter analytics.  It should get you there the first time, and after that you can get to it through the "twitter ads" option from your twitter page.

Remember, we're not paying any money here, and they're only giving you this info to make you want to pay for stuff.  There are a lot of numbers about favorites and retweets and blah blah, we're only interested in link clicks.  It doesn't matter what your reach or exposure or whatever is if nobody is clicking through.

Using hashtags does work here, especially those for retweet groups such as #IARTG.  I've seen a notable increase in clicks when using these.  Be a good citizen and retweet some other folks.

I haven't bothered spamming twitter much, but some authors literally tweet every 30 seconds, or rather their automated programs do.  I followed one idiot who literally had the same ad tweeted a least a hundred times a minute.  Great way to get blocked.

Announce Mode:
As with Facebook, just announce when there's actual news.  The idea here is that someone who likes your stuff will be able to find out about new titles.  But don't announce from an account you spam from, as you'll get muted the tenth time the reader sees the same ad.

Interact Mode:
Much the same as Facebook, but again, don't spam from that account.  The #amwriting hashtag is routinely one of the most trending, and is a good way to get genuine followers.  But don't spam it, i.e., "Buy my book #amwriting".  Say something clever or insightful or cute about what you've just written.

Writing twitter copy is good practice in brevity, but the returns here are less than Facebook from most reports I've seen.

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