When I fired up my Twitter account in March 2011, I was a total social media newbie (and still am – do we ever stop learning?) My goal (then and now) was to build a social media platform that would help me get the word out about my novel, Mark of the Loon. I learned a lot. In September, 2011, I posted an article that remains extremely popular on my blog: How to Build a Quality Twitter Following FAST! This post is a follow-up.
Still True: Social media pros point to Twitter and Facebook as excellent venues to help drive traffic to a blog. More blog traffic increases the number of people familiar with (and hopefully fans of) your work. More fans = more supporters willing to help spread the word about your book releases, reviews, giveaways and all around good news.
Still True: A year ago I came to the conclusion that limiting Twitter followers so I could “know” them all would not give me an adequate marketing platform. I still feel that way. You can’t effectively follow 200 people’s tweets, so you may as well have 20,000. And with 20,000 followers, you’re more likely to cultivate friends who think you’re cool – and vice versa.
When I started, I followed 25-50 active tweeters a day. I searched for readers, writers, authors, novelists and bloggers, assuming they would be most likely to support authors like myself. I found that the easiest way to find followers is to jump on other tweeps’ profiles and
poach cruise their followers list. This still stands, although my follow goals have decreased.
However, back then I used Twitter’s email notices to alert me about new tweeps. I checked my messages, reviewed feeds, and followed back those who were actively interacting (minus businesses, porn stars and search bots). But the emails were too much! NOW, I jump on my Followers list periodically and return most follows after popping open profiles and reading the first few tweets. Still a good way to disqualify spammers – and sourheads!
So What Has Changed? Enter Triberr
When I wrote the original post, I was a BIG fan of using Twitter lists to retweet (RT) my faves. Since then, lists have lost their glow, for several reasons: Over time I found that Twitter failed to fully populate lists (or even display them), and on many occasions I couldn’t access tweets. Other times, lists were so full I had to scroll through dozens of tweets to select a few to RT, and it became a time-waster. Then, along came Triberr.
Triberr has changed the landscape. It’s now simple to join a tribe of like-minded people ready and willing to tweet your blog posts. I see pros and cons to the system. Pros: 1) Everybody’s in one place, and once you get set up (which can be frustrating!), it’s automated and simple to use. 2) Reports of huge increases in participant’s website traffic abound. As for cons? My advice is that you find a good group, join in, and decide for yourself if Triberr is right for you.
Twitter Basics Remain The Same:
• Understand Twitter’s Follow Limits: Once you get to 2,000, Twitter limits the number of people you can follow, IF you’re following way more than are following you.
• Use justunfollow.com (or some other service) to keep your following-to-followers ratio close. Unfollowing people who don’t follow you will keep your percentages in line and Twitter off your back — and no hard feelings!
• Understand Twitter Basics by reading resources such as Publishing Talk’s Twitter Cheat Sheet. Have questions about how something works? Check Twitter How-tos, or Google it!
• To grow a quality following, you must interact with a percentage of your followers, comment on their blogs, retweet blog posts, book reviews and book links. Don’t expect others to support you if you haven’t paid your dues. And please: Do not RT someone once or twice, then tweet them with an @mention and a request to RT your blog post. Arghhhh!!
• BE AWARE that Twitter will randomly unfollow people FOR YOU, without your knowledge. You cannot tell the difference between a Twitter error and a purposeful action by a follower. @mentioning unfollows is classless and reveals a lack of character.
• Demonstrate Good Manners. Do not tweet snarky comments about others. DO NOT Direct Message (DM) or tweet an uninvited self-promotion or a link to your book or blog using a follower’s @mention. Do not … well, let’s just move to the DO list:
• DO be patient, play nice, and put others first. THAT’s the true road to Twitter success.
The friends I’ve made on Twitter have been the ABSOLUTE best part of the experience. If I hadn’t reached out, I would not have met some pretty spectacular people. Bottom line, this statement still holds true: Twitter is about building a mutual, interactive network. To thrive, you must be an active supporter of others. And this is simply logical: The more followers you have, the more valuable your RTs are to your faves.
Love the icon at the top of this post? Visit twittericon.com for free Twitter backgrounds and cool stuff.
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