Many authors find themselves swamped when it comes to promoting their book online.  Addressing social media within the book promotion is a must, a must do and a must have!  Readers are looking to connect with their favorite authors through Twitter and Facebook more than ever before!  Twitter is proving to be a wonderful tool to stay connected with fans and grow your fan base even more!

I offer suggestions below on how to effectively use Twitter and how to gain the best benefits from it.

How to get started:

Step 1: Set up an account

Go to http://twitter.com and click the big, green “Get Started -Join!” button.  Create a username that is related to you. This could be your name or the title of your book.

Step 2: Completely fill out your profile.

Click on the “Settings” tab at the top of your Twitter Homepage.  Make sure to add in your name, email address, website, online bio, and your location. In the bio, it is smart to make sure to add keywords that pertain to you as an author. You should upload a photo of yourself or even an image of your book.  Twitter even offers you control over the background image of your page.  Viewers tend to respond better to personalized pages, so go ahead and make it your own! You can Google “Twitter Backgrounds” to find web sites that offer free, custom backgrounds. You can also upload your own image as a background.

Step 3: Start Tweeting!

Keep your tweets rich with helpful or interesting information that your audience would care about.  One of the main rules when Tweeting is to keep your conversation to 140 characters or less!  At times this can be challenging, but after some practice it’s easy to adapt to this shortened thought pattern.  Twitter is also 100% about support and relationship building not just with fans, but with clients, colleagues and other like-minded people.  If someone comments on your tweet, write back.  If someone tweets something you like, retweet it!  To retweet, simply click the “retweet” button right underneath the tweet. Retweeting is a great way to build relationships on Twitter because when you retweet someone’s tweet it shows your support for him/her.

Provide live links in your tweets. Share your website, an interesting article that you found, or a cool video. Post a question to engage your audience.  If the url you’re looking to use is too long, go to this great web site called bit.ly. They shorten your long links (which you can also track how many people have clicked on the link) into smaller, twitter friendly links!

The goal of any Social Media outlet is to come across as authentic as possible.  That means that you need to be careful about how you self promote. For example, if you tweet ten times in a day, it may be a good idea to make only three or four of those tweets about your book. The rest of the tweets should be valuable, interesting information for your audience to enjoy.

Set 4: Find your target audience and start following them

Use http://search.twitter.com/ to search popular Twitter topics. Start to search for people’s profiles that are similar to yours.  Look at that persons “Follow” list and start following their “Followers” if you like them.  Go to the person’s Twitter profile to see if he or she is a good fit for your audience. I advise checking out a person before following them.  Also, search for and add what interests you. For example, if you’re into real estate, follow Donald Trump or if your into Self Growth, find Louise Hay.

Following people in a sea of the 18 Million on Twitter will lead to people following you.  It’s really easy to get started and you will easily add followers everyday if you keep tweeting valuable content!

Step 5: Start the Conversation

As soon as you start getting followers, you can simply click on your new follower and say, “Thank you for following me” or something of that nature.  Continue to follow the Tweeting guidelines in Step 3 and make sure you retweet some of the posts from your Twitter followers.  It will help build your profile and get you more followers quickly.

Closing Notes:

You want to make sure your profile has solid, helpful and noteworthy updates and is constantly offering your follows good information.  Let your personality shine through.

About Michael Tasner:

Michael Tasner is an avid entrepreneur, author, speaker, investor, and charity proponent who specializes in helping people achieve their dreams in life and  goals in business. He founded Taz Solutions, Inc, in 2000, and has built it to a leading web marketing firm with more than 100 employees involved in all areas of online/Internet strategy, marketing and design. Michael brings a wealth of experience to the table as an expert within the Internet marketing and business development space. His true specialty is his mastery of the Internet as a complete tool to both grow new businesses and help them to thrive in a very crowded playing field. He is an author of several books (including Marketing in the Moment), a certified Guerilla Marketing Coach, and key advisor to several Internet businesses. He has consulted on online marketing with nine Fortune® 1000 companies.

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