In recent years Twitter has morphed into one of the most popular and versatile social networking platforms for business. Since its small beginning in 2006, this 140-character micro-blogging phenomenon has experienced explosive growth and currently boasts over 200 million regular users. Authors and publishers have discovered the magic of sharing their literary works through Twitter, and solopreneurs who offer authoritative works pertaining to their specialty can also discover a vast audience.
Twitter is primarily an engagement platform, and an extremely powerful one. The overall guiding principle to using Twitter effectively is to identify the most common problems of your target audience and Tweet about their solutions. Twitter provides the ideal platform for business authors to get up close and personal with consumers. However, there is more to using Twitter effectively than just hyping your expertise and book ordering information.
Here are some great Twitter tips for business authors:
Create an Engaging Twitter Profile
In keeping with their brief motif, Twitter allows you 160 characters to describe yourself. That’s all. In just those few words your goal is to entice people to follow you, to purchase your book, and possibly to engage with your business. Therefore, every portion of your Twitter profile should introduce you in an engaging manner while communicating the benefit of following you.
There are 5 main elements of your Twitter profile:
- Display Picture– Never leave this blank. The embarrassing Twitter egg is the worst possible introduction to your potential public. Preferably, use a friendly head-shot photo, or at least your company logo. If you are promoting a book that showcases your expertise, a personal shot is vital. People don’t engage with a book cover; they engage with a person.
- Background Image– Be sure to utilize an image that represents your products or services and relates clearly to your brand. An artistic representation of your book would work well. Don’t simply use the book cover. The image you choose will be stretched across the top of your Twitter page. Distorted book covers look tawdry and cheap.
- Profile Description– Don’t play too much with words in your profile description. You only get 160 characters. Describe your company using the most relevant keywords that fit your target market. Always include your website.
- Location – Give a real, physical location. Humor here can cost you serious followers and customers. Proudly let people know where your business is located.
- Profile Template– Similar to the background image, the profile template helps you embed your brand into your Twitter profile. You should use a high-quality image that epitomizes your company well.
Follow and Connect With Top People in Your Industry
We are known by the company we keep. The same is true in the Twitterverse. Who are the top business authors in your industry niche? Follow them on Twitter. Share their content with your followers (more on what to share later). Many of the top people automatically follow you back when you follow them. Twitter is ideal for getting in touch with people most relevant to your business. Start with your existing clients or customers. Follow them and let them spread the word for you. Establish yourself among the top Tweeters in your business field and engage with their content.
Following is not enough. Engage with followers and top industry leaders. Join a Twitter chat. Like, Retweet, and reply to other Tweets. Send a direct message for an important one-on-one conversation. Even just once or twice a week can make a difference in your engagement level. It gives you a human side, which is important in social media. And it raises your level of professionalism from a simple advertiser to an industry leader concerned with people and trending issues.
Share Relevant Content (Even Some from Your Book)
While Tweets are only 140 characters long, don’t gloss over the importance of quality content. In fact, the brief nature of these posts only amplifies the necessity of engaging content. What are the most common problems or interests of your target audience? Tweet about those interests and solutions. Share helpful industry insights and news. Show how your company services or products meet the needs of your followers.
Always be generous in Retweeting useful content from other Twitter users in your industry niche. Have a distinct voice in your Tweets so your followers relate with you personally. Use occasional humor in your Tweets and get personal with your followers from time to time. Always respond to messages from your followers. Thank users for following and engaging with your content.
Sharing quality content from a variety of sources helps establish your voice as a leader in your business niche. Constantly trumping your own material or book is bad form and will cause you to lose followers fast. A good basic guideline is the 80/20 rule: Tweet content other users have generated 80 percent of the time; Tweet your own content, including insights or reviews from your book, only 20 percent of the time.
Create Unique Hashtags to Spread & Track Mentions of Your Book
In the Twitterverse, hashtags are keywords preceded by the pound sign (#) like #ContentMarketing or #HowToWriteWell. These hashtags are searchable on Twitter. Users search using hashtags to locate relevant content for their needs and interests. Using a hashtag with your book title in your Tweets enables you to search and track how many times it is viewed, liked, and shared. Consequently, as followers and users share your content, your hashtag is also shared and spread across the Twitterverse.
A hashtag is only useful if people know about it. So start adding it to your existing resources and channels to generate conversations. Add the hashtag for your book or topic to email reminders or follow-up communications. In addition, add the hashtag to all social media sharing links you include on your website and landing pages. Keep your hashtag short and easy to remember. Twitter users are only allowed 140 characters in each Tweet. That includes the hashtag. By keeping the hashtag brief, you’ll save users some room to include commentary about your content or company.
Tweet Images Related to Your Book/Industry
Twitter is as much a visual social media platform as is Pinterest or Instagram. Since 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, and because the brain processes visual images 60,000 times faster than ordinary text, use images with your content. Images attract the eye far more than mere text. Explore sites like Pixabay and Unsplash to find relevant images and then use sites like Canva and PicMonkey to create text overlays.
Sharing an occasional image of your book cover is not a crime, especially when using a quote in your Tweet. Just don’t overdo it. No one likes pushy salespeople; the same goes for the Twitterverse. When choosing quality content to share or Retweet, look for images that share stunning and provocative action or facts relating to the content. Most content producers will have chosen such images for their content already, so just use their image with their content.
Capitalize on Trending Issues
Watch what’s trending currently on Twitter. Check the left-hand column of your Twitter account for a white box labeled Trends. This is an ever-changing account of hashtags that are currently trending on Twitter. You can adjust the trends that Twitter tracks based on your location and who you follow. It’s important to watch what’s trending. When issues trend that relate to your book, company, industry niche, or even personal interests, use the trending hashtag in relevant Tweets to expand your following and influence. You can also reach potential readers who may not have discovered you otherwise.
A word of caution here. Capitalizing on trending issues is not the same thing as hijacking current trends to promote your brand or products. Always choose relevant topics carefully. Stay away from politics, tragic events, or other happenings charged with emotion. Your attempt to piggyback on a hot trending topic could backfire and color you and your business in a bad light.
BONUS: Some Twitter Don’ts
- Don’t send direct messages to new followers – it’s considered an intrusion
- Don’t ask new followers to read your book – too pushy
- Don’t over Tweet – blow up your followers’ feeds and they will unfollow fast
- Don’t Tweet your content 100% of the time – remember the 80/20 rule above
Using Twitter to promote your business-related book is a process of engagement. The above tips were gleaned from the top Twitter users for business, books, and publishing. As your engagement and followers grow, awareness of your company and expertise expands. Your growing reputation makes any resources you offer more attractive and valuable.
For more information about using Twitter for business follow this link to Unlock the Power of Twitter for Your Business