Received this today from someone spamming his book links: ‘I always share what is sent to me directly. I rarely have time to keep on top of my feed, sadly.’
I say nope, not true. You just don’t know how to manage it (no offense, dude). I hear this daily.
If you’re new to Twitter, no doubt you quickly became overwhelmed, particularly keeping up with your home feed. So, don’t.
That’s probably NUTS to you, but if you’ve been on Twitter for awhile and are growing (more below on how to grow), you cannot possibly keep up with every single tweet. Billions of people tweets billions of tweets daily — our brains would explode trying to keep up! So, what to do instead?
From Twitter’s Help Section:
A list is a curated group of Twitter users. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the users on that list.
Note: List names cannot exceed 25 characters, nor can they begin with a number.
So, why bother? This is a way to divide and conquer. Put your following into whatever lists you create (it’s so grown up, isn’t it?) and make them public or private. It’s great! Go. Have fun. Thank me later. Tip: List people as you follow them if possible. Another time saver.
Lists are also a wonderful way to get around the Twitter rate limits (see more below): Previously, you could only create 20 lists. Now, you can make up to 1,000, and those lists can contain as many as 5,000 accounts — a big improvement on the prior cap of 500 accounts (via Mashable).
I rarely use actual Twitter … even with the updates, it’s kinda clunky (sorry, Twitter) and they don’t allow scheduling. What’s up with that? We cannot possibly be on 24 hours a day. I don’t advocate for pure automation — the best conversations start organically, so live interaction is crucial. However, you can schedule in things like blog posts, quotes, or visuals that won’t become quickly dated.
I use Hootsuite on my desktop and Tweetbot for iOS on my iPhone/iPad. Hootsuite allows for scheduling, Tweetbot does not — however, I can manage lists from both, check tweets and DMs, and interact easily. (Hootsuite does make a mobile version, I just don’t really like it.)
The point of scheduling is two-fold:
WANT TO GROW? FOLLOW!
Following people on Twitter is the easiest way to grow, but like anything having to do with marketing, do it with focus and strategy. I find the best way to follow tweeps is to use Manage Flitter. You can put in a keyword or phrase, and it pulls up the most recent tweets (or accounts) having to do with that. As authors, we want to follow readers, book bloggers, book reviewers, publications, and other authors, right? So input those terms and follow about 50-100 every day as you build.
I personally follow about 500-750 daily on my main @RachelintheOC author account. You cannot follow more than 1,000 per day. Takes me a few minutes only. There are other following programs out there, but I love Manage Flitter for its ease of use.
You should also unfollow eggs, nonfollowbacks, inactives. This becomes particularly crucial when you reach the goal of following 2,000. Why? Because Twitter imposes a 10% rate limit, meaning you cannot follow more than 10% who follows you. So in hard numbers, if you follow 2020 people, you must have 2,000 or more followers in order to follow more people.
We cannot control who follows us – that’s the beauty and one of the difficulties of Twitter (that’s why fakes are flourishing). But you can block or unfollow, so that’s what you need to do to grow an interactive base of targeted followers.
I’ve been on Twitter now since March, 2009. It has taken me six years to build an interactive following, and that includes all of the above, plus interaction, plus creating #MondayBlogs (share blog posts on Mondays, retweet others), and #SexAbuseChat. Like anything, Twitter requires effort and a huge following doesn’t mean much if you don’t sell books.
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 and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.
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