You know I am a massive fan of Twitter, so today I'm going to share my thoughts on how to use it to build your author platform. Remember the four foundations to get your online presence up and running - Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter.
Twitter is about building a network of like-minded people around you in cyberspace, and largely people you've never met before. What do they say - Facebook connects you with people you went to school with and Twitter connects you with the people you wish you'd went to school with. This 140 character phenomenon allows the flow of information, advice, tips and industry news to be shared amongst millions instantly worldwide.
And guess what - you can use it to promote yourself and your work! Here's how:
First and foremost, sign up for an account. It's free - and simple. Keep your username relatively short and remember it's part of your author brand so nothing obscure. Also, make sure you really use the profile paragraph to describe yourself and update it when your writing / freelance career takes a different turn.
Search for people in the writing community. Following a few of the thought leaders will lead you to more people you may be interested in.
Something I'm only dabbling in at the moment but by no means using effectively is the list feature. Twitter lists allows you to create categories of people and organisations to follow all at once. Start by finding lists created by someone in your niche and then have a go at setting up your own list. The more people you follow, the more important (and useful) this feature gets.
Follow the tweets. You don't need to be tweeting at this stage. Just read what people in your niche are putting out there and click through to any relevant links. At this point I started marking interesting tweets as "Favourites" so I could come back to them. The amount of information can be overwhelming, but stay calm.
Tweet valuable information. This is my last pointer and for me what the Twittersphere is all about. Once you feel confident, write some great content to help others and get it out there. For every self promoting tweet, give a tweet or re-tweet back that's useful. Twitter is not just about selling.
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.