Friday, November 15, 2013

How to use Twitter to expand your #AuthorPlatform

Unless you are completely unfamiliar with social media, you've at least heard of Twitter. A social media platform where you send out messages of 140 characters or less. When I first heard about it in 2008, someone explained it to me as a site based entirely on Facebook Updates. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of," I said with disdain. Fast forward to when I decided to indie publish and I knew I needed an author platform. Blog… and what else? I wanted my internet presence to amount to more than a few blog posts that would get lost in the void. So then I reluctantly went to Twitter. I created my profile and tried to figure it out. Fast forward again, and I'm at nearly 4K followers and I pretty much "live" on Twitter.
It is my absolute favorite way to connect with readers/bloggers/fans/other awesome people. It's also a quick way to reach a lot of people that you might not be able to reach. So how do you make Twitter work for you?
1. Follow as many book people/bloggers as you can. Don't do this all at once, because Twitter will think you are a spambot and shut down your account for a few days. Follow people who write in your genre, bloggers you read, agents you might be interested in. I'd also suggest following @maureenjohnson and @TaherehMafi, both authors who are brilliant at using Twitter.
2. Watch and learn. I spent at least a week just creeping on other people's Twitter feeds to figure out "how" to tweet. What people liked, what they found interesting/funny. Which leads me to…
3. Figure out your Twitter "style". This is very much like figuring out your writing style. I try to tweet in the same style that my books are, so people can judge what kind of books I write based on my tweets. I follow the styles of Maureen and Tahereh because they are similar to my personality. Some have described my feed as a string of non-sequitors and it is. Some of my tweets this week:

I also live-tweet events and my observations on them, like the Oscars, or the Superbowl. Other people find these observations amusing, so I normally gain a few followers during those times. I also added a "follow me on Twitter" option to all my contest entries.
4. Tweet! The best way to start is by responding to people. It feels REALLY WEIRD at first to tweet a complete stranger, but most people on Twitter are used to it. My beta reader/very good friend and I met on Twitter when I tweeted about sending out ARCs of one of my books. When you respond to people, that opens up a conversation and then those people will see how lovely and smart and witty you are and follow you back. The way to gain followers is to ENGAGE. The way to LOSE followers is by spamming EVERYONE with links to buy your books.
5. Host contests for bookmarks/swag/ARCs on Twitter. This is a quick and easy way to get some buzz going.
6. Join a chat. Every Thursday night I participate in #NALitChat, which is a chat for authors of New Adult. If you are unfamiliar with that little number sign and what it is doing in front of those words, read on. That is called a hashtag, and anything after that (WITHOUT spaces or punctuation) turns into a link that you can click on, and see what other people are saying about that subject. It's like a flag to add to your tweet so people can see what it's about.
7. #Use #Hashtags #ToYou #Advantage. There are a few writing #Hashtags like: #amwriting, #amediting, and those for various genres and categories.
8. BE YOURSELF. This is MOST important :)

Now get #Hashtagging!

Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA and Adult New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman). She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.
Her New Adult Contemporary Romance titles include My Favorite Mistake, which has been bought by Harlequin along with a sequel, My Sweetest Escape (January 28, 2014), Deeper We Fall and Faster We Burn and For Real (November 14, 2013) and the novella, Christmas Catch (November 1, 2014).

Her Young Adult books include Nocturnal, Nightmare, Neither, and Neverend (The Noctalis Chronicles) and Whisper, the first in The Whisper Trilogy. The second and third books in the series, Silence and Listen, will be out in 2014.

Her Adult Contemporary Romance titles include Sweet Surrendering, and, coming soon, Dark Surrendering.

Visit her online: 


  1. Well I do believe I've seen some of your clever tweets during #nalitchat. ;) I was the same about Twitter at first, and once I started hopping into the chats, it became so much fun. Such a great way to make connections. And you've got some excellent tips here.
    I try to remind myself too that if people didnt wanna be sociable they wouldnt be on there in the first place. ;)

  2. Thanks for the tips. I'm new at Twitter so this is really helpful. I'll follow you to learn how it's done.

  3. I'm trying to get back into using my twitter account. I spent an hour last night 'unfollowing' people I didn't know why I followed in the first place.

  4. These tips are fantastic! I would add, no spamming, especially through direct messaging!