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There is no mathmatical equation to getting Twitter followers, having influence, getting click-throughs, but there’s still right ways to do things and wrong ways to do things. Let’s go through some now:

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Don’t
Post a link with no explanation of what it is
Post boring things that happen in your day that even your closest friends don’t care about
Merely retweet what everyone else says. RT-ing is important, but it can’t be all you do.

Do
Be original
Show off your personality
Use mysterious or controversal intros to your links
Be relevant. Use hashtags and follow trending topics

Be Original
There are so many different things you can do with Twitter! Invent something new, see what inovators are doing, or look through this brainstormed list and see what works for you.

  • Give followers a glimpse into the writing process, or the publishing process. You’re listening to Brahms as you write chapter 3 but to Radiohead as you write chapter 4, and you’re beginning to wonder if it has an effect on the style. Or you just got the first proof of the book and it looks gorgeous!
  • Hold a competition: The first person to tell you why they love romance novels in 140 characters or less will get a character named after them. Or the first three people to RT this message will get an autographed book. Or put RT-ers into a drawing and once you get to 500 followers, pull a name and they’ll win a prize.
  • Ask questions. What are people’s favorite book blogs? Who’s their favorite author and why? Start conversations. Ask for opinions. Ask for advice.
  • Tell a joke. This here is my favorite joke telling Twitterer.
  • Ask trivia questions.
  • Link to specific features on your blog, website, interviews with you, excerpts from your work, etc.
  • Use yFrog or Twitpic to post photos. It doesn’t have to be of you. Is there a stack of author copies fresh from the printer in your living room? Is there a bookstore full of people waiting for you to sign their books? Take a picture!
  • Be creative!


Be Mysterious and Controversial
Make this a goal: get people to click on your links. If you’re using a URL shrinker that tracks your click-throughs, like Hootsuite, you’ll be able to tell if it’s working. Which of these will get more click throughs?

Family arrested for fraud after lying about their grandfather being the oldest man in Tokyo.   OR
Japanese mummy receives $109,000 in widowers pension.

They both lead to the same article, but one tells you enough so you don’t really need to read on, while the other makes you go “What is this? I have to click on this to find out what’s going on.” Think like a headline writer.

Be relevant
The front page of Twitter will always tell you what’s trending now. There are also various free tools to help you track the trends. Anything you see that applies to your work, make a mention of it. Don’t forget to use a hashtag to help people follow you. For example, if the hot topic of the day seems to be the hurricane, you would include #hurricane somewhere in your tweet about the hurricane. When people search for #hurricane, they will get all the tweets that have included #hurricane in them. It’s a nifty way to get noticed.

You can also use hashtags to get involved in chats. Sometimes people will schedule a live chat or interview on Twitter. Everyone who wants to participate just has to do a Twitter search for that hashtag and make sure they use that hashtag in all their posts. For example, there is a weekly #musicedchat hashtag chat. You’d search for #musicedchat on Twitter and then participate live by writing your responses in your What’s Happening box up top.

Useful Links
151 Ways to Tweet (Book Market)
Twitter 101 (eHow)
14 Cool Things People Do On Twitter (Penn Olson)
What Motivates People to Participate in Social Media? (Ami’s Space)

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