My Twitter growth is going backward, not forward.
What am I doing wrong? Nobody likes me. I must not be funny enough.
Any of these statements sound like you? I hear these daily, especially from authors who want to sell more books and a) aren’t sure Twitter will do that for them (more on that in a moment), or b) Have a Twitter stream but no idea what to do with it or how it relates for marketing and selling books.
The number one way to grow your Twitter following is so obvious, people often miss it: follow others. Follow people back. Pay attention. I’ve always aggressively followed people — typically I follow 500/day on my @RachelintheOC stream, and 300/day on my @BadRedheadMedia stream. Following begets following. It’s really not a difficult concept, but so obvious most people either don’t know or forget to do it or just aren’t sure how (I recommend using ManageFlitter).
What’s difficult for most people is how to go about following that many people, how to keep track of so many (more below), and if it’s even worth the time. Right?
You can read the same articles I can about whether Twitter (or really, any social media) is worth it, but what I can share here is my personal experience: 90% of my blog traffic comes from Twitter. And while Amazon doesn’t provide any sales or click data, I do know exactly how many people are clicking over to my book Broken Pieces on Amazon from Twitter — even though Twitter doesn’t provide that data either.
How? Easy: I customized and shortened my book’s link from Twitter to Amazon using bit.ly. I can tell you exactly the number of clicks per day, week, month, or year. The only information missing from that equation is how many purchases are made from those clicks. Looking at sales data provided by Amazon, I can tell you this: I still have no idea!
But I can see that I had 100 clicks on Tuesday, and I sold 10 books on Tuesday. Does that mean they all came from Twitter? Nope. Maybe. Who knows? But I do know for a fact that people are heading over to my site (and I have a bit.ly link for Broken Pieces for my site that’s different than the Twitter one). Make sense? If you mind feels boggled, come back to this. And really check out all the bit.ly offers (no, they don’t pay me to say any of this). I just really like the tool.
I usually find that when people’s numbers are sliding backward, it’s one of two reasons:
- They aren’t following people back or
- Their content is too random, scattered, unfocused.
If you’re going to participate in social media with the hopes of growing a following, you absolutely must follow people back. Don’t get caught up in the numbers and ratios. All that will sort itself out as you grow. Yes, there’s a ratio limit cap at 2,000 (you can’t follow beyond 10% of who is following you), but it’s easy to move past that using ManageFlitter to dump eggs, inactives, and nonfollowbacks, as well as utilizing Lists – you can list over 1 Million people without following them. Cool, right?
With regard to content, this is a bigger issue, but for now, let’s discuss what you are sharing. Do you have some sort of theme (beyond hawking your books)? You need to discover what is most interesting to you (cooking, wine, books, bicycles) and combine that with whatever it is you’re selling (book, music, service) in a way that’s natural and not forced or hard, and most importantly, connects you with readers. And remember, above all else, treat others on social media how you wish to be treated, and go from there. Be generous, give back, stop making it all about you.
WHAT DOES LIKE HAVE TO DO WITH IT?
I don’t have to like an author to purchase their book (though I make an exception for Jonathan Franzen, who is such a pompous ass I swore I’d never purchase another one of his dirges again in this lifetime, but I digress). As an avid reader, I want good books. I don’t care if the author prays to purple aliens or wears rainbow tube socks (though I will question their fashion sense but again, I digress). As with many readers, I’d love a chance to interact with a famous author. Twitter allows us to do that. It’s the ‘great equalizer’ I like to say, because you can engage in discussions with practically anyone, famous or plain old regular folks like you and me.
You don’t have to be funny. You just have to be yourself. Decide which parts of yourself you want to share, and share those parts. Ask questions. Do what people do in regular conversations — listen, ask, engage.
Make a friend, make a sale.
Do this tips help you? Please let me know what works (or doesn’t work) for you.
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