Part Two of Diana Diehl‘s Twitter Tips. See Part One here.
Rachel Thompson says that the trick to building sales through social media and branding is building relationships. The essentials include these actions (and more):
- Creating a dynamic bio with links to your website;
- Branding yourself rather than a book;
- Creating an online persona that is built around 4 or 5 hashtags that you’ll use to define what you’ll post;
- Posting consistently;
- Making 80% of your posts ones that give value to your followers, via entertainment, art, how-tos, advice–whatever your brand requires. 20% is about your books, events, sales, process, etc.
The hashtags you use to build your Twitter brand should include topics that echo the themes of your books plus fun things that give your readers insight into your public persona. Do you like cats? Post some every day. Do you run on coffee? Then cute sayings about java may be your thing. Readers like to get to know the author and feel they are accessible.
To figure out which hashtags are trending and popular for your topic, use websites such as http://hashtagify.me. Type in the hashtag you want to use in the Search window in the upper right corner of the screen. A graphical representation of related hashtags with size representing popularity, the larger, the more popular.
Who to follow matters. Pay special attention to influencers in your genre and subject field, including bloggers and reviewers. (Jonathan Maberry adds librarians and booksellers.) Following other authors and marketing people is okay, but the “Follows” that help your sales will be readers and influencers. Figure out your niche and follow those people. Comment, Like, and Retweet their posts to show you are interested in them. Some will return the favor.
Put your important influencers in Twitter lists. Here is Rachel’s article on lists (her blog is a wealth of free information for authors): http://