Gain an Audience Using Twitter

One key to selling your book, photo book or calendar is finding an audience who is interested in your topic. Website forums have been a good way to speak to people who share your same interests, but finding the right websites to post on can take quite a bit of time and effort.

In the past year, another great way to find and communicate with people who share your interests has emerged: Twitter. This web-based communication tool allows you to have conversations with numerous people whether they share your interests or are simply interesting in their own right. If you’re shy, you don’t have to actively engage people in conversation; you can follow people that interest you and sit back and watch the conversations unfold.

Twitter allows you to communicate in 140 characters or less. You can also share links to longer blog posts, news items, or websites. The current political candidates are using Twitter to organize their supporters and keep people informed about what is happening in their campaigns.

To use Twitter simply sign up for an account and get a username. The process is easy and only takes a few minutes. You also can use a picture (or an image of your book) to represent yourself.

Once you create an account you need to start finding people to follow. You can input your email account details and Twitter will show you if people you already know are using the service. You should also use the search tool to find people who are talking about topics that you want to follow . I did a search for “Lulu.com” to find other authors who use Lulu. Simply follow each user to create a list of people who are interested in Lulu.com and self-publishing.

Try searching for other topics that interest you. I enjoy hockey and am working on a book about youth hockey, so I searched for “hockey” and then followed other people who enjoy the sport. This has allowed me to join in on conversations with my target audience: hockey fans. As I have gotten to know them, I have been able to talk to them about ideas for my book, and even solicit feedback on some of my chapters. I know that once I release my book, I will have a built-in audience that is not only interested in my work, but has also participated in its creation.

Once you start following people, you can begin to see their conversations and whom they talk to. Start following people you find your friends talking with. Always remember, the messages you post will be viewable by everyone unless you send a direct message to an individual user. Before you know it, you’ll be networking and making friends. To get started, you can follow Lulu.com HERE and weRead HERE.

There are a number of other tools to help you:

Twellow.com: Directory of Twitter users
Twitter Search: See what people are talking about
Twirl: Put Twitter on your desktop

Questions? Comments? Post Below!

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13 Comments

  1. Please leave your Twitter name in the comments so we can follow you.

    Follow me here http://www.twitter.com/danlondon

  2. I’ve been surprised about how much traffic Twitter generates. Feels like Myspace in its infancy. Might get corrupted by spam eventually by right now’s the time to use it because people are just discovering it.

    http://twitter.com/selfpubreview

  3. As a book marketing coach, I am a big fan of using networking tools like Twitter and Facebook to promote books and authors. Twitter is a great way to meet people who share an interest in your book topic. I recommend doing a Twitter search for your keywords once a week to find people to follow. (Newbie tip: The Search button is at the bottom of the screen. Type your keywords in quotes.). Also, be sure to use keywords in your posts to help people find you. You can follow me at @BookMarketer.
    Here’s to your book marketing success!
    Dana

  4. Cherry Guy

    I have been using Twitter to promote my books and my website and it can generate a lot of traffic. The key is building a relationship with your followers by offering value. I believe that is the biggest challenge.

    http://www.traversebayfarms.com or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fruitadvantage

  5. Great article; congratulations on your inspiring success.

    Bill Misner Ph.D.

  6. Peter John Smith

    I am trying to get into my lulu to revise
    and upload a new book but cannot get in.
    My password is correct. The help line
    asks me to go to email but for that I need
    to loggin. Any one please help

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8 Trackbacks

  1. [...] few days ago Dan shared some insights for gaining an audience via Twitter. In addition to participating in this particular community to [...]

  2. [...] John, and I followed up with different ways to use the internet to achieve that goal, whether you Gain an Audience Using Twitter, Use the Power of a Blog to Promote Your Work, or Take it to the Web with Tools for Online [...]

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    [...] with your friends, fans, and family. It’s micro-blogging at it’s best. Check out the Lulu Blog for some marketing [...]

  5. By Lulu Author Interview: Marty Wombacher | Lulu Blog on February 10, 2009 at 9:55 am

    [...] am a huge fan of the social networking tool Twitter and have added all of the Lulu authors I can find who use the tool. (Follow me here and Lulu here.) [...]

  6. By Buy This Book! | Lulu Blog on March 19, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    [...] Create a Twitter account: Twitter is a global community and enables complete strangers with common interests to connect with one another. You are sure to get more followers if you share relevant information about your genre, industry or if you just have a unique perspective on things. For proper Twitter etiquette, be sure to follow those that are following you because it allows discussions and Direct Messages to take place creating a truly unique global networking opportunity. A word to the wise: to keep followers happy be sure not to post more than 3 tweets in a row, people will get turned off and stop following you. Read more about Twitter on the Lulu blog. [...]

  7. [...] impersonal messages. They all started a conversation with me. For now, here is my post on using Twitter to gain an audience and we will have more social networking how-to posts coming [...]

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    [...] with anything, gaining Twitter followers does not happen overnight. I initially wrote about how to use Twitter last year to find an audience, but with more and more people using the service, having your voice [...]

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