Most of the information in this blog series comes from Rachel Thompson, the author of 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge.
Rachel's book is a step-by-step tour to building an author platform and the best $5 I've spent in my marketing budget.
Her #bookmarketingchat on Twitter is held Wednesday nights at 6 Pacific Time. You can follow on Twitter or on one of the chat platforms. I use Tweetchat.com. You type in the hashtag (#bookmarketingchart) at the start time and follow along. It updates the thread as people "say" things. Usually, the people running it consist of a guest, Rachel, and a moderator who helps out.
It can seem daunting the first time you join a Twitter event, but it's really easy. And if things go by too fast, they always post the full log of the conversation in a couple of places afterward so you can get any useful links you may have missed.
The topics vary. One week it may be building your platform on Twitter, another, it may be about blogging or making a marketing plan or using social media groups on LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook, etc.
Much of the information echoes what's in her book. I've enjoyed them both and learned a lot.
Back to the basics of Twitter. Rachel 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.
Then of course, who to follow matters. Pay special attention to influencers in your genre and subject field, including bloggers and reviewers. 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://