Twitter, (social media in general), is an opportunity to interact with the world in 140 characters or less. But how do you best use those 140 characters?
- To promote your new book?
- To share links?
- To encourage?
- To be political?
- To share your latest McDonald’s lunch?
- To ???
Here is what some big name authors across multiple genres have been tweeting about lately. (Examples pictured below.) In a snapshot: politics, movies, boredom, sports, inspiration, contests, quotes, blogposts, etc. Each of these accounts represents very different styles of Twitter feeds, which is good news for people coming to Twitter for the first time. It tells us … there are many acceptable ways to Tweet.
But if you’re asking about the best way to Tweet, let’s look closer.
Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods has 2.35 million followers, and he’s tweeting about being bored in a cab. Then he offers an invitation to ask questions, which he answers. In a world where conversations with Neil Gaiman would typically be limited to three seconds at a signing event, I have a unique opportunity because of Twitter.
Twitter is access.
It is a glass door into the life of a celebrity. (In this case, you are the celebrity.)
Janet Evanovich, a number one NYT bestselling author, has nearly 40 thousand Twitter followers and she primarily uses her Twitter feed for promotional advertisement of her novels. Whereas John Green, young adult author of The Fault in Our Star, uses his feed to … share … whatever comes across his unique mind: politics, DFTBA items, birthday shout outs, etc. He has 4.8 million followers. What does this tell us?
Twitter isn’t a bookstore.
It isn’t the place we go shopping for items; it’s the place we go shopping for sameness. This is why the number of Twitter followers does not translate specifically to sales. Janet Evanovich sells more than 40 thousand books, and John Green doesn’t sell 4.8 million copies with every new release. If you made a Twitter account to sell books, you might be disappointed with the results.
With these concepts in mind, consider a Twitter feed that is a reflection of your self—a place where you are providing sameness and searching for sameness. Marketing guru Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you sell, they buy why you sell it.” Twitter puts that why on display and opens up doors of potential friendship. Early in my career, I listened to Jon Acuff give some great advice on utilizing social media. “Remember,” he said. “You’re asking for a friend, not a favor.” As you set about your 140 characters, ask for a friend.