If you don’t know, there’s a huge #writingcommunity on Twitter, and they want to follow you. They want to get to know you, and they want to know about your books and your thoughts on writing. They also want to answer your writing questions, and they want to help you be successful, but how do you find them? Here’s a comprehensive list of ways to get involved in the Writing Community on Twitter and build your following.
1. Create Your Twitter Account
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you already have a Twitter account, but if you don’t have a Twitter account and you are an author, you should have a Twitter account. Just make sure you have what Twitter considers a valid email address. That would be any address by Yahoo, Google or a dedicated hosting account or business email address. Twitter doesn’t tend to accept “mail” accounts from mail.com. I had big problems when I tried to use a mail.com email address with Twitter.
2. Add Your Profile Pictures
Next, fill out your profile. You want a header image and an author image. If you don’t have any books published yet, pick an image you like as your header. If you have one or more books published, slap all the covers together on a background and create your own custom header. You can look at mine for inspiration.
Next, load up your author picture. This doesn’t have to be you, but it works better if it is you. If you’re not comfortable using yourself, find an image at Pexels that you like. No matter what you choose, you want to get rid of the blank silhouette that Twitter gives all new accounts.
3. Add Your Profile Blurb
You get 160 characters as your small profile blurb. Make it count and add hashtags. This will help other authors and readers find you. I recommend using #author #writingcommunity #amwriting at a minimum. You can also put in your genres as hashtags. Don’t forget to add your website or Amazon author page into the webpage textbox.
If you are a brand new account, you want to add some tweets. Be real with your Tweets. Make sure they are valuable. If you have a website, post a few articles. If you have books published, post a few of those. You can also retweet other authors, but I want to caution against posting too many retweets in a row on a new account. Spammers also use that tactic, so Tweet and ReTweet but not too many retweets and remember to spread them out a bit.
5. Go Find Those Cool Accounts
I know that authors are introverts. I get it. You don’t want to bother people, but the best way to get followers is to be proactive. Twitter also offers a great way to find new people via the Who to Follow on the right side of your profile page. Click on View All. Now, go through that list and click on everything that looks real. If you’re not sure what looks real, avoid adding anything with a really short or too good to be true profile. If you don’t like anything in that list, there’s a search box at the top of that page. Type Writing Community. That will give you a short list of accounts with Writing Community in their profiles. (Yep, that’s the reason I told you to put that there.)
The second thing to remember is that you can add up to 400 accounts a day, and you can add up to 5,000 accounts with zero hassles. Once you reach 5,000 accounts, the follow algorithms for Twitter start to kick in. These will limit who you can follow by 10 percentish. Meaning once you are above 5,000 followers, you get 10 percent leeway in following more people. If you hit the limit, either 400 a day or more than 10 percent total, Twitter will tell you that you cannot follow anymore people. In order to manage this, it’s important to cull the not followers periodically. To this end, you want to make sure that you are following all viable accounts. Remember, accounts over 5,000 have to track their unfollowers. They don’t want to do this. The Twitter algorithm makes them do this.
6. Get Rid of Your Unfollowers
These are accounts that follow you until you follow them. They are trying to increase their follower numbers without having to actually follow anyone or participate. This is a detestful practice. You can track unfollowers for free using WhoUnfollowedMe. I recomend blocking anyone who unfollows you after you follow them. You don't want to put up with that behavior twice from the same person. You can also kinda tell who's a follow for an unfollow account. If they are following 5,000 people and have 20,000 following them, there's a good chance that's a follow for an unfollow account.
7. Provide Value and Interest
Don’t forget to make your Twitter feed valuable and interesting. You can tweet about your day. You can engage with the #writingcommunity. That hashtag is very very active. There’s always something to read or comment on. You can even ask questions and answer questions. Occasionally, other writers want to know what you are working on and how it’s going. You can also add posts from your own blog or website. Just remember to add more than just the link.
8. Post Often
You want to keep your Twitter feed moving. This means posting at least once a day. I recommend posting multiple times a day, like every 3 hours around the clock, if you have that many posts on your webiste or blog to fill those timeslots. If you don’t, work on getting more content on your website, and remember to engage with the Writing Community and tweet about your day or your current writing project. We really want to know what you are doing and working on.
9. Keep Your Followers and Following Lists Fairly Even
In the beginning, you will want to keep your Follower and Following lists fairly even. You can go over by a couple hundred in the beginning, but don’t go nuts. Don’t follow 4,000 people in 10 days when only 50 are following you. You’re going to look very suspicious. So, remember to take your time. As the people who are following you grows, add more people to your following list.
By engaging, providing valuable advice and finding cool author accounts to follow, you will see your audience increase, sometimes dramatically.