I opened my Twitter account when my first book was published in eBook format in October of 2011. Unfortunately, I didn’t utilize the site to my full advantage until recently. I believe that misstep has made a tremendous impact on the building of my author platform. Now, I know what you’re thinking. How does someone not take advantage of one of the most useful tools available on the Internet? Why wouldn’t someone want to be on the site as much as possible, especially since Twitter’s set up to help spread messages without having to endure the bs showcased on other sites?

I believe my neglect came from spreading myself too thin and not concentrating enough on promoting my blog. Since I’m still learning from my mistakes, I thought I’d share what I’ve done wrong in the hopes it will save fellow writers from making the same mistakes. 

1. When posting blog reviews I’ve done for short stories, novelettes, and books or sharing articles I’ve written I only promoted on Twitter a few times. My blog has a Twitter button, but I only hit it once. Now, I do have a Book Blogs account that automatically posts my status updates to Twitter, but if you only post once then….

2. I’ve done several book giveaways, including giving away my debut novel, but they weren’t as successful as I’d hoped they’d be. Why didn’t I reach the amount of people I wanted to reach? I didn’t post enough about them on Twitter. I believe announcing the giveaways at least once an hour would have brought more attention to the fact a book contest was running.

3. Until recently, I didn’t bother to shorten my links. Since 140 characters aren’t that many, I was doing myself and those who read my posts a disservice by not including the most information I could pack into a post. It’s also important to remember to leave some space at the end of a post, five characters at a minimum, should someone want to retweet your post.

4. I didn’t consider scheduling my tweets. Just because I happen to be awake and posting things on the site doesn’t mean other people are awake reading those posts and vice versa. To get my messages across to people all over the world it’s essential for my tweets to be seen when those individuals happen to be on the site. Because my budget is limited, I’ve chosen to use sites offering to post tweets for free. Having to set aside time every day to set up those tweets is a con I’m willing to live with at the moment. While time-consuming, I’ve found scheduling posts has substantially increased my blog views. It’s also had the added benefit of increasing my blog followers from different parts of the world, which brings me to number 5.

5. This is what I consider the biggie to being successful on Twitter. Retweeting. The simple act of reading over other individual’s tweets and making the decision to share them with my followers by hitting the automatic retweet button has completely changed how I utilize the site. Retweeting is wonderful because it benefits everyone by spreading messages to people who might not otherwise see them. I love to support others, and to repay them for retweeting my posts, so I use this feature religiously.

Twitter is a wonderful way to keep up on the latest news from the writing world, in addition to other facets of society. I don’t claim to be an expert at using the site. I’m sure there are things I still need to learn to optimize my time spent there. What I’m sure of unequivocally is posting information frequently is essential to get a message across and keep people interested. I also believe posting only information meant to benefit me is the surest way to alienate followers. What exactly am I talking about? In a nutshell, no one wants to be solicited 24/7 by someone wanting him or her to buy something.

Yes, I want to continue to sell copies of my debut novel as well as turn people onto the excellent writers whose work I’ve been fortunate enough to review, but I’ve also made sure to include samples of my work that don’t ask people to reach for their wallets. Ro-Always Inspired contains a cornucopia of information meant to get people thinking, in addition to entertaining them.

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