3 Tips to Grow Your Writer Platform with Twitter

Getting Started

Earlier, I mentioned that Twitter had been my best social media investment for building my platform so far. I created my Twitter account in early December, and as of right now I have 226 followers. That is small potatoes in the Twitterverse, but after 3 years of blogging in my old life, I never reached those kinds of numbers. Not even close.

So in a month, I have the attention of more people than I did in three years with my blog. I wish Twitter had been around back then!

In this brief time on Twitter, I have already learned a few things that I hope will help you, too.

The point of Twitter is to interact with others, sharing things you find interesting and helpful.  (Or to occasionally go on a rant :-)) If you want to have followers, you have to get out there so you can be found. Here are three tips to get you started.

1. Curate

Part of Twitter’s beauty is that you can just create your account in a few clicks, and moments later, you interact with other Tweeters by replying, favoriting and retweeting their posts. This is a quick and easy way to start building community, because helping others promote their posts is a good way to get them to follow you back or mention you in a tweet.

Search Twitter using the box at the top using keywords, hashtags or names to find people and content that interest you. (They even have an Advanced Search here.)

2. Create

Finding great tweets from others to share is good, but you need to post original content of your own, too. Let your personality show, but be consistent with your brand voice. If your blog is going to be “professional,” quoting Stewie from “Family Guy” is probably going to confuse your followers. Use your tweets to direct readers to your own blog or website, share any promotions or products you have, or even plug a friend. But don’t be spammy!

3. Automate

I had email notifications turned on for EVERYTHING in Twitter. Each time I got a new follower email, I checked out their Twitter profile, read a few tweets, and decided if I wanted to follow them or not.

That lasted about three days.

I was buried with emails by then, and knew that I was going to have to devise a better plan. I needed to automate my follows, unfollows and tweets. I’ll dive into those tools in another post, but I don’t think you can be successful on Twitter without at least a little automation.

If you are like, “What’s Twitter?” or you truly don’t know where to start, here are some links that I found helpful for the very basics of Twitter. Enjoy!

Welcome to Twitter from Twitter Support

5 Beginner Twitter Tips for Businesses from AddThis

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter by Michael Hyatt

Twitter Tips for Beginners by Jeff Goins

If you are on Twitter, let me know who you are and we’ll connect! I am @evsloane. Happy tweeting!

How to Start Building an Author’s Platform

beginning

We need a platform, right? That’s a place or opportunity for public discussion. Sounds like we need to find The Public and start talking, so where do we find them?

Social media. You know, the ones you spend hours on: Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest. Snapchat. YouTube. LinkedIn.

But wait! I have a novel to write! I don’t have time to tweet, like, share, snap, follow, pin, comment and post!

That’s true. But, to find The Public, you’ll have to engage. You can be smart about how and where you invest your time, though. Here’s a few tips to help you find the right social channels for you:

1. Don’t try to be a superstar on every outlet.

Pick the ones that work for you and the brand image you are trying to create and focus there.

I am not a big photo-taker, and my writing is still in the draft stages. I don’t have much media to share, so Instagram doesn’t make sense for me right now. However, I can curate loads of content on Twitter and find new followers every day.

2. Go where you already are.

If you have thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook friends, then why are you reading this blog? You already have a platform! (Just kidding. A little). Use those numbers to your advantage. Find or create content that you can share with the people who are already paying attention, and share often.

3. Go where The Public will be.

Think about where to find your target audience, and then join in yourself. Where do they spend their time? What sites will they be on? Blogs, Facebook groups, and other online communities based on your niche are all great places to start. I have signed on to a couple of writer’s groups and blogging courses, and met one of my best friends and advocates that way, as well as a fellow writer.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, before I started this blog, I went ahead and set up a few social media accounts to get started. I purposely wanted to wait for January to launch the blog, but didn’t see a reason to wait for the others. Here’s what I chose:

So far, Twitter has been my best investment by far, followed by Pinterest. Instagram and Facebook have very little activity, though for different reasons. I’ll discuss each channel in more detail in future posts.

Until then, think of a site or two that you could get started on, and go do it! I’d love to see what sites you choose. Tell me where to find you in the comments so we can connect!