Are you sick of hearing about Twitter yet?
About nine months ago I heard of this thing called Twitter. For three months I put off checking it out. I already had a presence of MySpace, Facebook, and ShoutLife, and I didn’t understand how this new social marketing opportunity would be any different.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? You have 140 characters (letters) to answer that question. You can “twitter” once a day or twenty times a day. It’s up to you.
You may wonder who reads these twitters. They are your “Followers.” People follow others they know, those they respect, or those recommended by other.
In the 6 months since I’ve been Twittering I’ve accumulated 3,600+ followers, and I get between 20-30 new followers every day. (I received five new followers in the time it took me to write this article!) Not every follower reads each of my posts, but many of them read most.
Throughout the day I send in updates about my devotional time, writing, editing, and even my errands. People follow the progress of my books, and they are often eager to spread the word about my project. They comment back, which gives me a sense of community. I’ve also used Twitter when doing research. I post questions, and I ask for feedback. I’ve even asked for suggestions for chapter titles or character names. Fun!
Twittering may sound like work, but it takes less than one minute to post 140 characters—about two sentences, or as much as this paragraph.
As a writer there are benefits to Twittering
1) People DO enjoy hearing about everyday lives of interested people. As a writer you are one of them. (This is the Reality TV Generation, remember?) As you’re working on a book, you can become interesting to a wide variety of people—many who may later be readers.
2) 75% (or maybe more) of the people I’ve connected with are those who I haven’t connected with before. Score! My followers include radio hosts, TV producers, editors, and many potential readers.
3) My Facebook account is also connected with Twitter. When I update the status of one, the other is updated. Because of this, my Facebook network has grown too.
4) When I promote my interviews or articles or books I have a wide variety of people who are eager to hear the newest news. For example, when I was recently on Focus on the Family radio I twittered about it and many, many people responded, telling me they turned into the radio. It was a great feeling!
Personally, I follow thousands of people on Twitter. NO I do not keep updated with this many people all day long. Rather, I have a select few that I follow via my cell phone. The rest (those I don’t follow on my cell phone) I keep updated on by scanning on the web 4-5 times a day. If I see something interesting, I may comment on their post.
The people I follow closely are writer friends and professionals in our industries, such as Michael Hyatt CEO of Thomas Nelson, Sheila Walsh, and Ed Stetzer CEO of Lifeway. I can honestly say I know more about what’s happening in the publishing industry today than I did a month ago. I also follow a few “unfamous” closely. One is Kristen a farm mom. I’m writing a series of books set on a farm, and it’s free research!
So if you are interested in connecting with people, building relationships, and spreading the word about your writing Twitter might be worth checking out. Go ahead and try it. It’s not hard to dip your toe into … since it’s only 140 characters at a time.