The day I fell down the rabbit hole and landed in Tweetland
We all hate the marketing part, right? But we all know it’s a necessary evil. I don’t know what your journey through the labyrinths of social media marketing has been like, or where it has taken you, but mine began with baby steps along the pathways of Facebook. Back then, I didn’t have a clue where to begin. I had very few Facebook friends and had yet to discover the groups I’m in today. While I was stumbling through this yet to be explored territory, I fell down the rabbit hole and landed in Tweetland, a place that can suck you in as sure as Alice got sucked in by Tweedledum and Tweedledee in the woods of Wonderland.
Much has been written about social media marketing and I’ve read a lot of it, including skepticism over its effectiveness. I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject, but I will say this: in the past seven months, I’ve downloaded 74 Kindle books by fellow Indie authors. All were promoted on Twitter or Facebook; proof that Twitter and Facebook are good for something.
But let’s forget about Facebook, because Twitter is enough of a discussion for one post. Let’s begin with the fact that, thus far, there’s no measure of return for Twitter. It’s guesswork at best. But based on the 1% – 2% return on direct mail marketing, I’ll hazard a guess that 1% of readers of your genre will buy your book in response to your tweet.
So, one hundred potential readers saw your tweet today and of those, one bought your book. What about tomorrow? And the next day, and the day after that? Faced with the size of the audience needed to sell a lot of books, it seems like becoming a consistent bestseller is completely beyond reach. I hear you arguing that Twitter isn’t the only way. You’re right. It’s not. But Twitter is the great global exchange where all the lines come and go. To quote from the article in Digital Book Today, “With a few exceptions, things that happen on Facebook tend to stay on Facebook. Things that happen on Twitter make things happen everywhere else.”
This means as a marketing tool, Twitter should be taken seriously. I take it seriously and I’m sharing what I’ve learned while hanging out with Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
Tweets, Tweeting and Twitterquette:
We’re all guilty of banging out tweets and slapping them on Twitter, but until somebody clicks on the link to your book blurb that you may have spent days writing, your tweet remains the first impression. So it’s worth investing in time to write compelling tweets, bearing in mind a tweet is like a billboard. You have four or five seconds to get your message across – and make it stick. Avoid hashtags if you can. They just get in the way of valuable words. Because they’re links, the eye gravitates towards them first. Look at a tweet with a lot of hashtags and you’ll see what I mean.
Strategize your tweeting. Keep time zones in mind. For example, you don’t want to be tweeting your UK link at an hour when all the UK has gone to bed. If you’re on a tweet team, don’t tweet or schedule other members’ tweets all at the same time. Alternate your tweets and theirs. This will allow people who want to retweet you to find your tweets easily. The same applies to retweeting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to reciprocate a retweet and given up because the person’s last tweet is buried under dozens of retweets.
Sign up with a tweet scheduling service. Many are free and they make life a lot easier by allowing you to repeat your tweets, which Twitter doesn’t. A scheduler also frees up your Twitter time, so the time you would have spent tweeting can be spent interacting with your followers – the key to building relationships that will prove valuable to you.
You can’t build relationships unless you interact with your followers. Thank them for favoriting your tweets, mentioning you or retweeting you. Even chat with them if you’re so inclined. Above all, reciprocate if you’ve been retweeted! To quote a tweet I saw tonight, “If someone has bothered to tweet my book, the least I can do is return the favour. It’s just good manners.” Remember, every time someone retweets you they’ve expanded your audience. If ten people with 2,000 followers each retweet you, they will have expanded your audience by 20,000 and increased your visibility significantly. They’re doing you a big favor.
For those who are wondering how you can possibly keep up with all this without being on Twitter morning, noon and night, there’s a magic button on the top left of your Twitter page. It’s the @Connect button. Click on it and it will show you who’s retweeted you, who’s mentioned you, who’s favorite you – everything concerning your followers’ interactions with you. E-mail notifications don’t tell the whole story, so you can miss a lot if you depend solely on those.
Pay it back and pay it forward. You’ll get a lot more followers, and a lot more support. But selling books isn’t the only reward for living harmoniously with the inhabitants of Tweetland. I’ve connected with some awesome people. What were once just mug shots with names attached to them are now Twitter friends.
“Six Ways in Which Twitter Eclipses Facebook” http://digitalbooktoday.com/2013/01/05/six-ways-in-which-twitter-eclipses-facebook/