I’ve developed a dangerous addiction.
There’s a local ice cream place that has stolen my heart. It’s called Cold Cow, and those magical folks give you a RIDICULOUS amount of the creamy, delicious treat for startlingly low prices.
For just $4, I get a HUGE bowl of vanilla ice cream piled high with cookie dough (straight out of the Toll House tub), Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and Oreos.
Do your teeth hurt yet?
Now, I understand that Cold Cow is definitely an indulgence, but it’s one I fully commit to enjoying each and every time I sit down with my tanker-truck-sized bowl.
No matter my excitement, however, something strange happens after I dig in.
The first bite is ridiculously awesome.
The second bite is really good.
After the third bite or so, it still tastes wonderful, but each subsequent bite never lives up to the same level as the first.
It’s like my taste buds get fatigued from processing all the awesomeness.
The Law of Diminishing Returns
No matter how amazing something tastes, if you taste it over and over again the flavors will never live up to that first-bite magic.
Taking the analogy to book marketing, fans get the same way when it comes to your social media updates. If all they read are the same types of updates (even if those updates are ridiculously awesome) they will eventually lose interest.
I see this problem most often on Twitter. Authors alternate between one or two update types (most commonly a link to buy their book and an excerpt/review) which will tire out even the most ardent fan.
Honestly, though, this update repetition isn’t necessarily your fault. I get it: sometimes, it’s simply difficult to think of anything else to write about.
Well, I’m here to fix that (yay!) I’ve put on my thinking cap and come up with 25 different tweet ideas. That way, if you tweet 3 times a day, you won’t have to repeat a tweet type for over a week. Pretty awesome, right?
25 Types of Author Tweets (with examples!)
I know you’re eager to start changing up those tweetable topics so, without further ado, here is my mega-list of unique tweet ideas:
- A genuine recommendation of a fellow indie author’s work
ex: “Just checked out Killer Shine by @ShanWrites and LOVED IT! My review: http://amazon.link”
- A favorite recipe or food-related advice
- A fun photo (your workspace, pets, lunch, whatever!)
- A link to a blog post on a topic both you and your readers find interesting (be sure to @mention the author if he/she’s on Twitter)
ex: “Doing 1, 5 and 10! –> 25 Summer Decorating Ideas by @ShanWrites: http://link.y”
- A personal shoutout to a (single) follower
ex: “A big welcome to the gals at @Duolit — Mountain Dew is my fav, too!”
- An excerpt from a positive review of your book
- Your take on a trending topic
- A thought-provoking question
ex: “If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, which would you choose? #amreading”
- Live-tweeting during a TV show or event
- A personal thank you for a fellow, reply or retweet
- A link to sign up for your mailing list
ex: “For exclusive excerpts and giveaways, join my Readers’ Club: http://link.y”
- Reply to someone’s tweet with your own thoughts
- Share a short, interesting musing from your day (if you have kids or pets, these practically write themselves!)
- Share the logline from your WIP
ex: “What I’m working on: Single mom/waitress by day, time-travelling superhero by night. Sound interesting?”
- The link to your most recent blog post
- Share your #1 desert island book and why you chose it
- Start a conversation with someone using a relevant hashtag
ex: “@SomeoneElse That dinner sounds amazing! How did it turn out? #amcooking”
- A link to download an excerpt of your book
- Take part in a Twitter chat (check out this mega-list of chats!)
- A tantalizing quote from your book
- Thoughts on what you’re currently reading ( be sure to mention the author if he/she’s on Twitter)
ex: “#AmReading Storm of Swords by @GeorgeRRMartin and just got to the Red Wedding. OMG!!!”
- Your favorite quote of all time
- A link to a news story/blog post about you and your book
- Your thoughts on a topic of interest to you and your readers
ex: “Hitchhiker’s Guide was WRONG?! I don’t buy it — what do you think? http://link.y”
- Give away a free copy of your book to a random follower
4 Terrific Twitter Tips (say that 5 times fast!)
Phew! Those topics should keep you busy for awhile, huh? Before you jump into crafting those tweets, however, I’d like to share a few general Twitter guidelines to keep in mind:
1. Keep Tweets Short
I know, I know, that’s kind of obvious, right? After all, you’re automatically limited to 140 characters when crafting your tweets. It’s actually in your best interest, however, to keep your tweets even shorter than that.
Limiting your tweets to just 120 characters makes it easy for your followers to retweet your updates without having to do any editing. Take 5 seconds to check the character count before tweeting to make sharing your content as easy as possible!
2. Don’t sound robotic
Take advantage of the fact that you’re in charge of your own promotion by making it clear that your tweets come from you — not a publisher or ghosttweeter (that’s a thing, right?)
Craft each and every one of your tweets to sound personal and engaging to your followers. For example, instead of sharing the title of a blog post, write (briefly) what it’s about before including the link (check out #4 and #24 in the list above).
3. Emulate, but stay true to yourself.
There are some awesome author-tweeters out there (not that I’m biased, but our own Shannon @ShanWrites does a great job) and you can certainly learn a lot by following them and checking out their tweets.
When it comes to planning your own, however, don’t be tempted to copy what you see. Make your tweets reflect your personality and appeal to your fanbase, not the fanbase of another author!
4. Reply to replies.
When you’re starting out on Twitter, make it a point to reply to every single (non-robotic) mention you receive.
This simple act can earn a new reader or make a connection that will benefit you in your author career. Aside from that, it’s just good manners to take the time to reply to someone who takes the time to mention you!
Now, it’s your turn! What do you tweet about on Twitter? Which types of tweets get the best response? Which authors are true Twitter Rockstars? Share your thoughts in the comments!