5 Tips — Gain Readers on Twitter without Ever Promoting Yourself

Tweet with power

Multiply the effectiveness of your tweets without annoying the whole world.

This very well researched and detailed explanation is a guest post from expert writer and social media guru, Dana Sitar.

Authors know by now that Twitter is supposed to be an invaluable networking and book marketing tool, but some still don’t quite understand how. Follow many indie authors, and you’ll see a slew of garbled tweets filled with hashtags and links you don’t understand, constant reminders to buy their book with little reason why you should care, and auto-sent messages that show a clear misunderstanding of the platform.

These authors don’t see many conversions through Twitter, and so they wonder what all the fuss is about.

The fuss is all about the authors and bloggers who have figured out how to do Twitter right, who have steadily-growing networks with constant streams of new readers to their blogs, and who see increased sales of their books. The social network is an incredible platform for connecting with new readers in your niche, but you’ll quickly turn followers away if all you do is ask them to buy your books and read your blog.

Try these five tips to gain Twitter followers who want to learn more about you and your products — without ever mentioning what you’re trying to sell.

1. @mention someone whose attention you want to capture.

The best way to do this is to share something of theirs — a blog post you like or a book they’ve just launched — and be sure to use their handle. This shows that you’re not just trying to attract their attention to your stuff; you’re actually following and enjoying what they do. If you’re genuine about it, they’ll notice and appreciate your efforts, and you’ll have left a positive impression that could lead them to, indeed, check out your stuff.

2. Share re-tweetable content.

Are you posting content that your followers will not only enjoy reading, but also want to share with their followers in return? General updates like, “just put the finishing touches on chapter 4!” may be interesting to your followers and generate support and conversation, but they aren’t likely to be re-tweeted. When you share helpful tips or links to useful content, your followers are more likely to re-tweet that for their followers, introducing you to that new network. Quotes are also often fodder for re-tweets, as are good jokes (in some networks).

3. Join Twitter chats (follow hashtags).

Joining scheduled chats like #writechat or #blogchat, or tagging your posts with common hash tags like #amwriting or #pubtip, will help you meet new tweeps in your niche. You can peruse posts tagged #amwriting (just search “am writing”) for interesting posts, reply to those posts, and follow tweeps who seem to share your interest and offer valuable content. Others who do the same will find your posts with relevant hashtags and check you out, as well!

4. Share helpful content.

If you share content that helps people, they will begin to notice you without your begging for it. Use keywords and hashtags that people in your niche follow to get your tweets in front of them. For example, share a link to this post on Twitter promotion for authors with the hashtag #amwriting so other writers check it out. (Try it! Click here to share this article on Twitter!) If people notice you because of the helpful content you’re sharing, they’ll be much more likely to pay attention to you than if they notice you because you’re always tweeting, “Check out the latest review of my book!

5. Re-tweet posts from the people who make up your desired audience.

Similar to @mentioning, but a little more subtle. By re-tweeting someone else’s content — genuinely and modestly, not constantly and without care — you offer them validation. Everyone likes to be noticed, and they love that pat on the back. Re-tweeting is especially valuable to tweeps who have fewer followers than you do, since they’ll benefit from having their name and content in front of your larger network. Extending this simple gesture to your readers and followers, for example, helps to show that you’re truly working for them, that you value what they have to say and not just their potential to buy your books.

What techniques have you used for gaining Twitter followers who become readers? Share your tips in the comments!

Self publishing Dana Sitar



About the Author
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a freelance journalist and indie author. She shares resources, tips, and tools for writers in search of a path at DIYWriting. For sixty writing prompts and worksheets to help develop story ideas, blog posts, and novel outlines, check out her complimentary BrainstormingWorkbook.

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12 Responses to “5 Tips — Gain Readers on Twitter without Ever Promoting Yourself”

  1. Nice post. I have been using Twitter for years now with limited success. I DO know that some of my books have sold because of it but generally I have found the results disappointing. I now use it mostly for news and technical pieces of information, none of which is about writing. I do have the feeling twitter is over-rated and a huge time consumer! Am I wrong?

  2. I’m first time writer and currently giving finishing touch to my fiction – “Life of a babu, the India Connection” – I could find some valuable suggestions from this blog on how to use twitter better.

  3. I’ve been using Twitter for less than a year, and without it I would have only sold a handful of books. Many of my readers have come to me through Twitter – those lovely people who read all your books, review them and tell their friends about them. I think what you need to do is this. Remember that your book tweet must make someone want to have a look at it. Think about what would make YOU want to click on a link. Don’t use loads of hashtags, it just makes it confusing. Interact with people. Use Twitter every day. Retweet other people’s stuff. Make your bio halfway interesting so that people want to follow you. if someone retweets you, retweet them back or at least acknowledge it. Read their blog posts. Comment on them. Look at ‘success’ not only as selling books, but making your network of online friends more interesting. Well, it works for me! 🙂

  4. We get comments at LinkedIn that dont make it to the blog,

    Rex Owens said, ” I just joined the twitter world about two weeks ago (kicking and screaming) but this piece is very helpful – thanks for posting it. “

  5. Thanks for the comments, everyone! Maryan is exactly right: Twitter is probably not everyone’s best platform for direct sales, but it’s an invaluable opportunity to gain loyal followers and expand your network to include influential people. THOSE things will help you sell books, in the long run.

  6. Interesting reading the tips, often very good, on how to sell books. Many people seem to be right on the ball……………on how to proceed. I myself have tried writing novels that rhyme with the times,,,,,,,,, with some success.
    Best of luck to you all.

  7. This is a test comment, please disregard. Thanks.

  8. Thank you so much for these tips! I seem to have limited success with Twitter and I think these tips sound great, so I will definitely try these.

    Thanks again!


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