Twitter – it’s one of those marketing tools most people don’t utilize because it can be such a pain in the butt. From character limits to the seeming flood of spam users who follow just to get followed or advertise some product you have absolutely no interest in, it’s no wonder most indie authors shrug their shoulders and walk away. Who has time for that?
Why Bother with Twitter?
For a long time, Twitter has been seen as little more than a somewhat interesting social network, a means of quickly conveying a single, short thought. But somewhere along the way, marketers saw its potential. According to eBizMBA.com, Twitter is the second most popular social media network in 2015 with an estimated unique monthly visitor count of 310 million. So the question isn’t should you use Twitter, it’s how can you use Twitter to market your e-book?
Tip #1: Give It a Hashtag
Twitter is perhaps most well-known for hashtags. Everything has a hashtag, from #sorrynotsorry to trending topics like the recent #PizzaRat. Hundreds of thousands of people follow hashtags and tweet to them. Consequently, creating a hashtag for your book is a great way to get people involved while making a singular thread for everything related to your latest e-book.
You can create a dedicated hashtag simply by inserting the pound (#) symbol at the start of a word or phrase. You might use your book’s title if it isn’t terribly long. Remember, Twitter limits every tweet to 140 characters (URLs eat up characters). So you don’t want an obscenely long hashtag as it will detract from the accompanying message. You also don’t want a hashtag used for something else.
Once you create a hashtag, use it every time you post about the book. The more you use it, the more likely others are to start using it, too.
Pro Tip: Include the hashtag in your e-book’s publishing details section at the front of the book. You can also add a blurb at the end of the book to encourage conversation, a tactic that will help promote your book further. Once you’ve published, hold a launch party on Twitter. The network has become popular for its tweetchats. Hold you own as a launch party. You can include a Q&A and post snippets of your newly released masterpiece.
Tip #2: Share Some Freebies
People love the word “free.” While you don’t want to give your hard work away completely for free, there’s nothing wrong with baiting readers with some irresistible freebies.
- In the weeks leading up to launch, tease readers with some free chapter giveaways.
- Post a chapter or a few alluring paragraphs on your blog or author’s website and tweet about the posts with your book’s hashtag.
Rinse and repeat three to four times per week in the weeks prior to your launch party. If you use your hashtag religiously and stay consistent, this is a strong means of drumming up hype and snagging new followers, readers, and buyers.
Tip #3: Tweet to Book Marketing Hashtags
Are you noticing a trend? The foundation of strong e-book promotion on Twitter is all about hashtags, and some of those hashtags are almost guaranteed to grant increased exposure, retweets, and interaction. Book marketing hashtags are perfect to tweet to for just this, and they include:
Experiment with them whenever you share your book, freebies, giveaways, or sales. You can find more hashtags by searching Twitter, and you can also find entire Twitter accounts dedicated to e-book promotions and indie author projects. Join them, tweet to them, and ask them for retweets.
Tip #4: Include a Live Link to Your Book in Your Twitter Bio
Did you know you can put your entire account right in the middle of a hashtag? Hashtags can be included in your Twitter bio, which is a great place to spotlight your latest book’s dedicated tag. You can also use your bio to showcase a live link to your e-book.
Pinning a tweet to the top of your profile is also a solid marketing strategy. It’s a wonderful means of keeping something important quickly visible to everyone who lands on your profile. Use the pin feature to spotlight your e-book’s hashtag, showcase an upcoming launch party or Q&A, or to advertise your book with a live link to the marketplace.
Tip #5: Get Bloggers Involved
The blogging community is a huge tool at your disposal if you know how to leverage it. The more people you can involve in tweeting your hashtag and tweeting about your book, the better. You can do it all from Twitter, too. Here’s how:
- Go on the hunt. Search Twitter for subject hashtags and trends relevant to your book. Look for tweets from people who are sharing blogs they have written.
- Approach with care. Once you locate a blogger who blogs about something relevant to your e-book, comment on one of their tweets. The trick is to post a relevant comment with a link to your book.
- Establish a dialogue. Finally, establish a dialogue with the blogger. You can even private message them, share your dedicated hashtag, talk a bit about your book, and ask them to share, follow you, and maybe retweet some of your tweets. It sounds silly, but if you show them the value of rubbing your back (and you rub theirs by exposing your following to their blog), you can foster a productive, free marketing relationship.
You can also approach companies who offer e-book reviews. While some are on the expensive side of $400 plus, many will read a provided copy of your book and write a review to feature in their blog for around $50.
Paid Twitter Promotion
What about paid Twitter promotion? Can you successfully market a book by paying for a Twitter promo? Yes. If you have the funds to invest, paid promotion can dramatically grow your exposure and following. But ultimately, the success of any marketing strategy on Twitter – or anywhere else – hinges on your ability to be consistent and put adequate time into pushing it.