I always have the best of intentions but sooner or later some other interest attracts my attention and I move on. This is what I thought had happened with Twitter. I had signed up for a Twitter account thinking it was a good way to get my book blog noticed. It took about a month before I saw real results but my blog stats showed it was getting hits and I had Twitter followers so I was happy and moved on, or so I thought.
I not only am a creature of habit but Twitter can be addictive and soon I realized that I needed a plan to keep me from spending all day on Twitter and getting nothing else accomplished. I needed a plan to discipline myself. Little did I know that plan was going to lead to bigger numbers for both my blog and my Twitter following. Since my background is in office administration, marketing and sales I unconsciously started a business/marketing plan; admittedly it was a very simple plan but I’m a KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie) kind of person. Here are the basics.
1. Is there a purpose for being on Twitter other than finding out what others are thinking and doing?
Yes, get my blog (and my name) noticed…Marketing!
2. Marketing is building relationships. How will I do this? By posting interesting and useful material. How many posts should I make; should they be daily? In this fast-paced digital age things move so fast that if we don’t make a showing everyday we might just become part of the blur. Some days we just don’t feel interesting or useful though. That’s when Google and Bing come to the rescue. Both search engines will set up alerts on your choice of subject in the form of interesting articles, stories, blog posts or even pictures and videos to be sent to your email. All you have to do is pick which ones to share on Twitter. Some people recommend sharing 15-20 messages per day. I usually can’t find the time for that many and it becomes 6-10 tweets per day.
3. How can I accomplish this without spending a lot of time?
I found that Twitter has applications available to help with just about any activity you can think of. One of my favorites has become SocialOomph. Among other things it allows you to schedule posts so they appear automatically allowing you to attend to your other interests and responsibilities.
TwitterFeed is another favorite application of mine. My blog posts are sent via RSS feed to Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr adding to my social media content and helping with time management.
4. I need to target my audience. How do I focus on specific niches?
There are roughly 200 million accounts on Twitter with an estimated 500,000 more added daily. I want to connect with like-minded people but you can’t trust that you’ll just bump into them. I found a more certain way was the creation of lists. People seem flattered to be included in a list and often reciprocate by including your name on a list of their own. Voila, you’ve expanded your reach even further.
Formulists.com creates lists to your specifications, filling your niche requirements and refreshing these lists regularly. You can build lists to strengthen social ties or build and expand your network. You can even determine the size of the list and it will always stay fresh.
Before starting a list ask yourself, “What are my interests? What do I hope to accomplish on Twitter”?
5. Like any relationship your Twitter following needs attention.
Treat your Tweeps right and they’ll be there for you when you ask for a favor.
Retweet: If you come across an interesting tweet, share it with others.
Shoutout: Help grow your followers’ identity by using their handle (for example, @AvidBookReviews gives ‘In Search of Lucy’ 4 stars). There are even regular events for returning mentions like #FollowFriday (#FF) or #WritersWednesday (#WW).
#Thanks: Anytime is a good time to say thank you. Say thank you for the mention of a special event, for sharing a particularly interesting or helpful article or retweeting one of your tweets.
You’re wondering how long it took to see results? I started writing these thoughts down February 1 when I had just over 100 followers. By mid-April I was surprised to see that I now had more than 1,100 followers and had been included on just under 300 lists. Just ten weeks. These are only numbers though.
More important are the people I can now refer to as friends and acquaintances even though I’ve never actually met them. Yes, they started as social media contacts but I can now count on my Tweeps for guest blogs, reviews of my books, plugs for my articles and events and even guest interviews on radio shows. Now that’s value!
Lynnette Phillips’s book reviews and blog are widely read and followed by literary enthusiasts. Her newest launch entails book doctor (book critique) services. She is also author of the ‘Confessions & Secrets’ self-publishing and marketing guide series which offers invaluable book marketing and promotional tips, available resources, how-to information and more. She hosts a BlogTalkRadio show .
To find out more visit Lynnette’s Book World at http://lynnettesbookworld.blogspot.com
(c) Copyright 2011 by Lynnette Phillips All Rights Reserved
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