If you are a writer, you know that building a following is the key to success. You work hard to get your pieces out into the public eye, but not all writers are good marketers. Fortunately, social media has made that a little easier for us. Let’s explore writers on Twitter for some insight into how this platform can be used to build your brand and your readers.
Is Twitter for writers?
When you think about promoting your blog, book, or podcast, Twitter might not be the first platform that you think about. Twitter can be a challenging tool for writers. You know that you can get the message across with longer word counts, but can you get the right message across at the right time in 280 characters or less and still create quality content? The answer is that if you can master the tweet, you can use this platform to connect with your audience and build loyal fans.
Twitter used to be considered a gathering place for young adults, but this is not the case anymore. Twitter has 186 million active users who send over 500 million tweets per day. Over 1 in 5 of every adult uses Twitter, and ad revenues from Twitter were $1.62 billion in 2020. When you look at those numbers, it becomes clear that Twitter has some serious advertising potential for writers, but how do you use this platform to build an audience? Perhaps the best way is to look at some successful writers who have done it.
Successful writers on Twitter
Some of the names in the Twitter writing community might surprise you. Even in the short tweets, you can get an idea of the personality of many successful authors. The key is that you only give a small glimpse over time, but collectively, these small snippets have a big impact on your brand image. Let’s take a look at some of the best literary Twitter accounts to see how they use the platform.
1. Stephen King @StephenKing
It should not surprise you that the master of suspense and the plot twist would also be a master of the tweet. Twitter can give you a deep glimpse into who the writer is when he is not busy writing his next spine-tingler. If you cruise his account, you will find political posts, personal opinions about everything, and, occasionally, an actual writing tip. This allows his fans to get to know him better on a personal level.
Stephen King’s posts are not always about brilliant writing tips and are quite mundane as this tweet shows.
Sometimes, Stephen King’s Twitter posts stir quite a lot of controversy, but they get his fans engaged. They make his audience feel like they are a part of his life.
2. Jeff Goins @JeffGoins
Jeff Goins takes a different approach to using his Twitter account. His account is all professional and dedicated to the craft of writing. He uses the platform as one more way to get his message across and to support his brand. He does retweet from other writers a lot, but you will sometimes find gems of advice like this.
Jeff Goins is not as active on Twitter as Stephen King, but when he tweets, it has an impact. His account is an excellent example of how to use Twitter to support your brand.
3. Intisar Khanani @BooksByIntisar
Intisar Khanani is an author of young adult novels who uses her Twitter account to engage with her audience on a personal level. She carefully crafts her tweets so that you get a glimpse into her life and an action to take. She will sometimes do giveaways and point to her website, books, and other social media accounts. Her account is an excellent example of how authors can use Twitter to promote themselves across multiple platforms and tie them all together. Here is an example of how she does this.
In this tweet, she connects with her fantasy-loving audience, references current events (hello, covid!) and invites her readers to engage with an upcoming event.
4. J.K. Rowling @jk_rowling
Harry Potter fans were thrilled when they found out J.K. Rowling was on Twitter. Her Twitter account is a mix of vignettes from her personal life, gently addressed political opinions, and announcements that she wants to make about new releases, events, and public appearances. It is a nice mix that lets fans get to know the woman behind the wizard. Her tweets often make you smile. Here is a sample tweet from this famous author.
Her adorable terriers often (and understandably!) find themselves splashed across her social media pages. J.K. Rowling’s Twitter feed is a little bit of work and a little bit of play. She blends the two nicely.
5. Angela the Librarian @onestop4writers
Now, that you’ve seen how some famous authors use Twitter, let’s take a look at a feed that takes a completely different approach. Angela the Librarian is a feed that primarily links to articles on their blog. The blog offers useful advice for writers, book reviews, and a writer’s life. It is an excellent example of how to use Twitter to drive traffic to your blog.
Here an example of how you can use a tweet to get more click-throughs to your articles.
You might notice how she uses hashtags and links to other accounts that are associated with the article. This is a nice example of using Twitter as a traffic funnel. Her tweets are always on brand and always on target.
Create your own account
Now you have some excellent examples of what can be accomplished in 280 characters or less. If you are thinking that it is time for you to get started using this valuable resource to build your brand, it is easy to do. Here is how to do it.
- 1. Download the app or sign up. If you will be tweeting by mobile, you need to download the app and follow the instructions for signing up. On PC, you must go to twitter.com and sign up for an account.
- 2. Customize your profile. Once you have signed up for an account, click or tap on “Edit Profile.” This section allows you to upload a header photo, profile photo, name, bio, location, link to your website, and other information. It is a good idea to think about this section carefully because this is your branding and the face that you will show the world.
- 3. Start following people. The next step that you want to do is to start following people to get a timeline started. You can start by searching for other writers on Twitter.
- 4. Start tweeting. Now, you are ready to start using your Twitter account to promote your brand and build your audience.
What we can learn from these writers on Twitter is that it is a platform that forces you to hone your skills. You have to be able to get your point across in as few words as possible, which is a good skill for any writer in any genre. Twitter is one option that can be part of a mix of social media platforms, including YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram that can be used to build your audience. Now, you have a few tools that you can use to build your audience and grow your business. The only thing to do next is to start an account!