For many people outside of the marketing realm, social media sometimes has a negative connotation. For us writers, that is definitely not the case. It’s far more than scrolling through newsfeeds for hours or catching up on what celebrity broke up with their long-time boyfriend (gasp!).
I would go so far as to say that it may be essential to couple social media with our writing and author platforms. Social media is a great tool to use to develop your brand as an author, and Twitter is among the best for writers, in my humble opinion.
As I continue my writing and publishing journey, I am learning more and more about building a brand and creating a strong author platform. Social media is a wonderful (and free) way to engage with other writers and readers and offer your support. I hope the following pieces of advice are useful to you, too.
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Twitter’s writing community doesn’t disappoint! By searching this hashtag, you will find millions of writers who share the same struggles, ponder the same questions, and who are simply searching for other writers like you to take on the ride. Compared to my experience with Facebook, Twitter has a significantly stronger writer presence, and the energy among the community is always extremely encouraging. You will never run out of fellow writers to follow and learn from.
Besides the fact that the community is so large, Twitter is also a great educational tool. Pose your burning writing questions in a tweet or create a poll, and dozens of writers usually respond within minutes. You truly feel like a valued member.
Where are all the writers?
When writers all over the world are procrastinating (come on, you know you’re one of them, too), many turn to Twitter. Find other writers using and searching hashtags such as:
There are many others, but as you become more involved in the community, you will become more familiar with hashtags that best relate to you. Use your relevant hashtags whenever you create a post related to writing so that even more writers see it. It will open you up to more writers to connect with and learn from. Procrastinating has never been so productive!
What to keep in mind
Some best practices for engaging with the Twitterverse are:
- Actively follow those who have similar interests as you. You’ll be surprised how many people will follow you back.
- Comment on other people’s tweets. Participate in the conversation; you may meet someone or learn something new that you wouldn’t have known otherwise.
- Retweet. This is one great way to help support your fellow writers. If they have a question or a special announcement about a writing milestone, retweet! This is how word spreads and encouragement grows.
- Share original content on a regular basis. While it’s great to like, comment, and retweet, your followers will also want to see some original content from you. Share your thoughts, advice, or ask a question that could help others, too.
- Don’t share too much content. We all know that one person who posts to their social media with a minute-by-minute update of their lives. Unfortunately, this often drives people to unfollow them. Tweeting original content once a day or every other day is usually a good rule I personally follow.
The underlying purpose
It’s important to note that when we have books ready to sell, we are not just selling books–we are selling our brand. For example, think about your favorite author. When they release another book, is it a no-brainer that you would buy it? You may not even know one thing about the book, but you do know about the author–the brand–and that you enjoy their books. What this author has done through their career is not exactly sold books to you, they have sold their brand to you. Twitter can play a very significant role in building your brand, too!
I urge you to be active on Twitter, even if you just wrote the first page of your first novel ever. Start to build that community of supporters from day one and develop your brand. When you’re ready to finally publish your book and reveal it to the world, the #WritingCommunity will be there to spread the word (and maybe even buy a few copies)!
Happy writing, all!