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9 Things Authors Should Never Do on Twitter

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Twitter-Social-Network

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If you want to become popular on Twitter and have your tweets go viral, avoid these errors, and check out the small, but significant issues you might not be aware of, and change your Social Media approach for the better.
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Having no Avatar – Instead an Image of your Pet
Who wants to talk with an egg, or a cat, child or your dog? OK, if you have a company, you can use the company logo, but for everyone else: get a great studio photo once in ten years and use it for all your marketing needs including your book cover or on your website. Would you send a potential employer a photo of your house pet, your book or a toddler’s image? No? Why then show these annoying images to your potential customers? Be professional! Sometimes I am inclined to publish a book with the worst avatars! Hope yours is not included. Use an attractive portrait or logo and stick with it everywhere, in order to have brand consistency.

Having no Bio or Real Name
Your name and @name, should be searchable on Twitter. It means people can type you into Twitter’s search engine and find you. Use your own name o try to get the actual name of your small publishing business on Twitter. Keep it as short as possible, to give tweeps more space to re-tweet your content or to communicate with you.

Choosing Other Writers as Followers (only)
Why would you not choose readers, reviewers or other interesting people to follow? If you are on Social Media to network, hang out with READERS! A no-brain-er … Use the search function to find like-minded Tweeps, e.g. type: reading, book lover, book worm, avid reader etc. You will want to get more readers, than other writers as Twitter followers, right?

Talking about Your Book (only)
Buy my book, buy my book, buy my book, buy my book – pretty boring, isn’t it?
Aim to send out entertaining, thoughtful, funny content or news, that are interesting for your fellow tweeps. You could for example improve these points:

  • Tweet the latest news
  • Pick the right time of day
  • Leave room for a retweet
  • Use top re-tweetable phrases
  • Write a tempting headline
  • Don’t make the tweet about you

Not Being Social – or Being too Social
In the process of choosing followers, one can sometimes scroll down their timeline for a whole week and don’t find a single re-tweet. Or the opposite: you want to re-tweet and cannot find anything the person ever tweeted … only re-tweets of others’ content.  Or they talk only with their friends, without ever turning to the rest of the Twitter-sphere.

Not Having at least 2,000 Followers – or Stuck With 2,000
Some books and blog articles advice to never follow anyone with less than 2,000 followers. Doesn’t sound fair, as everyone has to start somewhere. On the other hand some tweeps click on every name they see on Twitter to reach 2,000 followers very fast – and then stuck. For them, instead to un-follow successive those who do not follow, they just wait it out to get 2,000 people who follow them, in order to continue their growth. But this can take forever, as no one wants to to follow THEM – and then wait for months or even longer, until they reciprocate – or worse: never do.
Un-follow people who haven’t followed you back after a while. This is especially important to avoid “follow limits”.  If you have anything like these numbers – you are in trouble:  268 TWEETS – 2000 FOLLOWING – 345 FOLLOWERS

Barely Ever Re-tweeting Others, or Answering Them
Twitter is a SOCIAL network, don’t use it as a advertisement board only. Answer or re-tweet others – and they will return the favor. Stop your continuing posts, varying from three to six subjects, and this for pages and pages… What I found so far: 80% of these are male and/or are introvert writers or leadership business advisers.
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Greeting new followers with FB likes promotion / Book promotion
You get a message in your mailbox: Someone mentioned you. Curious you check it, but no, you are only summoned to go to their Facebook account and LIKE their page. Or they send you the link to their books sales page. And that’s the greeting for following them… Do they sign up with Twitter only to advertise their wares? Same: Sending DM’s with advertisements. You open the Direct message and you are greeted with advertising. My reaction: UNFOLLOW. Thanks and nice to meet you...

Never, ever, use TrueTwit Validation Service
Author Sean Munger reminded me of this one. Almost forgot about it, as I am not able anymore to read every email / Direct message with ten-thousands of followers (can’t make Twitter a full-time job : ). Some are nice Welcome messages, but 90 per cent are spam (see #8). But I read them in the past, first I answered, telling them that I DO NOT use TrueTwit Validation Service, but then I gave up and just ignored the sender.
The irony is, that these people are often following me, and then when I want to follow them back, their message appears!  Why did they choose to follow me and then want ME to validate??? Read Sean Munger’s blog post, especially if you ever used this useless “service”. Sean’s most important message, to which I fully agree: “Most importantly for you, it means I will never buy your book. You just lost a reader, a customer, a potential fan, a potential reviewer”.

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OK, enough said. Don’t want to go into further rants … : )  These are just a few of many issues that make it difficult to interact for others on Twitter – or prevents tweeps to click on FOLLOW you and for you to build social networks and your writer’s platform. To become successful and popular on Twitter do this:

Follow others, tweet something valuable for others and don’t use Twitter as a cheap way to advertise!  Create a nice mixture of your own, really interesting tweets and do some re-tweeting.
Choose a very short Twitter name.  Make it as easy and convenient as possible for your fellow tweeps to engage and interact with you.

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Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 980+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

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How to Get More Followers on Your Social Media Sites

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Joining Goodreads, Twitter, Google+, Facebook or Pinterest is only the first step in creating a community platform. To make these sites working for you is only possible if you have lots of followers, friends or people in your Google+ circles.

Don’t be a Tweep with a pathetic following of less than 100 people. And don’t sign up with only one or two Social Media sites. Take advantage of the great possibilities of sharing among all these sites. It is almost the same “work” if you are on one site, compared to having a presence on six or eight sites through the help of plug-ins and sharing buttons, as outlined in former blog posts.  So can visitors on your Goodreads page click on the Google+ or the Facebook icon and send a message about you and your book to thousands of their followers. Google+ then sends the message automatically to Twitter. To have lots of Twitter followers is beneficial for your Goodreads presence, as you can transfer Twitter followers with one click over to Goodreads!

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More followers also means people assume you are someone interesting or an expert. It extends your popularity, influence and more book sales.

No matter which sites you join, create an attractive profile, complete with an avatar that shows a favorable and professional portrait and a solid bio. Often people will read your bio before deciding whether to follow you. If you own a company and want to use your brand as your avatar instead of a photograph, this is fine. You have to create your profile only once, and then copy and paste into every new Social Media sites you join.

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Let’s start with TWITTER
Display links to your Twitter account in your email signature, your blog or website, business cards, on other social media sites —everywhere.

Re-tweeting your followers is a non-brain-er. Be generous in linking and re-tweeting others. You do not have to sit all day long on your computer to do this. Check tweets once a day and pack interesting ones into Buffer.com, who will spread them throughout the day.

Share only valuable content. Be generous, inspiring, entertaining, provide useful links. Provide content that people are proud to provide to their own followers.

To actively increase the amount of followers:

  • Use the search function to find like-minded Tweeps, e.g. type: reader, reading, book lovers
  • Type into the search function words with hash tags #amreading or #GoodReads
  • Check out suggestions: Who to follow on your left bar of your Twitter page
  • See who other Tweeps are following or who is following them

Using hash tags # is another way to connect to people with similar interests and to increase the visibility of your tweets. Add hash tags to your tweets and also create tweets based on hash tags that are popular on Twitter at the time (you can see these as “trends” on the left-hand side of your Twitter home page).

Don’t buy followers.
There are many offers, however, this is contrary to Twitter Rules. These artificial followers who have no affinity for you,  won’t ever re-tweet you or buy your book, mostly they are not even real people

Un-follow people who haven’t followed you back after a while.
This is especially important to avoid “follow limits”. The first limit at Twitter you might hit, is when you have followed 2,000 people. You won’t be able to follow any more until you have 2,000 followers. So remove your non-followers, using Manageflitter.com or Unfollow.com – but don’t use their really annoying feature that tweets on your page: “Got 5 followers and 9 un-followers”. This is not only an absolutely useless tweet, but makes you at the same time a free advertiser for them!
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Paid services, e.g. Tweet Adder or Hootsuite, offer to automate Tweet posts throughout the day (after you have scheduled them), to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Myspace, create unique tweets automatically or send a thank-you messages to your new followers. Once you have reached 2,000 followers, there is no further limit  and you will see an increase in high-volume and more quality follower offers.
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The next post will introduce readers how to find more friends and followers on Goodreads and Google+. Stay tuned! Click on the tiny Follow button on top of this blog page to get notified of new posts.

Read more about this topic:

12 Smart Ways to Boost Social Media Efforts

How to Become a Star on TWITTER

How to Get More Re-Tweets

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 600 of them : )  if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

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Seems I was not the only one who made this error

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… as a newbie Twitter user @111publishing.  It took me almost two months to gain more than 500 followers after I reached this 2,000 following-limit.  I was totally surprised when I received the automated message. Well, I should have read the godd…. handbook.

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One of the Twitter rules: Once you are following 2,000 tweeps you have to have 2,000 followers too, otherwise you have to wait until you are “even” before following more. Maybe this rule was invented to avoid spammers, which makes sense. Although most spam comes through Direct Messages (DM) as those companies just open a whole bunch of Twitter accounts.

Learning about the Twitter rules would have saved me a lot of time. When potential followers see that you have hit this wall, they know you will not follow them soon – and might even assume you will forget them once you are in balance with the amount of followers.

When I read this tweet today: “Another writer has hit Twitter’s notorious 2000 barrier: @……. She needs more followers before she can go on. Can you help her?”

OK. I was willing to help and clicked on follow, but then I was surprised to see that she barely re-tweeted any posts from others. Not a good thing would Martha say. Why not? Twitter is not an advertisement board. It is a social media network. For advertising go to craigslist, and don’t use Twitter!

Suggestions for success at Twitter:

1. Read the Twitter rules BEFORE you join
2. http://www.justunfollow.com those who do not follow you for a period of time, latest 1 month
3. More re-tweets! Twitter is social media, not advertisement board!

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts (there are more than 520 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

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