Monday, August 22, 2011

Getting the Most From Twitter (Part 2: How to Find People to Follow)

Over about 6 months, my Twitter followers increased more than 12-fold (from 60ish to over 750), and I gain new followers every day. Plenty of other people have done it faster or gained a lot more followers in that timeframe. But my approach is all about making connections and having fun, and I don't use any aggressive tactics (or any "tactics" at all, really) to try to grow my list of followers. I'm happy with the way it's evolving, so I don't worry about the numbers.

The first thing to know is that if you want to gain followers on Twitter, you must follow others. Unless you're already famous, of course. :) If you're an author, you should be on Twitter trying to connect with readers (current and potential), book bloggers, other writers, people in publishing, etc.

But I know it can be tough, especially at first, to find people to follow. Here are some tips:

1. Leverage Your Other Social Networks
You're on Facebook, right? Go to your friends' pages and look for their Twitter links. Maybe post an update asking for your friends' Twitter handles. If you belong to FB groups, tell them you're trying to get more active on Twitter and ask for their Twitter handles.

Go to the blogs you frequent, look for bloggers' Twitter links, and follow them.

If you spend time on message boards, in Goodreads groups, etc, look for a thread where people have posted their Twitter handles. If there isn't a Twitter thread, start one.

2. Look at Who Your Friends Follow and Talk to
In the stream of updates from the people you follow on Twitter, pay attention to who they're talking to, take a peek at their profiles, and follow some of them; I do this all the time because it's so easy. You can also comb your Twitter friends' follow lists.

Look at your Twitter friends' Follow Friday (#FF) or Writer Wednesday (#WW) tweets. Ask your friends for recommendations. If you have a couple of Twitter friends who are pretty well-established, ask them to tweet a shoutout for you. I've done this a number of times for others, I'll say something along the lines of "Hey friends, book blogger so-and-so is new to Twitter - please follow and say hello!" Plenty of people are willing to help, just ask. And when they do help, don't forget to send out a thank-you tweet.

3. Look for Established Authors, Gurus, and Industry Leaders
If you read about writing, books, and the publishing industry - you are doing that, right? - find the Twitter accounts for people who write about writing, books, and publishing. Follow some of your favorite authors. Twitter is interesting in that it's one of the few platforms where there's a decent chance that someone relatively well-known could see your tweet and respond to you. It's happened to me a few times - nearly always in conversations that have nothing to do with writing or publishing, interestingly - and it's pretty cool.

Missed Part 1: Why I LOVE Twitter? Read it here.

Watch for the next post in the series, Part 3: Why You Need to Be Yourself

Author K.C. Neal:: Pyxis Series :: YA Paranormal


Natasha Larry said...

Yay, great post.

K.C. Neal said...

Thanks, Natasha! You probably don't need Twitter help, tho. ;)

Unknown said...

Good advice, all of it. I also find that the more I tweet, the more followers I get--genuine ones, not those who only follow you in order to be followed back.

Great blog you have here.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoying this series - especially since I'm fairly new to Twitter (inactive account for ages!). Great stuff. Thanks! :)

K.C. Neal said...

@Damyanti that's been my experience, too. And I'd much rather have 500 genuine followers than 5000 useless ones! Thanks for commenting. :)

@jarond I appreciate your comment, glad to hear it's helpful!