I’ve compiled some tips that will help beginner Twitter users start to build their online presence. If you don’t already have a Twitter login, the first step is to create an account. The process is pretty simple, but here is a video tutorial. Something you will want to consider before you create your account is your username. Your username is what people are going to remember you by, so make sure that it’s appropriate for what you want to achieve with your account.
1. Use hashtags.
Coming into the world of Twitter can certainly be overwhelming. So much information is being thrown at you, and it’s daunting to try to connect with people you don’t know in real life. A good place to start connecting with people interested in similar topics is by using and searching hashtags like #writingcommunity or #publishing. You can find a fuller list of some basic yet essential hashtags here. You can also create your own hashtags to keep people updated on your books.
2. Tweet 3–5 times a day.
At first it may feel like you are shouting into a void, but that’s okay. Take it as practice. Observe other tweets. See what works and what doesn’t. At certain times, your tweets will gain more visibility because of user activity. According to Sprout Social’s 2018 study, the best time to post on Twitter is between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays. While it’s good to heed this advice, you don’t have to strictly follow this schedule, as many writers keep irregular hours.
3. Leave comments and retweet with comments.
Twitter permits you to have an ongoing conversation about different topics. Getting to be a part of that conversation is one of the joys of being a writer. Leaving comments will boost your visibility and make it more likely that someone will click on your profile and follow you.
4. Reply to comments and messages.
This is another part of the interactive element of Twitter. Of course, you don’t have to reply to or like all comments that you get, but interacting with your followers is one way to keep them engaged and create rapport with them.
5. Don’t just promote yourself.
Just like in real life, it’s annoying when people only talk about themselves on Twitter. Writers are in constant need of encouragement, so help promote work by other people that you enjoy.
6. Be genuine.
The most important thing about relationships on Twitter is that you remain true to yourself. While it’s important to observe trends, don’t just become a copy-and-paste version of other authors’ accounts. Over the past year, I’ve personally been more likely to check out a book I’ve seen on Twitter if the author has a genuine-sounding voice on their social media.
7. Use lists.
After you have become more Twitter savvy, you can organize the different topics you want to keep tabs on into various lists. Say, for example, you want to create a “Favorite Authors” list. You can add all of the authors to the list, and Twitter will create an exclusive feed that you can either keep private or allow people to subscribe to.
Although I haven’t been a part of the Twitter writing community for long, I’ve found that it is very welcoming. If you feel overwhelmed or lost, most likely someone else does too, and that is the beauty of social media: you can relate to other writers, share tips with each other, and create good relationships.