Welcome to day 8 of the Basics of Author Online Presence Challenge. To catch up on previous tasks, go here.
Today we’re going to help you connect with others on Twitter to grow your online presence. The more people who see you, the better.
Interact on Twitter
There are different ways to interact with others on Twitter.
- Follow like-minded individuals.
- Comment on tweets.
- Retweet someone’s tweet and add a comment before tweeting (quote-retweet).
- Join a hashtag game.
- Join a Twitter chat.
- Mention someone in a tweet.
Let’s look at these in more detail, shall we?
Follow like-minded individuals.
On day 4, I told you to follow people who can benefit you (ezines, lit agents, etc.) not that they will follow you, but to add your profile into the mix of “to follow” when others follow these accounts. (If you haven’t already, go and follow all the publishing companies and literary agents you have on your wish-list.)
The easiest way to follow others who have the same interests, is to follow those taking part in this challenge: everyone added their Twitter handles in the comments of day 4. (If you haven’t yet, go do that!) You can also check out #AuthorOPChal to see who’s tweeting about this challenge.
If you’re still stuck on who to follow, check out who I am following and see if you like them. (Go to @miladyronel and click on “Following”. These are all the accounts I’m following.)
You never know when you’ll meet your best writing buddy on Twitter.
Comment on tweets.
Let’s say someone said something interesting (e.g. I just finished my first draft! #amwriting). Now click on the reply button and say something relevant (e.g. Congrats! I’m still plotting… #amwriting). You’ve just started a conversation. Maybe this will lead to something great.
Don’t reply by saying FOLLOW MY BLOG or LIKE MY FACEBOOK PAGE or FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER or something else as obnoxious as the above. Most people will ignore – or worse – block you.
You don’t go to a party and only spout nonsense and that people should buy your book, do you? So don’t act that way online. Be a real person.
This is rather fun. You find an interesting tweet (e.g. a scary tunnel picture with a caption that it’s an abandoned place) and you click on the retweet button. Before clicking tweet, add your comment (e.g. Cool! This is an entrance to the underworld #amwriting). Make it relevant to your brand.
It’s easy to just retweet stuff, but by adding your opinions you’re adding value and allowing people to get to know you.
Join a Hashtag Game on Twitter
Different hashtag games for writers can be found every day on Twitter. Find one you enjoy and play along. You’ll meet plenty of interesting people there and might even find your writing buddies sharing their lines on any given day.
A few writing hashtag games include:
Visit www.micascottikole.com or @writingevents for a comprehensive list of weekly writing events.
Join a Twitter Chat
Other hashtags for writers:
- #MagicMon – 7-10PM EST Monday nights – Focused on fantasy, also features writing sprints
- #DarkLitChat – 8PM EST every third Tuesday of the month – Focuses on dark fiction, all genres
- #Writestuff – 9PM EST Tuesday nights
- #Writerslifechat – 8PM EST Wednesday nights
- #Storysocial – 9PM EST Wednesday nights
- #StoryDam – 8PM EST Thursday nights
- #10MinNovelists – 9PM EST Thursday nights – Has a featured guest almost every week
- #CreatureChat – 9PM EST Thursday nights – Focuses on creatures in speculative fiction
- #FemalesInFantasy – 8PM EST Saturday nights – Fantasy focused
- #WritersPatch – 10AM CST Sundays
- #Storycrafter – 3PM EST Sundays – Actually a UK-based chat
Go check out this Author Toolbox Blog Hop post about Twitter chats and how to use them to connect with other writers.
We will do a Twitter chat with #AuthorOPChal and will respond to questions throughout day. We’re not setting a specific time: this will be a lot less formal than other Twitter chats. Pose your questions using #AuthorOPChal and connect with others using the hashtag throughout the day and month.
Quick Twitter chat tips:
- Log into your Twitter account.
- Search for the hashtag.
- Click on “latest” to see the newest tweets.
- Join in the conversation – remember to use the right hashtag!
Mention someone in a tweet
You’ve made a couple of Twitter friends by now. So, why not tell them to join our challenge?
Hey @miladyronel check out #AuthorOPChal to build your #authorbrand via @Writer_2_Writer /category/author-online-presence-challenge/
You can do this for any competition or challenge you want to tell your friends about.
You can also recommend books.
Hey @miladyronel have you read #mustread dark fantasy novel “Tithe” via @hollyblack ?
You might get a like from the author and you’ll definitely start a conversation with the person you recommended the book to.
Why interact on Twitter?
I can hear some of you thinking this 😉 So here’s my answer: by interacting with others, you are making valuable connections. You’ll need those connections when the time comes to start marketing your books. By following the steps above, by not being pushy, you’ll find that the people you’ve made connections with will be interested in your writing when you mention that you’ve been published.
Sure, having ten thousand followers on Twitter is great. But do they all read your tweets? Doubtful. The people you’ve made connections with are far more likely to read and retweet your tweets.
A big part of networking on social media is joining the conversation, connecting with like-minded individuals and sharing a bit of yourself (your brand!).
So go and interact on all your social media platforms. Because if you don’t interact, you don’t build connections.
Did you follow different people? Did you take part in a hashtag game? Did you take part in our Twitter chat? Did you quote-retweet? Did you start a conversation? Awesome. Keep doing this and you’ll have plenty of connections in no time.
Author: Ronel Janse van Vuuren
Ronel writes dark fantasy filled with mythology and folklore, some of which can be read on Wattpad and on her blog Ronel the Mythmaker. When not leading her Rottweiler pack or arguing with her characters, she’s writing award-winning fiction.