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How to Tweet Effectively

January 23, 2011

I know what you are thinking, that’s some kind of an oxymoron, but if you know what you are doing, you can Tweet like a pro (because you are one!)


Want proof? Um let’s see. The IBC is going to be featured in an article for a MAJOR news bundler and I was asked to sit on a panel with Writer’s Digest Jane Friedman (@janefriedman) and uber-rock star of indie books (@jsundmanus – both of whom you should follow RIGHT NOW) at #SXSW this year.


And how did we acquire such amazing opportunities? Um… yep… you guessed it… Twitter.


Think of Twitter as your 24/7 platform to provide writing samples. Your words (hopefully clever, or insightful, or poignant) are cast out into the great Twitter ocean (I mean I am assuming it is an ocean due to the ever-present fail whale – yet we must be close to shore to have all those birds… but I digress) and you never know who is going to appreciate them (or start stalking you, but that’s a whole other blog 🙂


Before I get into the mechanics (yes, there are mechanics to tweets, if you aren’t, I don’t know, tweeting about your bubble gum), of Tweeting, I need to cover few other topics first.




Before you can do anything effectively on Twitter, or any other social media platform, you need to know what your brand is and how it works. That subject is really beyond this blog but check out our free video tutorial on the basics of branding on YouTube. Also we provide completely free monthly workshops the second Tuesday of the month where we go into branding, hard and heavy.


Just know you have to know WHAT you are talking about before you can actually talk about it.


Get creative.


We are writers, so our Tweet writing (and yes, it is a form of writing) should reflect that fact. Remember we are on Twitter for a purpose. A sole purpose if you want to run a professional stream…. To sell ourselves as a trusted source of entertainment and to sell books.


So, strangely… we should, I don’t know… ENTERTAIN


Ok, so I am going to assume that you are well branded (you know what your 3 core keywords are right… RIGHT???? If not, no worries just DM us on our twitter stream @indiebookIBC to sign up for our FREE workshop that are held on the second Tuesday of every month) and are being creative.


Now where does the effective part come in? Well, actually by being branded and creative you have already upped your game tremendously. Because effective is measured in RESULTS.


How do you know how effective you are being?


Simple. There are 3 main perimeters…


Look to your Tweet to Follower ratio (just take the number of tweets you have tweeted and divide that by your number of followers). You want no more than a 2:1 ratio. That is for every 2 tweets you get a follower. A well run Twitter account should be about 1:1 and a really tightly run ship will be about 05.:1.
This shows that your message is getting out there and efficiently gathering followers


Look at your Listed to Follower ratio (take the number of times you have been listed and divide by your followers). A well branded account will be Listed about 10%. Average but well run accounts are about 5%. Anything less than that and you know that your message isn’t getting out there as well as you would like.


Now look inside your lists. What are other people listing you as? For a writer you would hope… “Writer” or “Great Writers” or “Cool Writing Tweeps”  You also want to see your genre in there “Mystery Gurus” or “Romance Addicts.” Something like that to let you know that your brand is not only being perceived but propagated as well!


So if you have a Tweet:Follower ratio of less than 2:1 and you are being listed > 5% of the time in the lists that represent you as a writer in your genre, you are tweeting very effectively!


If not… um… that’s what our workshops are for!


Don’t forget we will be covering Tweeting Effectively on our LIVE call-in radio show on Tuesday Jan 24th at 4:30pm PST (don’t worry if you are reading this after the 24th, the archive will be up at the same link). Tune in or better yet, call in with your questions! #causeIknowyouwillhavethem!!!


Also, today is Keta Diablo’s Blog Tour De Force day with her amazing novel “Where the Rain is Made.”  Check her out here.


And of course the IBC has a little give away for you today… Any comment today on this blog not only gets you 5 entries to win that free KINDLE, but also a free eBook copy of Carolyn McCray’s “HeartsBlood,” Amber Scott’s “Irish Moon,” and Rachel Thompson’s “A Walk in the Snark.” So comment away!!!!!!


Since Cristyn has been reading since an early age it isn’t really surprising that she began writing at an early one as well.  However her subject matter might come as a surprise.


Serial Killers.  Oh how she loves to catch them! #onpaperofcourse


Besides reading her Patterson-style thriller “Plain Jane” you can track Cristyn down on twitter @cristynwest and ask her exactly why she picked such a macabre subject!


“Plain Jane” is about… well if we told you much else about this taut, edgy thriller we would ruin the surprise.  This truly is one of those books you have to read to appreciate the influences of Patterson and Harris while having and complete West-spin.


Don’t believe us?  Well then check out Plain Jane’s reviews on Smashwordsand Amazon.  With dozens and dozens of reviews, the book is still clocking in at 4.6/5 stars!


“Wickedly macabre and blisteringly paced, PLAIN JANE marks the debut of a thriller for the new millennium.  Brash, funny, terrifying, and shocking, here is a story best enjoyed with all the lights on…Don’t say I didn’t warn you!”


James Rollins Top 10 NYT Best Seller (Altar of Eden and Sigma Series)


Cristyn’s debut novel can be found onSmashwords (where you can purchase ANY digital format you need with the exception of Kindle) and for the print or Kindle edition!


Cristyn is like… everywhere.  Twitter,Facebook, and GoodReads.  Feel free to contact her if you have any questions… or would like to praise her #shelovesthat


9 Comments leave one →
  1. Shannon permalink
    January 24, 2011 12:01 am

    I’m thankful for the info, but intimidated too. I write romance, but I’m mostly looking to market my other writing (the day-to-day bill paying stuff I do). Do you know of any sites or people to follow for advice on marketing, I guess, technical writing? See, I’m confused *falls at your feet*

  2. January 24, 2011 2:13 am

    Thank you for a highly informative and entertaining post. I’ve taken a pageful of notes! I clicked on two new professionals to follow on Twitter (I am already following Jane Freidman.) I have a new author to enjoy, Cristyn West, and I plan to follow up on the FREE workshop!

  3. January 24, 2011 4:47 am

    Very interesting post about tweeting effectively. I’ve only been tweeting for a few months. I believe I’ve built up a supportive and fun network of, predominantly, fellow writers and also artists, photogaphers and others. I know being on twitter has driven traffic to my blog and resulted in a few sales of my book – but not in any big way. And that’s ok. I only have 160 followers but I’m listed on 16 lists as a writer. But my tweet to follower ratio is pathetic – over 1000 tweets. However, I suppose a fair number of my tweets are thank yous and #FFs etc. I’ve also blocked quite a lot of followers – spammers, of course and people who don’t interact.

    Your post has made me think – I need more focus – perhaps to be more pushy -but that doesn’t come naturally – plus it’s early days. I’m going to check out your youtube advice. Many thanks for this thought provoking post.

  4. January 24, 2011 9:07 am

    Holy crapola was this every a great and timely post! You guys have, like, math and stuff to measure tweets?!? Amazing. Will definitely be getting in on the next workshop and keep up the fantastic work!

  5. Kristina permalink
    January 24, 2011 9:59 am

    I’m with Shannon. This is great information but definitely intimidating. I’m not giving up though.

  6. January 24, 2011 10:48 am

    Great post! I am so not Twitter savvy. I’ve been on twitter for a few months myself. Almost just feel like I’m stalking other people trying to figure out what I’m doing. 😀

    I’ll have to check out the workshop. Sounds like a real learning experience.

  7. Cathy M permalink
    January 24, 2011 2:10 pm

    Though I’ve never used twitter, I enjoyed reading your fun facts.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  8. January 24, 2011 2:29 pm

    Great math. Thanks for breaking it down like that.

  9. Cindy L permalink
    January 24, 2011 5:06 pm

    Wow! I feel like I need a passport for all of the places that I’ve been touring! After reading the reviews for Plain Jane on Amazon, I had to add it to my wish list!

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