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Social media marketing doesn’t always play to most writers’ strengths, but having a plan and a goal can help you effectively market your book on Twitter.

Looking to market your book on Twitter but not sure how to begin? Here are nine things to consider.

1. Be a thought leader

You don’t always have to come up with original content to establish yourself as a thought leader. Tweet links to current news in your industry to keep your followers up-to-date and show you know what’s going on outside your own four walls.

You should also Tweet content that makes you look smart and well-connected. If you have members of your team who are considered industry experts, give them some Twitter love when they speak at conferences, publish an article or blog post, or get recognized for an award.

Beyond Twitter, writing a guest post on a highly trafficked blog is a great way to garner some free company publicity and position yourself as a thought leader.

2. Engage your audience

Twitter is a two-way conversation: it is not meant to be your personal megaphone. If someone on Twitter mentions you or your book in a tweet – positive or negative – try to respond in real time. It’s a chance for you to show you’re involved and that you care.

3. Show some personality

Nobody wants to read a bunch of dry robotic tweets. Create a personality for you and your “brand” and give it a voice. If you have multiple people manning your Twitter feed, make sure they all know what you’re striving for and that they remain consistent with that voice. The trick is to bring the personality without allowing things to get personal.

4. Drive traffic to your content

If you’re not using Twitter to drive traffic to your content, you’re really missing the boat. You can promote the same piece of content multiple times by changing the text in the tweet and scheduling posts in different time zones. Try using the #ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) hashtag on recycled posts so people know they’re not new.

5. Scout other authors

See how other authors are using Twitter and scout what people are saying about them by searching their name, titles, and any hashtags they use regularly.

6. Keep it to 120 characters or less

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to retweet a tweet that uses the full 140 characters allowed by Twitter. Bear in mind that Twitter adds your Twitter handle, an “RT,” a space, and a colon when someone retweets. If you keep your tweets to 120 characters or less, you’ll maximize your chance of a retweet.

7. It’s not all about you

Your content and books are awesome, but please don’t tweet about yourself ad nauseam. Your Twitter feed needs to tell a story when someone reads through a week’s worth of tweets. Make sure that story isn’t all about you.

8. Schedule for all time zones

Just because you’re awake at 7 am on a Friday, doesn’t mean the rest of the world is. Be conscious of who will see your tweets, and at what time. Use a good organizing tool to help you schedule tweets in all relevant time zones – and for goodness’ sakes, don’t schedule five tweets at the exact same time!

9. Pin a tweet

If you have a specific tweet that’s generating a lot of engagement, or you want to be sure anyone who visits your Twitter page sees a specific tweet, you can pin that tweet to the top of your feed. Find the tweet you’d like to be featured, click on the three dots (ellipses in the bottom right corner of the tweet), and choose “Pin to your profile page.” Refresh your page and voila! That tweet is now pinned to the top of your feed.

This content was adapted from a post that originally appeared on the Bookarma blog and in Act-on’s eBook, 10 Things Marketers Should Be Doing on Twitter.


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Nancy L. Erickson

About Nancy L. Erickson

Nancy L. Erickson has written 31 posts in this blog.

International book marketer, executive book coach, international speaker, and author advocate Nancy L. Erickson is known as The Book Professor because she helps everyday people write high-impact nonfiction books that will save lives, change lives, or transform society. Titles credited to her name include A Life in Parts, for which she received back-cover endorsements from Sir Paul McCartney and Cindy Crawford. Using a methodology she developed, Erickson leads her clients through the writing and publishing process, from initial concept to a draft manuscript, finished manuscript, professionally published product, and internationally marketed product. Erickson is the owner of Stonebrook Publishing, a small press she founded in 2009, and is the creator and owner of Bookarma, a book marketing platform where authors help authors market their books globally through shared social networks. She has presented her innovative ideas at BEA and the Frankfurt Book Fair, where she was a featured speaker.

32 thoughts on “Nine things authors should be doing on Twitter right now

  1. Thanks so much, Nancy for discussing these fundamentals. I’m new to Twitter and wish to establish good Twittering habits from the very onset. These 9 things will help me do just that.

  2. This is great advice. I’m pretty new to the Twitter game, and I’m trying to learn how to promote myself while still providing good content. Thanks for the checklist!

  3. Thank you! This is good, actionable Twitter advice for authors. It will help authors to be more interesting and relevant.

  4. Alex Rich says:

    It’s way too easy to get social media challenged. Thanks for shedding some light on the proper path to getting it right.

  5. Thank you Nancy! Being a new author and not a tweeter… this is excellent advice and a winning game plan! You have a new follower for sure~! T

  6. Eliza Krum says:


    Tipp Number 6 is dated. The new quote function on Twitter allows you to quote Tweets without RT @USERNAME ” bei simply putting the quotation in a box. At least most devices to use Twitter with can do that.

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