Twitter, perhaps more than any other social media platform, represents a rare opportunity for writers, offering a viable pathway for building an engaged audience of readers around the world.
Today, you don’t have to find an agent and a publisher. You don’t have to risk your success or failure on the actions of a single entity.
You can take responsibility for your own future. You can establish and grow your author business platform organically, starting with a single follower.
And you can do this for free, without spending a dime on advertising, without worrying about how much your publisher believes in your campaign.
Twitter can open doors that were inaccessible a decade ago.
At the same time, because of your actions, Twitter can backfire, causing followers to block or unfollow you.
Some writers and creatives, anxious to make rapid, meaningful progress, unintentionally turn off their following, causing them to lose faith in their message, in their products, in their personal brand.
And you, in turn, after experiencing failure in social spheres, risk losing faith in your abilities, in your art, in your creative identity.
So how do you move forward, gaining followers and future clients for your work?
How do you proceed without alienating those who could become your greatest assets?
You can develop long-term strategies that help you establish positive social connections.
And, perhaps more importantly, you can avoid common mistakes, strategies that hold you back from realizing your potential.
Read on to discover three common ways you might be ticking off your Twitter followers and how you can change course to find success.
Twitter Mistake #1: You’re Over-Promoting Yourself
Whether you’re involved in business, art, or music, Twitter can help you promote your work.
The potential for authors is enormous. It’s a great place to discover new books, new ideas, and new audiences for your work.
The problem is that too many authors abuse the medium.
They think spamming the system will lead to rapid growth. This abuse often manifests in three forms:
- You flood your audience with promotional materials for your latest release: front and back cover materials and promotional videos.
- You fill your feed with your latest glowing reviews.
- You’re constantly sharing quotes from your book.
While there’s nothing wrong with advertising your products and services, your audience doesn’t know you well enough.
They don’t trust you yet.
They’re more likely to purchase from someone they have a relationship with: someone they’ve read before, someone who comes highly recommended.
You’re not likely to bridge this gap overnight, and you risk turning them off when you move too fast.
When was the last time you had an aggressive salesman move in for a sale before you’d had time to think about it?
How did you feel about the salesman, about the product, about his tactics?
Did his actions inspire trust?
You can earn your follower’s trust by sharing diverse, helpful media.
Find quality articles that match your audience’s interests. Share helpful videos. Share something funny, outrageous, or thought provoking.
Promote other authors. Show that you care about your peers.
Showcase your personality in unique, engaging ways.
People will invest in those they trust. Your generosity will activate that trust. Putting others first, promoting their interests, demonstrates kindness and generosity.
These strategies will make you more likable.
Rather than simply broadcasting your products, develop relationships on a day-to-day basis.
Ask questions. Encourage conversation. Start by giving.
In short time, you’ll find it easy to position your promotional materials among your helpful, audience-oriented media.
Twitter Mistake #2: You’re Only Sharing One Type of Content
There’s nothing worse than realizing you’re following a predictable, one-dimensional account.
Coming up with interesting, valuable content takes time and consideration. Too often, people who are anxious to make a quick splash rely on a single type of content: retweets, motivational quotes, the hourly repeat.Coming up with interesting, valuable content takes time and consideration. Too often, people who are anxious to make a quick splash rely on a single type of content: retweets, motivational quotes, the hourly repeat. Click To Tweet
Let’s take a look at each.
If all you offer are retweets, your audience never gets to know you.
Over time, this tactic becomes tiresome.
Agreeing with others, highlighting or amplifying their work can be valuable, but if it’s the only tool in your arsenal, it makes you look unoriginal, uninteresting.
If you think about it, you’d rather be an insider, someone who knows where and how to find the latest and best media for sharing.
Become the go to guy or gal for breaking news, for must-read content.
To complicate matters, constant retweeting can make your account look like a bot, triggering an account review or possible suspension.
Motivational quotes are wonderful, but if they’re all you’re offering, they’ll quickly become problematic.
Again, this strategy lacks originality, and it begins to look like spam, running in a loop.
Try building a conversation around these quotes. Link out to stories about the originator of the quote.
Make sure to vary your approach, inserting other types of media between your motivational quotes.
Repeating tweets makes sense, especially when you know your readers are online at different times. When it’s all you do, however, your audience will lose confidence.
Repeating the same posts over and over looks like spam, and it’s against Twitter’s TOS.
Only repeat evergreen posts, and make sure you have plenty of original tweets to fill your queue.
Twitter Mistake #3: You’re Breaking Social Rules
Unfortunately, social media seems to empower bad-mannered individuals.
I’m willing to bet most don’t realize the effect on their audience.
If you’re an author, business person, or creative trying to build a following and/or future client base, bad manners can be devastating.
These actions take many forms, but they’re equally dangerous.
Are you getting too preachy, discussing politics and religion in a social setting?
Your grandmother was correct, discouraging you from discussing religion and politics at the dinner table.Your grandmother was correct, discouraging you from discussing religion and politics at the dinner table. Click To Tweet
Unless you’re able to maintain a sizable following of folks who share your religious and political views, you’re going to turn people off. And even if you can maintain such a following, I doubt it will do much for your business. And remember–your art is your business.
Why alienate 50% of your potential audience?
What’s worse than the unsolicited religious or political rant?
You’re always posting something negative.
You probably don’t turn to social media for negative news.
When you’re feeling social, you’re looking for ways to connect with others, ways to feel better about your day, about your work, about your life here on earth.
If your posts are consistently negative, you’re bringing people down.
Sure, you may attract some like-minded followers, but you need to ask yourself whether this strategy feeds or starves your personal brand.
Ready for some worse news?
If there’s one thing worse than fostering continuous negativity, it’s attacking others on social media. Attacking others make you look small, unattractive, and toxic.
If you feel that you must address a negative person or issue on social media, limit your focus to what can be done, the positive steps that might alleviate the situation, the strategies that might raise consciousness in the direction of solutions.
Rather than being divisive, ask yourself how you might bring people together.
Finally, one of the fastest ways to trigger an unfollow is releasing multiple updates at the same time.
Newbie or not, this turns people off.
When someone signs in to their Twitter account and sees 6 consecutive posts from the same person, it looks like spam. It looks like you’re trying to take over the conversation.
Spread out your posts. Use software if you can’t do this manually. You can use Buffer for free, scheduling ten posts per day. Show your audience that you care, that you value and respect their Twitter experience as much as your own.
These tips reveal two common themes for Twitter success:
- Focus on putting others before yourself.
- Focus on developing patience, prioritizing the long haul over immediate gratification.
Now, it’s your turn.
What Twitter tactics drive you mad?
What items would you add to this list?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.