Does the thought of marketing paralyze you? Marketing on Twitter doesn't mean the hard sell, pushing to sell your books and writings. Instead, look to Twitter as an opportunity to build relationships with readers, publishers, writers, and others in the writing business or in your topic's industry.
Five Ways to Tweet
Thinking "relationship building" compels you to write meaningful tweets that others will value. You can do that by writing five types of tweets.
1. Share links: Don't just share links to insightful articles and blog entries, but also explain what's behind them, add your thoughts or say what makes them a great read. Limit linking to your own content. Once or twice a day is a good rule of thumb as long as it's not the only thing you tweet.
2. Retweet (RT): Retweet means repeating what someone else said and giving full credit. Here's an example beginning with the original tweet and following with a RT:
wendyburt Q7: Don't think your work is done when you finish writing. You have to promote yourself. You are your biggest fan. And Mom. #platformchat
merylkevans RT @wendyburt Q7 Don't think work is done when u finish writing. U have to promote yourself. U r your biggest fan. & Mom. #platformchat
The RT has a few edits because copying an original tweet in full sometimes goes over the 140-character limit.
3. Reply to other tweets: Replying to another person's tweet turns it into a conversation. Someone asks a question. You answer. Someone posts a statement. You debate it (nicely) or share an opinion. Someone inspires you. You recommend others to follow that person and explain why.
4. Post original thoughts: Share what you're working on, give advice on how to do something, critique a book you read, ask questions, anything goes within reason.
5. Participate in a group chat: Get Known Groove's own Christina Katz (@thewritermama) moderates a chat known as #platformchat. The chat welcomes two guest authors who leverage their strengths and expertise to build a strong platform. Katz interviews the authors who share their experiences and then lets participants ask questions for the remainder of the chat.
People who focus on getting lots of followers rather than on content won't benefit from Twitter. High quality contacts and conversations take time to happen. Twitter first timers: dig in and have fun.
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Meryl K. Evans is the author of Brilliant Outlook Pocketbook, co-author of Adapting to Web Standards: CSS and Ajax for Big Sites and contributor to many others. The long-time blogger and gamer has written and edited for a bunch of places online and off. A native Texan, she lives a heartbeat north of Dallas in Plano, Texas with her husband and three kiddos. Though born in silence, she tries to show that deaf people are just like everyone else. Follow Meryl on Twitter at @merylkevans.