Thursday, September 01, 2011

Is Twitter Working for You?

My guest blogger today is Cherie Burbach, author, blogger, poet, crocheter, and geek. Today Cherie is discussing the value of Twitter to promote your book.

Thanks for dropping by, Cherie. What's the lowdown on book promotion and Twitter?

Cherie Burbach: One of the most common things I hear from writers who used to use Twitter was that it "wasn't working" for them. But was it? Were they sure? Twitter is a different platform than Facebook or other social media outlet, so it would stand to reason that some people would love it while others would not. If you're using Twitter now (or have in the past) and figured that it just wasn't worth the effort, here are a few points that may make you change your mind.

How Did You Measure Success?

In general, it's difficult to measure the success of one piece of marketing individually. Chances are, you're probably doing a number of things to help promote your book, including writing blog posts, giving out bookmarks, linking to things on Facebook, sending postcards, and the like. When you sell a book or two, can you always pinpoint exactly where the sale came from? Marketing, in general, doesn't work that way.

The individual marketing efforts you put out there help build on each other. Readers will stumble on blog posts, tweets, and other promotional items, and eventually they will recognize you or your book and hopefully buy it. But will you ever really know where, exactly, that reader first discovered you? Even if you gave them a coupon and they used it to buy a book, you wouldn't know that the reason they are using the coupon is because they have been reading your blog or Facebook posts, for example.

Is Twitter Driving Website Traffic?

While most marketing efforts are difficult to track, one way you can determ

ine if Twitter is working is by the amount of web traffic you're getting. You'll need to use a service like Google Analytics or StatCounter to help you figure out where your traffic is coming from. These types of services will let you see specifically which tweets were used to click through to your blog or website.

Are People Retweeting Your Links?

Generally if someone uses the "RT," or retweet button on Twitter, it means that they liked your link. That's the first step in getting interaction and having them find out more about you. If they like what you tweet, they may go to your blog, or follow you to your Amazon author page, for example. You can track this by your @replies, and use this feature to thank your fellow tweeter for sending out or commenting on your link.

Are People Chatting About Your Book?

What are people saying about you or your book? Use the Twitter search function to look for your name, book title, or subject matter. Not everyone will use the "RT" function, but they might talk about your book without including you in the tweet. Twitter search is one way to track effectiveness.

Is Twitter Supporting Your Other Marketing Efforts?

Twitter is unique in that it actually helps promote the other promotion efforts you're taking part in. If you have a book signing, for example, you can promote it before, during, and after! You can include pictures of you at the event, tweet about questions that readers asked you, or even thank some of them specifically for coming out.

If you have a blog post you want to share, Twitter is yet one more way to promote it, along with Facebook, StumbleUpon, Digg, etc. Twitter works as a promotional tool, and as a way to support your other promotional efforts. Can you really afford not to give it a try?

Cherie is the About.com Guide to Friendship and has penned eleven books and ebooks, including Internet Dating Is Not Like Ordering a Pizza and 21 Ways to Promote Your Book on Twitter. She has published over 500 articles on the subjects of health, sports, and lifestyle. For more info, visit her website.

1 comment:

Editor @ the "Dew" said...

As a reviewer I try my best to keep up with all the news in the book industry, but the one peeve I have is that many people, and publishers, use Twitter and Facebook as one in the same. They link the accounts so that if I follow them on both, I see the exact same thing. So I tend to follow only authors who use Twitter in a differently than FB. I think that might be important to authors to think about because most people who are fans of the author would enjoy "hard news" on one site and the feeling that they "know" the author on the other. An excellent example of this is Matthew Norman, author of Domestic Violets. His FB page and Twitter posts tend to be completely different animals.