As someone who has done this social media thingy for a while, I’m asked frequently:
How do I find people on Twitter to follow?
You can find any number of articles on who, what, when, where and why’s to follow. What follows is what I’ve found effective as an author.
1) Use Search to find common interests. If you look at the top of any screen, you’ll find the Search window. If you’re interested in red kites, type in red kites. If you’re interested in psychological thrillers, type in that.
This sounds so obvious, but many people (new or not), don’t seem to be able to find the Search window.
2) Advanced Search. This is way cool and almost nobody knows about it. Click on Advanced Search and put in any number of criteria: keywords, hashtags, retweets, mentions, etc. It’s awesome!
3) Manage Flitter. I LOVE this app. I use the pro version simply because I’m managing many client accounts, but the basic service is still awesome for unfollowing eggs, nevertweeteds, inactives, and fakes. They also have a terrific Search function, either by account or tweet. I do this a few times a week.
I typically follow about 100 people every day. If they don’t follow back within a week, I dump em. It’s hard to be this brutal at first, but remember the 10% ratio: if you follow more than is following you by 10%, Twitter freezes your ability to follow more. This is how to get around that.
4) Keywords. This is your first assignment: What topics interest you the most? Who do you find fascinating? What is your business, service, or book?
Write a list. Don’t make it one hundred different things. I typically suggest six main keywords, six backups. For my author account, mine are: men, women, social media, relationships, sex, love, and loss. My backups are coffee, Nutella, vodka, blogging, writing, books, and publishing.
Why do this? This is the foundation of your branding. Find like-minded people with similar interests and you’re off! Tip: choose personal interests. Nobody wants to interact with a one-dimensional robot.
5) Celebs: Many people like to follow their favorite celebs on Twitter, for many reasons. Fine, whatever. Once you’ve followed 2,000 tweeps, Twitter imposes following limits as mentioned above. The point of creating an interactive following is not so people won’t follow you back and share your stuff. It’s so they will. Right? So unfollow The Jersey Shore gang as soon as you’re done here. Please, I beg of you.
6) Lists. When you follow someone interesting, see what lists they’ve created or that others have put them on. If those people seem relevant to you, follow them. I love lists because the work is already done for you.
Also: you can create your own lists, up to 20, with up to 500 people per list. That’s 10,000 tweeps. Even if you only follow a few hundred, you can still list many more people without following them! This is also another way to get around the Twitter imposed 10% limit.
7) Customers. Every tweep is a potential reader or client. Authors frequently ask: where do I find readers? Use every search engine possible – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Goodreads, and of course, Google – to look for potential readers. By genre, name, author, book club, etc. Also look for your genre. See what comes up.
The mistake I see many authors make is reaching out only to other writers (I did the same thing initially). And while writers do read A LOT, and we’re generally a supportive lot, we’re also not your target audience. You want to search for enthusiasts of your genre, right? Try synonyms. Know your demographic.
8) Amazon. Not sure what your branding is but you know what genre your book is? Check out Amazon’s Tag Cloud (the most popular tags used by readers on Amazon). If you’re currently writing a book or already have one out, see which tags are BIGGER and darker. If your book fits into those tags, be sure you’re using them on your own Amazon page.
Even if you’re not a published author, I’ve found using the tag cloud helpful as a guide for blog topics. It’s really a microcosm of a macrocosm, if you will.
Finally, remember this: Twitter will not sell your book. It does however, increase your visibility and exposure. And that’s awesome.
That’s it for today. I hope you find this information useful and start implementing some of these changes right away. What did I miss?
Got questions? Hit me here or email: BadRedheadMedia at gmail dot com. Want more of an author perspective? Check out RachelintheOC.com.
Need personalized help? Check out my services page.
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs, #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.