It’s been a year since I launched my author platform. I’d had a small group of friends and family on a personal Facebook page, and had a website with spotty attempts at blogging over the years, but nothing consistent. In March of 2012, I got serious. In 1 year I’ve achieved:
- I follow everyone back. I believe Twitter is a two-way conversation. Plus, I’m not the Pope. I can’t expect people to want to hear what I say if I’m not showing any interest in what they say. But – I do manage (i.e. unfollow) those who unfollow me or decline to follow back within a week or two. I have to do this because once you’re over 2000 followers, Twitter insists that your follower to following ratio not be below 90%. If it does, you can’t follow anyone else. Which means there are some awesome people who are going to leave when you can’t follow back. Now, there are some Big Dogs who refuse to follow any more than 10 of their select friends. If I really want to continue to see their tweets, I’ll put them on a list. Yes, that’s right. I don’t need to follow them to see their tweets – Twitter is wide open. Just put them on a list. Which leads me to. . .
- Lists. Once you get a few hundred Twitter followers, your head will spin. Some Tweet a lot, drowning out the less prolific posters. Around 2,000 your feed starts racing by at the speed of light, and you’ll look like that episode of I Love Lucy when she was working at the chocolate factory. It’s impossible to read at that speed, let alone respond. TaDa! Lists. Twitter allows you to create as many lists as you want, either public (everyone can see who is on the list) or private (only you can see who is on the list). With lists, you can segregate those one-post-a-day people so they don’t get lost in the crowd. You can also pull aside Tweeps who interact personally with you, or sort people by interest area, profession, etc. I have a Big Dogs list, several lists for writers, two (yes two) lists for erotica folks, and a few for those I want to make sure I keep up with. Public or private? It’s up to you, but lists are flattering. The connect section of Twitter notifies you when someone adds you to a list, and some feed management programs will send you an e-mail. People notice and will often thank you when they get added to a list – especially if it has a catchy, cool name. I do have a few private lists. One where I rotate people in and out frequently and don’t want anyone to get insulted. Another where I don’t want to seem a fan-girl stalker. (shhh!)
- Feed Management. There are whole blog posts written on this topic. Suffice it to say I have 3 packages I use to send welcome DMs, auto schedule tweets and unfollow. Plus I still use the twitter site itself.
- OMG – Welcome DM? Autotweet?. Yes, I went there. People on Twitter generally hate DMs. It seems the only thing you get are pictures of people’s private body parts, invitations to perform sexual activity, and spammy welcomes like: Thanks for following me. Please like me on Facebook, Linkedin, and Google+. Subscribe to my blog. Then buy my new book, and all 40 backlist titles at the link I’ve kindly provided. Sheesh. I just followed you. That’s rushing commitment a bit, don’t you think? My welcome DM is (hopefully) funny, and does not entreat my new follower to do anything but sit back and enjoy the Twitter ride. Autotweets are an evil necessity in a world where name recognition correlates to sales. Let’s face it, even though I love interacting with my Tweeps on a personal level, this is an author platform. I try to keep the tweets fresh and interesting and not send them out every two seconds. Right now it’s every few hours during my peak follower times.
- Tweets – I’ve blogged before about the need to interact with your followers. In the beginning, I thanked those who re-tweeted (RT) my tweets to their own followers. Now I return the favor (although I still thank a few times a week, especially on Follow Friday). It’s polite, and it gets my name in front of them one more time. Right now, I go to every RTer’s feed and scroll through their tweets. If they post something personal, in addition to a return RT, I’ll reply to them and hopefully have a conversation. I’ve met some cool people that way – some I’d even call friends, in an internet sort of way.
600 Facebook Page Likes. I started out by inviting those on my personal profile to “like