As authors, we all know that social media is one of the most important things we can do to sell books without splitting our royalties with a publisher or paying huge amounts on advertising. However, as authors we also wonder what it takes to convert readers into fans. The best and easiest way to do this is through building rapport with our readers and what better way to do that than to Tweet your way to admirers?
A little background about what I write and how I converted potential readers to fans. First off, let’s just say that my books aren’t for everybody - they are for a very small segment of today’s society. The majority of my books are geared toward Combat Veterans and their families. There’s an estimated over 450,000 living Veterans with Combat PTSD that admit to it. Now that’s the kicker – that admit to it! However through my research and talking to other Veterans (through Twitter, of course) I have found that there’s plenty of them that won’t tell their doctor that they suffer from it. However, there is AT LEAST 450,000 people that can benefit from reading my books.
Through building my Twitter platform, I have connected with over 2,600 of them. That’s not a huge number but it’s a start seeing as I created my profile a little less than 2 months ago. There’s a list of things that I did to get a following so fast. Let’s look at what they were:
Use hashtags to find your intended audience. Some that I used for searching were pretty obvious, yet effective. I searched #veteran, #veterans, #ptsd, #combatptsd, #marine, #army, #militaryspouse, etc. I’m sure you get the picture here. I looked for people that possibly have PTSD or know someone who does. Once I found my audience, I started following them and following who they follow.
Once you get a good momentum going with people you are following, other people will start to follow you. ALWAYS follow them back. The only people I don’t follow back are accounts that are profane and parody accounts. The “average GI Joe” is the person that I want to connect with – even if he looks like he belongs on “Duck Dynasty”. In other words, don’t judge. Just because someone doesn’t look like someone you would go have coffee with doesn’t mean that he won’t be your biggest fan.
Retweet other people’s stuff – A LOT! The more you retweet them instead of posting your own will get you more noticed in the community. Don’t be so hung up on tooting your own horn that you neglect who you want to buy your books. Remember, if people see that you connect with them on other levels, they will be more likely to view you as more than just an author – they will see you as a potential friend and confidant.
Be VERY CAREFUL of what you tweet and retweet. Remember, you are an author. Not a political activist – unless you are, in fact, a political activist that happens to write. In other words, keep your tweets very vanilla and positive. Your goal here is to create fans – not enemies.
Engage with your followers. When someone thanks me for following them, I ALWAYS tell them you’re welcome. ALWAYS. I never ignore direct messages and I have them turned on as well. Once a person sees that you’re a REAL LIVE HUMAN BEING, they are more likely to buy your books.
Create a Twitter gimmick. My Combat Vet has a therapy pet that’s a rabbit named Frankie. I regularly post pictures of Frankie and toot his horn as being a therapy pet to a Combat Vet. People LOVE Frankie on Twitter and he gets a lot of retweets.
Put yourself out there as an authority on what you write. I’m not a psychologist or a social worker but I do live with a Combat Vet. People on my Twitter NEVER question my credentials because they know I “walk the walk”.
As you can see, there’s plenty of ways to use Twitter to build your platform. Try them out. They work!
How do you grow your Twitter platform? Include your strategy below
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Leilani Anastasia is a passionate Self-Help Author. Recently, she authored the “Warrior” series. In this compelling series, Leilani takes a witty approach to helping partners of Combat Veterans navigate the many obstacles that arise in a PTSD relationship.
Connect with her on Twitter.