By Penny Sansevieri
If you've pondered using Twitter, a popular social networking tool, but aren't sure how to use it effectively, here are some quick tips to get you started:
- Teach stuff: Teach a mini-lesson on Twitter.
- Delve into your area of expertise or talk about book publishing and how to get published.
- Share sites or blogs that your followers would be interested in. Be their "filter" to new and exciting information.
- Use Tweetlater.com to post tweets to your account for later posting so you don't have to be sitting on top of Twitter every minute of the day.
- Use Twitter as a news source: You can easily announce news both from your world (as long as it relates to your topic) and from the world of your expertise. For example, I've done tweets on book industry stuff, breaking news, etc.
- Offer advice: Use Tweetdeck.com or Twitter Search (search.twitter.com) to see who's asking for info on your area of expertise and then offer them some help/insight. This is a great way to build relationships.
- If you're on tour with your book or doing an event, tweet on that and invite your local followers to attend.
- Remember it's not all about you: People want to know useful stuff.
- Promote your Twitter account in your email signature line and on your blog.
- Follow everyone who follows you. You can use sites like Socialtoo.com and Tweetlater.com to autofollow everyone who follows you. These services can also send a nice welcome message to your new followers.
- There is a lot of noise on Twitter; the sooner you get comfortable with that the better. It's like being at one massive cocktail party. You have to find ways to filter out the noise. Sites like Tweetlater can help you do that.
- Use sites like Tweetlater or Twitter Search to see who's talking about you and then follow them too or comment on their tweet.
- It's ok to repeat your tweets. With the volume of messages people get, your followers will often miss some of your posts.
- Feed your blog through Twitter using Twitterfeed.com.
- Don't feel like you have to respond to every tweet but I generally try to respond to all tweets that are replies to mine (you can find these under @replies on your Twitter home page).
- Review a product or book on Twitter.
- Follow big names in your market on Twitter: this will often bring in their followers too and you want to see what the "big guys" are up to.
- Get a good picture: don't leave your avatar blank. Personalize your page if you can.
- Videos can also be shared on Twitter and 12seconds.tv is a great way to record a video (12 seconds long, hence the name) and share it with your followers.
Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the innovative Internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of five books including Red Hot Internet Publicity, which was just sold to Sourcebooks with a planned re-release in Fall 2009. To learn more about Penny's books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at www.amarketingexpert.com.