If you spend any time on Twitter, you’ll notice that the amount of information on there can be overwhelming. Try looking up the hashtags #amwriting and #amreading, which are typically used by authors and readers, and you’ll see a mountain of information about books that people are desperately trying to get you to read.
As an author (or anyone else, for that matter) how can you make sure you’re heard among all this noise? Obviously there is no guaranteed, fool-proof plan to make this happen, but following a few of these tips will go a long way to making you stand out on Twitter.
Remember that social media is social.
A lot of people make the mistake of talking to their followers rather than talking with them. Join conversations, respond to interesting tweets, and like or retweet things you enjoy. People love being acknowledged and you’ll see this reflected online.
Tweet multiple times a day.
You’ll normally see people recommending that you tweet 2-3 times a day. While this is not a bad number, you’ll notice that many of the accounts with large followings will tweet constantly. Given that different people will be online at different times throughout the day, this can be a good way to make sure your message reaches as many followers as possible. Aim for one tweet every hour. You can plan ahead and schedule some of your tweets using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.
Use images in your tweets.
If you’re posting original content, share an image in addition to the link. It’ll make your tweet stand out in the stream and increase engagement (tweets with photos receive 18% more clicks and 89% more favorites than those without).
Combine engagement with self-promotion.
There is room for self-promotion online but it needs to be a piece of what you do rather than the whole thing. Think about the popular figures you’re interested in following and what you like to hear from them on a daily (or monthly) basis. If you only heard them selling the latest project they’d produced, you would lose interest pretty quickly. It’s important to keep this in mind when managing your own Twitter feed.
The bottom line is that standing out in a crowded market isn’t easy. We’ve all been guilty of committing social media sins, but it’s important to try as much as possible to maintain a profile that is interesting and engaging to your followers. This, more than anything, is what will help you stand out on Twitter.