Where to Start
If you're Twitter savvy this blog post is not for you. There are still many people out there who just don't get the whole Twitter thing. The first thing they need to do is create a Twitter account.
There are lots of reasons people use Twitter. I'm not a celebrity junkie so I don't follow any stars, but that could be a reason you might want to Tweet. Do you like to hear the news as soon as it happens? Do you have a book or product you want to promote? Do you want to help your friends promote a product or book? Once you follow someone you can just click retweet and their tweet will retweet to your followers.
The best part of a Tweet is that it is short and sweet. Each Tweet is limited to 140 characters including punctuation and spaces. Twitter will automatically shorten any link you include. As you Tweet, the number of characters you have left appears next to the Tweet button. Did you bake a cake, review a book, or have a cover reveal? Tweet the info and include a link if you want to. No need to try and condense the entire recipe into 140 characters - just add the link.:) You can pre-schedule Tweets just like you do a blog. You can also pay Tweeting companies to put your Tweets out there. I've never done this so I can't say if it works or not. Many of my writing groups are very supportive and we retweet often. Here's one of my Tweets from this morning.
In the search box put in a name or email of someone you're interested in following. Start with mine if you'd like. My Twitter name is benjaminzelda. If you want to mention me in a tweet you would type @benjaminzelda. People will follow you, but you don't have to follow them back.
Words preceded by a # sign are hashtags. They are used to categorize keywords and topics. Chocolate Couture is a story that has a fashion component. I want people with a kindle, romance readers, and anyone interested in fashion to check out my book. Step out of your comfort level and use different hashtags.
This is something new. Twitter is allowing you to see your Twitter activity. Don't panic if you're just getting acquainted with Twitter. You don't have to do this. It's not on your Twitter page. You have to go to analytics.twitter.com to find the info.
What I like about this feature is that I can check to see if certain hashtags are engaged more than others. I can correlate the number of impressions and engagements with the sales number of my Montlake books on my Author Central page. Do weekends get more impressions and engagements than weekdays? Does the time of day that I Tweet make a difference?
Read Tweets to see what engages you. Which hashtags get your attention. I've found that starting my Tweet with a quote related to the subject of the book I'm promoting gets more engagement than just Tweeting the link.
Peace, Love, and Chocolate.