When it comes to an author using Twitter to sell books – it’s important to remember that Twitter is a marketing tactic not a marketing strategy.
Twitter has been hailed as the “holy grail” of marketing and it is a great communication tool. Forward-thinking companies like Apple, Dell, SouthWest Airlines, and GM have teams of specialists devoted to using Twitter to communicate with their customers and the public. However, signing up for Twitter is not going to instantly increase book sales.
Twitter is a communication tool. It’s a way for your fans to stay in touch and it’s a way for you to connect with new readers for your work. Whether you’re a self published author or a one who has signed a five figure advance with a giant publishing house – you need to have a way for your readers to be able to “connect” and follow you.
Using Twitter isn’t hard to do. Simply create a “tweet” – which is a message of 140 or less which you “broadcast” to those who are following you. The whole foundation of Twitter is following. You can “follow” people using Twitter and people can also “follow” you. When you choose to follow someone – you are subscribing their tweets. When someone follows you they are subscribing to your tweets.
Getting followers – the RIGHT followers – is the hardest part about using Twitter for book marketing.
Getting followers is easy – Twitter allows you to search your email for Twitter connections or you can browse Twitter’s database for others active on Twitter. You can search Twitter’s users by industry or even do a keyword search to find who’s talking about the topics you write about.
It’s common for those new to Twitter to begin trying desperately to gain new followers. After all, it’s not much fun to tweet when no one is listening… which is why the best author websites are blogs. Not only does a blog act as a great way to market your book – it’s also a great way to get followers on Twitter. Simply add an appealing image to your blog’s sidebar widget and include a link to your Twitter profile and VIOLA – you’ve just implemented one of the most effective tools around to attract followers to your Twitter profile. There’s even a WordPress plug in which allows your blog to automatically “tweet” your blog posts.
However, there is no “marketing magic” in using Twitter to sell books. However, if you view Twitter as yet another way to connect with readers and book buyers, it can become an effective marketing channel for book sales.
You need the RIGHT Twitter followers according to the blog post “Using Twitter to sell more stuff”
Just as in direct mail – the “magic is in the list” – in Twitter – the magic in using Twitter for marketing is in attracting the “right” followers. Once again – it’s better to have 100 Twitter followers who respond than 10K who are not responsive.
If you’re a fiction writer who writes about vampires – then begin tweeting about topics of interest to your audience – for example, items of interest you find on the web as you research your next book. Once vampire genre fans discover your tweets are a great source of up to the minute information – they’ll start telling their friends. Then, when your next book is ready to be published – you’ll have a devoted following of Twitter fans who have been following you as you wrote the book – and are more responsive as a result.
When used as part of a cohesive marketing strategy – Twitter can be a valuable tool for any author to use to sell more books.