The prospect of successfully maintaining a Twitter account can be overwhelming when you think of all it entails:
- Setting up the account.
- Following others on Twitter.
- Reciprocating and following your new followers back.
- Deciding what to tweet about.
- Scheduling tweets and/or tweeting live.
- Unfollowing people who aren’t following you back or who are no longer active on Twitter.
But, if you break this down task-by-task, it’s not that difficult and can be done with minimal effort.
Setting up the account
Following the instructions in these articles should help you set up your account.
Following others on Twitter
If you’re an author, you’ll probably be interested in following other authors, book reviewers, and readers of books in your genre. The absolute easiest way to do this is find someone who is active and successful on Twitter who parallels you and/or your book. By this I mean if they’ve written a crime mystery book, and you have too, see who they are following. Odds are good they are focusing on following authors, book reviewers, and readers of books in your genre. It won’t always be the case, but if you can find someone like this, your job is much easier.
If you can find someone like this, just go through the profile descriptions for the people they’re following and search for the keywords like author, writer, reviewer, reviews, reading, etc. It might take you a while to scan through the profiles at first but with time and practice you’ll soon be flying through the profiles and finding people to follow.
If you’re looking for an account to do this with, try mine if you’d like. Log in to your own account, then alter the URL in your browser (or click on this link) so that it reads: https://twitter.com/ShelleySturgeon/following. This is just redirecting you to my profile page the same way as you would if you searched for it through Twitter’s search option and selected my account. There’s no black magic, or blue or pink or any other colour of magic involved in just altering the URL if you know where you’re going and I’m just giving you my account for the sake of example.
The accounts that are being followed will be displayed in three columns. Speed read through the profile descriptions and click on the Follow button for the ones that appeal to you. The accounts you are already following will display a blue button labeled Following. If you request to follow a secured account (displaying the padlock) a message is sent to the account holder and they must grant you permission before you can follow the account. Easy peasy.
Reciprocating and following your new followers back
Sign up for a free account and specify your preferences of when you’d like your email sent to you. It sends out an email at that time(s) with a list of your new Twitter followers.
When I get my emails from Nutshell Mail, I make sure I’m already logged into my Twitter account and then very quickly right mouse click on the new followers in the email to open their Twitter pages in a new browser tab and when they’re all opened, I go from tab to tab as follows:
- If the blue Following button is displayed, I’ve already made the decision to follow this account and they’re just following me back. End of story. I close that browser tab.
- If the white Follow button is displayed, this is a brand spanking new follower. I quickly read over the profile. If it’s someone I’d like to follow, I click on the Follow button. End of that story and I close that browser tab.
- If the white Follow button is displayed, this too is a brand spanking new follower. But if after reading over the profile, I decide it is someone I don’t want to follow, I just close the browser tab.
You can also see who has mentioned you or direct messaged you on Twitter in your Nutshell email and can respond through their interface instead of through Twitter if you want to.
Deciding what to tweet about
Do share content of value and not just your own content. It’s believed that the ratio of quality content you share should be 80% other people’s content/20% your own content.
And, please, don’t drone on and on and on about “Buy my book!” “Buy my book!” or even “Come on! You KNOW you want to buy MY book!” Nobody wants to follow someone who does that. We record all the television we watch at our house and fast forward through the commercials. When you offer nothing more than repeated attempts to sell your book on Twitter, that’s not much better than a steady stream of commercials. There’s no fast forward on Twitter. They’ll just stop following you. (And, hate to break it to you, but it’s also highly unlikely they’re going to buy your book!)
Watch other authors to see what they tweet about. This article might help:
Scheduling tweets and/or tweeting live.
You do realize, don’t you, that people who tweet at 2 a.m. aren’t necessarily setting their alarms and running to their computers to send out a tweet? You can schedule tweets and most of us do. (If you didn’t realize this, I imagine you’re feeling extremely relieved right now!)
I tend to schedule a lot of my content and live tweet comments about my day or articles as I read them online if they’ve just been published or when I’m interacting with others.
I like to tweet blog posts from other bloggers mostly to do with writing or self-publishing so my standard wording for scheduled tweets is:
(Blog Post Title) + (shortened URL) + via @(Twitter account of the article’s author or hosting blog)
Opinions vary on how often you should tweet and what times you should tweet but to start with, do what you are comfortable with and have time to do. Adjust it as required when you’ve had a chance to analyse the response you’re getting, etc.
Unfollowing people who aren’t following you back or who are no longer active on Twitter.
- Log into Manage Flitter with your Twitter account and let it get your account details.
- You can then select to view those accounts which are:
- Not Following Back
- No Profile Image
- Fake (SPAM)
- High Influence/Low Influence
There are a few more options available and some of the options are only for paid Manage Flitter accounts.
- Select the Not Following Back in the list which will appear on your left. As you slide your cursor over the Unfollow button, on the right you’ll see a box of information about that Twitter account including their profile, their location, how many times a day that person tweets, how old the account is, the number of followers, the number they’re following, and more.
You can then decide if you want to continue to follow this person which will allow you to view their tweets even though they won’t see yours because they aren’t following you.
If you wish to unfollow the account, click on the Unfollow button. The next account in the list will then scroll up to the same position and you can do it all over again.
If you really don’t care to know the details and all that really matters to you is that they aren’t following you back, it’s quite acceptable to just repeatedly click on the Unfollow button until you’ve purged all of the accounts that aren’t reciprocating by following you back.
So there you have it!
That pretty much covers the basics with a few tricks of the trade thrown in for good measure.
Good luck and let me know in the comments if you’ve got specific questions. I’ll be happy to help.
Photo credit: Pixabay