When it comes to marketing, you have to consider Twitter for what it really is. It is somewhat a kin to a giant classified ad system. Yes I know that other people use it for other purposes, to explain their day, bits or present their own personal opinion on something in a hundred forty characters or less.
People who have something to sell, however, use it for much more. They are pumping out their messages as fast as they can and depending upon what they’re doing, is the effectiveness of their ads.
To make Twitter work for you, these are the requirements.
• Follow back
Most people that are trying to promote something, and think they are doing all of the above. Reality paints a different picture.
The only thing handicapping your efforts is you. I will give you an example’s.
One author I know, has less than a thousand followers and with attrition and the occasional follower added, nothing’s changed for years. She told me quite specifically that she only follows authors and only if those authors are doing subject matter similar to hers. She also only retweets those authors. Her sales are slow to nonexistent.
Many people promoting have this particular misconception. Here’s a quick fact, most authors don’t buy books, they are however willing to help you promote and that’s a good thing.
The main issue lies in the fact that you and no one else, has limited your audience. The general public buys books and that means you need to target them and not restrict yourself in any way.
Let’s look at our list of criteria that is necessary for you to promote anything on Twitter.
One } ENGAGE.
What does that really mean?
Quite simply put you need to talk to people. That means responding when they ask you something. On Twitter this is usually accomplished in the mentions and/or replies. Start a dialogue and keep tech dialogue going. People that know your real or more likely to help you in any way possible, if they can.
Retweeting. The art of helping others sort of. It helps you and the byproduct is groping somebody else the same time. This is why. If you retweet, people will retweet you. Now your messages are going out to people beyond your following list. That is exactly what you want. Your message, everywhere.
Bear in mind, the same problem can exist in your marketing if you fail to retweet people that are not following you or have the same product and/or similar. You cannot limit who you retweet.
A few years back, being a computer programmer, I decided Twitter was taking up mass quantities of my most valuable time.
I used to live in my timeline, looking for things to retweet and trying to retweet at least forty things in a hour. That had more to do with what Twitters limitations than mine. Twitter allows you to do one hundred and twenty Tweet or retweets, mentions or replies in a two hour window.
Auto tweet was born. It was a tool use for myself and a few people that I know. The simple version of it, pounded away at Twitter, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. I was maximizing my tweets and my retweets.
I made the program public and within six weeks we had were five thousand members. The site was easy to use. People stored all the tweets to be sent out as well as building a retweet list. The retreat list had a 15% variance which means it was always looking for somebody new to retweet.
An overwhelming success and till Twitter stepped in and decided they didn’t like it. In six weeks we had sent out millions of tweets and 10 to 20 times as many retweets.
Sucks to be me, Twitter killed my app for violations to rules and/or rule which they would never tell me which rule I had broken so alas no way to fix it.
Auto tweet 2 was born and was moved to a new server to further confuse Twitter. With many changes and most people running their own app tied to the site we survived for at least twelve months before once again Twitterit decided not to like us.
This is to illustrate the effect of mass tweeting and retweeting. Early on what I discovered was yes it’s nice to retweet people have retweeted you and you should do it, however, random retweeting was far superior in building followers and getting retweets of my tweets from people and/or persons that were not tied to anything I was actually doing or writing about. The general public.
The problem using your timeline, at Twitter, is that for the most part it only encompasses people that your following. Let me restate that in the clinical aspect. Not who’s following you only who you are following. The odd occasion in the timeline they might include something that one of the people you are followering has retweeted.
It doesn’t leave a lot of room for growth.
Twitter doesn’t really want you to grow, what they want very specifically, is you sitting at your computer, tablet, phone or other device on the Twitter website so that you’ll see the ads that they’re selling.
There are better retweeting solutions and I will present those at the end of this article.
Suffice it to say, to be successful, you have to retweet as much as you can. You also need to retweet people that have nothing to do or have similarities to what you’re selling. That doesn’t mean, say for an author, you don’t retweet other authors, you still do but you have to find it audience to retweet that is more likely to buy whatever it is you’re selling.
Following realities in one single statement.
You need to follow people.
Sounds simple enough where do I sign up.
Choosing who you follow can be a very daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. Twitter says everywhere that it is not about the numbers. That is a boldfaced lie, it’s absolutely about the numbers because it’s also about numbers for them. Their advertising is dependent upon numbers and as the main reason they do very little to curb bogus accounts. The numbers matter and they should matter to you.
Twitter has upgraded the following spread. For those who don’t know what that means, this is it.
You’re only allowed to follow a certain number of people that falls within your spread ratio. What the spread ratio means is this. You’re allowed a 10% deviation between the number of people you are following and your followers. That number, where it didn’t matter (the Spread), used to be two thousand and Twitter has now made it five thousand. That means you can follow five thousand people and have nobody following back and it’s still okay. But you can’t follow five thousand and one because that’s when the spread kicks in.
So let’s say you are following six thousand people and six thousand people are following you back. With a 10% spread, you’re now allowed to follow six thousand six hundred people. You can’t follow more because Twitter just won’t let you.
You need to maintain your spread but still follow as many people as you can. There are a variety of different tools out there to help you do just that and will be discussed at the end of this article.
Because it’s all about the numbers you want to get as many people following you as you can and follow as many people within reason.
This is probably the most important aspect of maintaining your spread. As you follow people, sometimes will not follow you back or they quit following you for whatever reason. You need to get rid of those people to maintain your spread. Manage flitter is probably the absolute best at doing this. The best way of course to sort your list by order of when you followed so the most recent is last. The free account and manage flitter allows you to unfollow a hundred people a day but by following them or tweeting you can increase that easily to 300 to 500 a day.
To build followers and people that retweet you it is mandatory that you maintain a proper spread so that you can follow more people.
Five:} FOLLOW BACK.
It is necessary for you to show up at Twitter at least once a day to follow the people that are following you. In doing so you will maintain a decent list of followers. The more quickly you can follow the back the more happy they become and the more likely they are to retweet and have a conversation with you.
The art of saying something on hundred forty characters or less. Twitter is making some changes that haven’t gone into effect yet. An image or video as part of your tweet will no longer count towards the hundred forty characters. Bear in mind it still does until they implement the change.
Be witty, be precise and use proper grammatical English. That way everyone can understand what you’re trying to say.
A Twitter idiot rule that they sometimes use against you, is that if all your tweets contain links to somewhere, they may freeze your account and tell you you’re breaking some kind of a rule. Not all your tweets should contain links anyways because you want to appear as human as possible. If you doing your mentions and replies, that all counts towards you tweeting.
Images in a tweet, our retweeted far more often than just a text tweet. Pictures sell and you should work on the ability to upload as many images in your tweets as possible.
The basic rule for an image to display properly at Twitter, is Two over One. What I mean by that is the width of the image must be precisely twice the height. The size of six hundred pixels by three hundred pixels is ideal because it displays on the Twitter timelines in its entirety without you having to open it up.
Images must be relevant. Putting an image on your tweet of two cats staring at you doesn’t work very well when you’re trying to sell a book. I would suggest that for all images for books that you’re trying to sell at least one third of that image should be your book cover with whatever you want to say beside it.
Another advantage of images is that you can get a lot more than a hundred forty characters in an image if you’re including text in part of that image when you’re making it.
One author we’ve seen around Twitter uses this particular technique and includes up to about a hundred and fifty words sometimes in a tweet because all the information is contained within the image. For those of you that do not have the skills or the software to create your own images, there are a lot of solutions out there and of course the best solutions are free.
Hashtags, God how I hate hashtags. They weirdly became part of our culture a while back with people actually saying hashtag this and hashtags that as part of their normal conversation. How utterly bizarre.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use them to your advantage and you should. Hashtags if used properly, will increase your retweet rate with absolutely no effort on your part.
The biggest trick is to choose your hashtags carefully and make them relevant to whatever it is you’re selling.
Common hashtags for books.
#ASMSG #IAN1 #SPUB #IARTG #iBOOKS #KINDLE and many more. They can also be used to convey the genre as in #ROMANCE or even price #99cents.
They can also be used in more spectacular ways. An example is this.
#Murder in #Boston causes #Havoc in this #comedy #romance now only #99cents at #kindle and #iBooks.
Using hashtags to replace common words can have a beneficial effect.
And as promised some other information.
Mina Gray auto tweet is not really available anymore and the site is down, however some people are using a version of it call Mina Gray solo. My understanding is that Mina Gray solo TWO is in the works.
Manageflitter.com in my opinion is the best at controlling your followers and who you follow.
Because creating images sometimes for some people it is difficult, Twitter Image Ads offers a quick and easy solution for building Twitter style adds and more and of course they welcome free accounts bearing in mind there’s some limitations on free accounts.
tweetIMage is currently in close beta but when it’s ready it’ll allow you to automatically or manually send your image tweets directly to Twitter.
The King of them all for being able to hammer at Twitter, in a manual way, is Random Retweet. The name says it all. But it does far more than that, it gives you the ability to store tweets that you can send (not image tweets, however Bill has provided a hack to that that does allow your tweets to contain images ) it offers various ways to retweet including the standard random retweet. It also allows you to search for tweets to retweet by hashtag or by word. An example is that you can search by #AUTHOR or by something like romance books or any other variation you can think of.
Random Retweeting builds followers and gets you retweeted at the same time.
The final word is simply this, time. Marketing, no matter what you’re selling, consumes your time and the more effort you put in, in theory, the better the result.
Twitter Marketing 102 coming soon