June 12, 2023
Why do author tweets matter? Social media is a hot spot for authors who want to widen their audience and gain new readers for their work. And one of the best platforms to use is Twitter, because it is easy to use and millions of users log on every day to read author tweets, interact with other users, and post their own content.
Best-selling authors like Stephen King, JK Rowling, and Paul Coelho all have follower counts in the millions, but even new writers can leverage Twitter to increase their own reach to broader audiences and gain new potential readers of their books. So how do these author tweets build and maintain an ongoing social media relationship with the public? Let’s dive into the common characteristics of the tweets of best-selling authors that you can put into practice right away.
Author tweets all have one thing in common: they further the author’s brand in some way. Whether the post is highly personal and provides a glimpse into the author’s everyday life or is intensely professional with direct references to their written work, they tweet like author branding matters.
Since social media never disappears with help from the Wayback Machine’s archive of everything on the internet, every post will always be a part of who the author is in the public’s eye. But that doesn’t mean that author tweets have to be boring or bland. In fact, author tweets are actually more engaging and entertaining than ever.
The fun side of Twitter includes a lot of witty banter, cute animal photos, and entertaining topics that keep users scrolling endlessly every day. One big turnoff, however, is a social media feed filled with advertising, paid or otherwise. Bestselling authors don’t stuff their followers’ feeds with a constant barrage of self-promoting author tweets hawking their books or giving information about their upcoming projects.
Yes, authors include these kinds of posts, but they typically follow the 5-1 ratio of posting one promotional post for every five tweets concerning just about anything else. Self-promotion is a key aspect of using Twitter like a best-selling author, but it shouldn’t take up the majority of your posts, at least not directly.
Social media management can feel like a full-time job if you are tweeting, posting, liking, following, and engaging with followers and others online regularly. For those with huge followings like many popular authors, enlisting help can be a lifesaver.
Many users utilize TweetDeck, a post scheduler affiliated with Twitter that assists in organizing and scheduling postings. Other schedulers like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Tweet4Me offer free and paid options that aid in a busy author’s effective tweeting.
Big followings usually are the result of one key action that best-selling authors all have in common: they regularly engage on Twitter with their followers. More than just a back-and-forth conversation, official engagement metrics include how many likes, retweets, and quotes any given tweet garners.
But the more meaningful engagement is about talking with followers, providing chances for them to directly connect with someone and amplifying a follower’s voice or ideas in some way. In other words, popular authors make authentic interactions a regular part of their Twitter.
Create Opportunities for Fans: Authors with a large or growing following may be hard-pressed to interact with all or even most of their followers. Instead, they create a way for fans to be heard through Twitter polls where fans can give their opinion on anything from book content, potential book titles, or even something mundane unrelated to writing or professional life, just for fun.
Authors also set up Q&A sessions on Twitter, letting fans know that they will answer questions during a specific time frame or the first 10 questions they receive, for example, to give fans a chance to learn what they really want to know about an author, their craft or their stories.
Retweet Fans: When a big Twitter account retweets you, it can make your visibility and authenticity go through the roof. Popular authors have the power to amplify smaller accounts with a retweet while quoting a tweet (including your thoughts along with a retweet) increases real fan engagement two-fold.
Use Hashtags: To connect with all kinds of readers, big accounts like those run by best-selling authors use hashtags to increase engagement and loop in other Twitter users that are already talking about or following a subject. By including basic hashtags like #AuthorsOfTwitter or #writer, you can connect with a larger conversation online to connect with more potential readers who may want to follow you and read your books.
Of course, the Twitterverse is an excellent location to promote your work, and in order to keep followers interested in your professional content, followers have to see the value in the book, your project, or the craft. Big-name authors do this on Twitter in a variety of ways, the least common of which is simply posting their book titles and retail links.
Asking for book reviews can be an excellent way for an author to increase the value of their work. Many readers jump at the chance for an advanced reader copy (ARC) of a book, even from a new author. Organic, promotional book reviews for new authors are critical, and asking readers to review your work online can ultimately increase book sales. Authors sometimes pair ARC offers with a giveaway, like bundling a previously-printed book with the new book as a thank-you for reading and reviewing their latest work.
An author’s website link can be included in a Tweet to drive followers to your personal site. Best-selling authors use their sites to further engage with fans, give details about their upcoming projects, blog about their craft, or even give “insider” information about their writing, their books or themselves.
Book teasers are enjoyed by fans and authors use them on Twitter to not only excite fans with tidbits from future projects, but also to pique the interest of followers who aren’t yet fans or to draw attention to lesser-read projects.
One Liners are Twitter posts that give followers a single line from a book. Authors use these with popular character dialogue that readers might recognize or even a cryptic line that readers will try to figure out the meaning behind. Both types of one-liners grab the followers’ attention and help drive readers to an author’s work.
Above all, Twitter is a place for authors to be themselves. Best-selling authors don’t have to hold back with their personal beliefs since their sometimes-massive follower counts don’t tend to fluctuate much even when their controversial or unflattering opinions become public.
But for newer authors looking to grow their personal brand as a writer, be sure to carefully consider what you post since the internet is, as they say, forever. They tweet personal anecdotes and everyday, mundane things. Followers like to feel like they know someone they follow on Twitter and reading about what they had for breakfast or how their cat made them laugh creates that connection. Authors often reveal their personal beliefs by taking a stand on social issues.
While these types of posts can be polarizing, some authors use Twitter to let their convictions show and their audience may grow or shrink as a result. Followers also love it when author tweets are funny or clever. Light-hearted posts are an excellent way to connect with followers and authors can use humor to poke fun at aspects of life that we all have in common.
Even though Twitter was created to primarily be text-based, more and more it has become a visual social platform. Authors often share pictures and gifs that entertain, remind followers of their genre, or even further their personal brand as an author.
Big-name authors can use their platform to support and connect with other writers, aspiring writers, or others in the literary world. Best-selling authors often follow each other as well as follow and amplify lesser-known authors in an intentional effort to support each other.
Those with lots of writing experience often offer advice, provide brief feedback for aspiring writers, or provide tools and support for those just starting out or wanting to hone their own craft. Authors who want to grow their own follower count can participate in their genre’s online writing communities, offering support to other authors, and amplifying the voices and stories of other writers in the same way.
Before you launch your social media campaign for your next book, partner with a trusted printer like Publishing Xpress so you can start thinking about your next author tweets and not whether or not your book will look great. And then be sure to try out a few of these strategies to help you tweet like a best-selling author so you can attract a bigger following, gain new readers, and grow your brand as an author.
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