How To Find Your Ideal Audience On Twitter
A few weeks ago I was speaking at a symposium for authors regarding social media. We were talking about Twitter when someone asked, "How do I find my audience on Twitter? I seem to only connect with other authors, which is fine, but I want to connect with people who are interested in reading my book."
Do you struggle with this as well? I sure did. When I first started using Twitter years ago I seemed to only have followers who were other social media or marketing experts. It's great to connect with those people but I wanted to help authors and connect with them - not other experts!
So how does one remedy this? How do you connect with potential readers on Twitter?
First off, we need to make sure three essential elements are properly set up before we jump into finding your audience:
1) Make Sure Your Bio Is Complete
Your bio is the first impression a potential reader has of you and what you offer. Authors who do not have a completed bio will not see results on Twitter. Period. You can pack a lot of punch in 160 characters for your bio. The great thing is that you can always change and adjust it. You might not get it right the first time - and that's OK. Make sure you share what genre you write about and what interests you. Make a personal connection.
2) Your Bio is not a sales pitch
Your first interaction with someone should not be to push sale - it's to make a connection. The sale will come later, so don't feel the need to include links to your Amazon pages in your bio. Let potential readers get to know you and your style first. The content you share on Twitter will help usher in trust and direct them to your website. Selling your book comes much later in the process - not right off the bat.
Remember, always put yourself in your reader's shoes - how would you respond if the first face-to-face interaction you had was someone saying, "Hi! Buy my book!"
3) Include Your Picture
Make sure that you have your headshot as your Twitter avatar. People want to connect with other people, so be sure to include your picture to make this new connection all the more personable.
And while we are on the subject, here's a quick tip: Don't create separate Twitter (or Facebook, Google+, etc.) accounts for each book - have one author account for Twitter, Facebook, and so on. You need to be thinking about you writing career, not just a single book.
So now that we have that set up, let's jump into it...
Follow Other Authors' Connections
When you buy a book on Amazon, they automatically share with you other authors that you might be interested in that are similar to the book you just purchased. This approach is essentially the same thing except in reverse.
Make a list of 5-10 authors that share a similar audience with you. Think about authors, influencers, thinkers, etc., that have already established themselves or have a thriving audience. For example, if I wrote murder mystery novels I would add James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, Tami Hoag, and so on to my list.
Now that you have your list, head over to Twitter and look up their profile. Click on the "followers" tab and you will see everyone that follows that author. Now, the purpose of this isn't to just follow every single person that follows this author. There are three things we need to consider:
1) Are they active on Twitter?
2) Do they follow back?
3) Are they interacting?
Why are these questions important? Because you want to make quality connections with your ideal audience and not just grow your numbers. The purpose of Twitter isn't just to see how many people will follow your page - you want to connect with people who are interested in what you have to say and share. It's through these connections that you will see them turn into customers.
So how can you tell if these followers are active, if they follow back and are interacting on Twitter? Let's take a look...
- Take a look at how many followers they have vs. how many they are following. In the image above, you can see that the number of followers Frederick has compared to the number he is following is very close. So chances are that if you follow him he will follow you.
- Take a look at what they are posting. Are they only posting things that pertain to them and their interests? Or are they engaging with others, sharing Retweets, etc. You don't want to follow someone who is only talking AT people - you want them to be talking WITH others.
- Look at how often they post. If the last post they made was 3 months ago, move along. If you see huge gaps of time between posts, that's another indication that they aren't active.
Does this process take time? Yes, it does. But it ensures that you find quality people to make connections with to show the true power of Twitter. When you have quality followers (rather than just focusing on growing numbers) you will see a huge difference in your efforts.
FOLLOW TWITTER LISTS
If you've read my previous posts, I covered how you can use Twitter lists to maximize your Twitter presence. But there is another great way to use lists: follow other people's public lists.
Here's how you do it:
- Take the list of authors/thinker/influencers you made earlier and check out their lists. They may or may not use this resource, so it might be hit and miss.
- Go to their profile and select the "LISTS" link. There you will see all of the lists that they have created.
- As you can see from the lists on our page we have some that are open to the public and some that are private. The public lists can be seen by anyone AND you can follow those lists. Simply click on the list that you're interested in and you can subscribe to that list. Since this list of people has already been curated you can go through the list, make sure they fit the criteria (the three questions you asked yourself above) and follow those who fit your ideal audience.
This process does take time, but it is worth it. When you start following more people who are your ideal audience, you will see your numbers grow with the very people who will want to buy your book. You can't just sit back and expect your audience to find your page - you have to go find them! After all, any relationship take time and effort. Your Twitter account will have so much more value AND you will have made genuine connections with people who want to read your book.
TAKE ACTION NOW: Set aside 10-15 minutes to put one of these tactics into practice and let us know what the results were. Did you see quality growth in your followers with potential readers? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo by Gerry Dincher