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Twitter (and other social media channels): the secret of success

I've been asked, quite frequently, how to gain followers on Twitter. At the time of writing this answer, my audience is 43K and growing, and all along the way, this growth has been organic, without the use of any type of paid ads to sustain it. You can achieve it, too -- if you put your mind to it. Don't tell me, "But, but I only have a handful of followers." I started at 0 followers and build it up from there. You can do it too.

The secret of success — on Twitter or other social networks — is quite simple. 

Find partners:

1. Be generous to others, retweet what they say, and 
2. If they don’t reciprocate, try someone else.

If managed well, this can grow your audience over time. If you find partners who write in genres close to yours and who have a large audience, your word now reaches far beyond your own number of followers. Over time you will gain more followers.

There are Facebook groups focused on such reciprocation, where you give and take, so that’s one way of finding partners. This is an ongoing process, it never stops, because some of your 'partners in crime' may drop out of the game and you need to replace your retweets for them with retweets for someone else.

One more word on this: When you do find worthy partners, you can take the game to the next level. Instead of just retweeting what they say, send your own tweets about their work. You can even design your own memes for them. Such dedication, if aimed smartly, will be rewarded with their dedication for sharing your work.

Figure out what you what to say:

Now, the question becomes, what do you want to say in your tweets? How do you draw followers?

Each author has her own answer to this. Many of them just talk about sales. Buy me because I'm cheap kind-of-a-thing.

In my mind, the bombardment of free and cheap things gets annoying. My answer is different: quality, quality, quality, content, content, content. What I do, in Twitter as well as Facebook, Goodreads, and elsewhere, is start at the heart of my promotion: my blog. I write a new post every few days (sometimes daily) — an excerpt, a back story, an interview, a poem, quote from a recent review, my inspiration for designing the cover of a new release, an audio clip from the audiobook — and design a meme for it. Then I place a teaser+link to  on each social network, including Twitter. 

And, I save the tweet so I can use it later:


Automate:

Since I have hundreds of blogposts, I also have hundreds of tweets. I store them on a service that rotates thru them, so my tweets go on automatically without me having to attend to them. There are many such services. SocialJuxbox, Hootsuite, Twittime, and others. 

To summarize: what you see on my Twitter page includes several kinds of tweets, all chirped automatically at predetermined rates: 

Tweets for other authors (my partners in crime) Promos for other authors who pay me for the serviceTweets linking to blog posts. These provide content and that are the backbone of my outreach.

Be current

Tweets that are perceived as current resonate better with readers. 

I organize my tweets by the season. During the summer I have images of sunsets over a beach (and related excerpts and material) which works well for my romance books; as fall sets in, you'll see a lot of red autumn leaves in my memes and a call to turn a leaf; during Christmas, it’s all Christmassy, so my covers are presented with a red ribbon, ready to be given as a gift for loved ones. 

Constantly replacing my tweets according to the season is a huge effort but it makes for variety and draws in the crowd.

Hope this helps?
Best of success!


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