My real life friends always ask me, “Why do you do that Twitter thing? I don’t get it.” At first, I didn’t get it either but now I see the power Twitter has to help writers and author build the ever-important platform. There are a bunch of things you can do to build your following and find readers, which I’ll outline coming up but:
The secret to Twitter is acknowledgement.
Everyone wants to be recognized and acknowledged. That holds true on Twitter, and probably even more so because there are millions and millions of people tweeting. In that big, wide, world of tweets all you want is for someone to notice you (because getting a reality TV show is not on everyone’s agenda). Most people, like me, love it when someone retweets one of their tweets or when someone recommends a link that they tweet. That’s what Twitter is all about. It’s sharing and connecting but MOST important is acknowledging someone.
There are several ways you can acknowledge people on Twitter:
1. Retweet – this is probably the easiest way. When you see a tweet from someone you follow that you like or you want to share, copy their tweet and put “RT” next to their handle. It’s the best way to make sure they see that you retweeted their tweet. You can also just click the retweet button but I think it’s more personal if you do it the other way (and it shows that you took the time).
2. Mentions – you can just mention people you follow and share what they are good at or what their major contribution to Twitter is. For example, if you follow someone who shares great recipes you mention their Twitter name (@Twittername) and then say what you like about them: @Twittername has got some great recipes! Check her out!
3. Hashtags – a hashtag is a filtered search of all people who tweet something related to that hashtag. It’s a quick way to see what’s going on for certain topics. For writers and authors, there are tons of ways to recognize others using specific hashtags. Like the #WW hashtag, which stands for Writer Wednesday. On a Wednesday, you can use the hashtag and list the Twitter names of writers you want to give props to. It is sort of like the #FF hashtag which stands for Friday Follow. You simply list people you follow on Friday that you suggest to the people that follow you.
Twitter can be confusing for those who are new to it or who have never tried it. But it is a very powerful tool for building your author platform. Once you know the secret, it’s a snap!