5 Top Tools for Promoting Your Book on Twitter

by Joel Friedlander on February 10, 2012 · 29 comments

Post image for 5 Top Tools for Promoting Your Book on Twitter

by Steven Lewis (@Rule17)

Today I have the pleasure of introducing readers to Steven Lewis, another great blogger and self-publisher who I met on Twitter. Steven is a prolific writer, an author and helps people publish their books to the Kindle platform. Today he’s got great tips for you if you want to use Twitter to promote your book. Here’s his article.


The five best tools for promoting your book on Twitter

Twitter is the second greatest source of traffic to my Taleist self-publishing blog after Google. As your blog is also where many of your readers might go before buying your books that promotional power makes Twitter an essential part of any author platform and marketing strategy.

Fortunately Twitter is an ecosystem in which talented developers are thriving by making useful tools. Five in particular have become crucial to me since I realised the importance of Twitter to my success and started taking my use of the network seriously.

Klout
Klout

Klout tries to quantify how “influential” you are on Twitter. There’s room for debate about how Klout measures this but it’s undoubtedly a useful benchmarking tool. I use my Klout score as feedback to gauge how useful I’m being to my followers.

Tweepie
Tweepi

If you want more followers and you aren’t a Kardashian, you have to go out and find them.

I use Tweepi to find people with common interests. If you follow Joel on Twitter, I think you and I might find each other interesting.

Tweepi lets me enter Joel’s Twitter handle — @jfbookman — to see a list of his followers and select which ones I want to follow. (It’s worth noting that one of Tweepi’s premium features allows you to exclude people with a low Klout score, just one indication of how Klout is becoming important in the Twittersphere.)

Naturally I’m hoping that this is reciprocated and that you’ll follow me back. I’ve met some great people this way.


Tweriod
Tweriod

Having made all these new friends I want to know to know when the best time to connect is. I have followers all over the world and there’s no point tweeting when most people offline.

Tweriod will give you a report of when your followers are most active so you can concentrate your tweets around those times or at least hold off the most important ones till they will reach the biggest audience.

Hootsuite
Hootsuite

For me 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. turns out to be a good time but I’m exercising and having breakfast then, not tweeting.

Hootsuite lets me schedule tweets so I can be sure messages are going at the best time. When I write a blog post, for instance, I tweet three times in 24 hours so I reach all time zones.

With Hootsuite I can also have a column for each of my lists and columns for replies and direct messages. This is important to me because there are some people I follow especially closely and I want to see all their tweets. That’s hard to do when you’re receiving tweets from thousands of people.

TweetDeck has similar features.

Buffer
Buffer

Tweeting links to content that self-publishers will find interesting requires finding those links in the first place. I do this mostly in the evening while I go through my RSS feeds on my iPad. If I tweeted all the links as I found them, I’d be sending out a burst of tweets. This would be a shell burst that might overwhelm followers who were awake and I wouldn’t reach any followers who are active at other times.

Ideally I would spread these tweet out over the day but with a focus on the times when Tweriod has told me they’re most likely to be useful. This is exactly what Buffer lets me do. I send the tweets to Buffer and it rations them out to a schedule I set.

Tweeting with Klout

You might have soldiered through all that and thought it’s too complicated. If you do feel that way, maybe pick a couple of ideas and work on those. I can tell you that my Klout score was 40/100 when I started and it’s now about 50. That might not sound too high but wait till you try it till you judge!

What are your favorite tools for promoting on Twitter?

Twitter TipsSteven Lewis writes the Taleist self-publishing blog, where you can sign-up for his social media check-up, a free email course showing you easy ways to make sure you’re using social media to maximum effect in promoting your books.

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    { 22 comments… read them below or add one }

    Govind Choudhary March 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Wow awesome tools to promote anything on twitter,i had never used these tools.Let me give a try to them :)

    Reply

    @sylviahubbard1 February 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    When I got a windows phone I found out about seesmic.com ping which schedules tweets for you and sends out tweets plus connects yr Facebook and LinkedIn. I found this easier to use on my phones and tablet than hootesuite.

    Reply

    Joan Reeves February 11, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Hello, Steven, how are you? Great article about using Twitter.

    Joel, glad you had Steven on. I always learn so much from your blog.

    Best wishes,
    Joan Reeves

    Reply

    Steven Lewis February 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    James,

    Your first point was that Twitter was some fantastical cross between a cemetery of dead accounts and a madhouse filled with people shouting at their own echoes.

    Then it became your argument that Twitter wasn’t just full of dead accounts, Kardashians and desperate spruikers shouting in an “empty hallway”. Twitter was in fact capable of driving “blog hits”, it was just that this traffic didn’t convert to “bottom line income”.

    Now, it I’m following the thread, which has become hard, it’s the case that “bottom line income” isn’t important to authors unless they’re “hawking” how-to books.

    Is it worth pointing out that you’re the one who brought income into it in the first place? This was an uncontroversial, practical post about making the most of Twitter not anything advocating it is a get-rich-quick tool.

    I believe you’ve made your points that Twitter is dead or, if that doesn’t convince, that its users aren’t an author’s desired audience.

    I hope your blog continues to bring you pleasure and that you find places to promote it and interact with others whose views you respect, whether that’s Twitter or something else.

    Reply

    James February 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    “Your first point was that Twitter was some fantastical cross between a cemetery of dead accounts and a madhouse filled with people shouting at their own echoes.”

    Nope: it was the point of a fairly extensive study done by people other than me.

    “Now, it I’m following the thread, which has become hard, it’s the case that “bottom line income” isn’t important to authors unless they’re “hawking” how-to books. ”

    You described “online businesses”. Are authors “online businesses”?

    “I hope your blog continues to bring you pleasure and that you find places to promote it and interact with others whose views you respect, whether that’s Twitter or something else.”

    Steven, I hope the guest posts and optimized linking results in improvement to your online business.

    But most of all, I hope writers out there will decide to write because they have something to say and something to contribute to the stream of human consciousness, not because they want to make a lot of money self-publishing. And based on the people I’ve read and talked to over the past few years, the latter type of writer is becoming far more common.

    Reply

    james February 10, 2012 at 11:33 am

    The heavy majority of Twitter users (about 92%) are now mobile users.

    I blogged about the real story of Twitter users herre:
    http://techsavvywriter.com/2011/07/whos-really-using-twitter/

    In short: 10% of Twitter users generate 90% of its content, and a large percentage of Twitter “users” are actually dead accounts (no tweets, and no access beyond the initial time or two).

    Readers, I know how much you’ll hear professional bloggers and social media experts try and extol the virtues and benefits of Twitter, but the numbers keep bearing it out–there’s no “there” there. Will it benefit your bottom line? Maybe, but you’re not going to be able to quantify it. And given that, ask yourself–why should I spend hours of my life trying to “mine” the so-called Twitter user base?

    Is it a communication tool? Yes, and you can reach readers and peers that way (but mostly peers). But at best it can be an additional outlet. And again, the studies bear it out–Twitter is a vacant hallyway filled with press releases, Kardashian-style news, and a *lot* of desperate folks shouting down an empty hallway (and mistaking the echoes from their peers as validation of their efforts).

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander February 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    James,

    the numbers keep bearing it out–there’s no “there” there. Will it benefit your bottom line? Maybe, but you’re not going to be able to quantify it.

    FYI, over the last 30 days, this blog has received 12,163 visits solely through referral, of which 32.41% or 3,942 visits—over 130 per day—from Twitter. Real numbers, quantifiable and directly affecting my bottom line, since this is a commercial site. In fact, after search, Twitter is my biggest source of traffic.

    Reply

    Steven Lewis February 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I’m with Joel, I have real numbers, too.

    Sure, there are lots of dead accounts just as there are a lot of dead people. It doesn’t make the living less effective.

    It’s perfectly possible to track the effectiveness of Twitter on one’s site by, for instance, tracking those who arrive via Twitter and go on to convert, for instance by buying something.

    And it’s not just Twitter that is filled with people shouting or misunderstanding the medium. Don’t they say that the majority of email sent today is spam? I’d still be lost without my email and find the email courses I offer to be a great source of business.

    Reply

    James February 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    “I’m with Joel, I have real numbers, too. ”

    Let’s see them, Steven. If this is to be meaningful, reliable advice for writing pros, then help us with facts.

    “It’s perfectly possible to track the effectiveness of Twitter on one’s site by, for instance, tracking those who arrive via Twitter and go on to convert, for instance by buying something.”

    Yes, I understand, and I understand SEO. But you’re talking mainly to professional bloggers and short e-book hawkers here, aren’t you? Or have you discovered a way to track a Twitter visitor coming to your site, then going on to buy your novel at Amazon? No–I’m not talking about affiliate links.

    You see, my main point (and the main point of researchers in my blog post I linked to) is not that users can’t make a few pennies off of visitors, but that Twitter is largely an empty hallway.

    Any thought about that research?

    Reply

    James February 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Joel,

    You’re proving my point, really. “Blog hits” from Twitter feeds don’t equal bottom line effects either. If you believe they do, then tell me how much sales each hit has translated into, and how you calculated it.

    I understand you’re a big fan of SEO, and you’re a professional blogger, but “traffic” does not equal “bottom line income”. Yes, despite the mass wish fulfillment that is SEO.

    Reply

    Steven Lewis February 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I don’t follow your argument. If one has an online business then traffic must equal bottom line income. Without traffic how could one have income in an online business?

    If you mean each additional visitor isn’t necessarily going to buy from you, that seems a little obvious so perhaps I’m not understanding you.

    Reply

    James February 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    “If one has an online business then traffic must equal bottom line income. ”

    Unless I’m mistaken, most of Joel’s readers are not “online business” owners hawking “how to” e-books, they’re self-published novelists and book writers. Do some of those folks also hawk products and services on blogs like Joel’s? Yes, but they’re just one part of the story.

    Joel Friedlander February 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Yes, certainly traffic does not equal income, since you’re missing a step.

    Traffic + conversions = income.

    If SEO efforts increase targeted traffic—which they do—conversions go up = more income.

    Not that complicated, really, just standard internet marketing stuff.

    Reply

    James February 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    “Traffic + conversions = income. ”

    That’s part of my point, Joel–the “conversions”.

    I don’t know how to make it any plainer to readers–when people claim that Twitter is an “effective” way to get readers to buy your work, ask them to prove it with cold, hard numbers. Then, ask them how about the time it took.

    Then, ask them to quantify how much your bottom line will suffer if you *don’t* use Twitter. If they can’t answer all three of those question satisfactorily, then the rest is up to you.

    Jason Aydelotte February 10, 2012 at 9:55 am

    If you like Buffer and Tweriod, try timely.is. Basically both those sites in one. It figures out the most effective timing for you automatically, based on reactions and retweets from your last 200 posts and then posts from a queue you set up (1 – 9/day, weekends on or off, etc). Cannot recommend it highly enough.

    I use Hootsuite all day, every day. My only Twitter application, though I use the main Twitter App on my phone, as even Hootsuite is too much there.

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander February 10, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Jason, thanks for the tip. I use my phone quite a bit for Twitter and, having gone through most of the apps that seemed decent, I finally ponied up for Tweetbot ($2.99) and it’s by far the best one I’ve used and also has the most polished interface, you might check it out.

    Reply

    Steven Lewis February 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Hi Jason, timely.is sounds fantastic and I will be trying it immediately. I noticed the other day that Crowdbooster also recommends optimal times to tweet so everyone’s getting in on the act, which makes me wonder if Hootsuite will have to follow. There is no reason they couldn’t do what Buffer and the others are doing.

    Reply

    Diana Jackson February 10, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I only discovered Hootsuite through a friend in my writers’ group and its made such a difference. I only write for two days in the week and so up til now had only tweeted two or three times a week. This opens up the other days to me which is great. I will certainly look at the other applications. Matt menitons he uses Buffer to do the same as Hootsuite. Are they similar apps?
    Thanks for your ideas
    Diana

    Reply

    Steven Lewis February 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Hi Diana,

    Hootsuite is great but different from Buffer in that in Hootsuite you have to schedule each tweet by selecting the day and time it should go. In Buffer you’re just lining tweets up in the chute and it launches them one at at a time in the order you added them and to the general schedule you set. You might, for instance, have told Buffer to tweet three times a day at 3 a.m., 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If you have nine tweets in your Buffer queue they’ll just go one by one at those times over the next three days.

    Reply

    Turndog Millionaire February 10, 2012 at 6:08 am

    Some good tips. I really like Buffer and Tweriod. I also keep a close eye on my Klout score. It gets a bit addicting doesn’t it?

    I don’t use Hootsuite, but do have Tweetdeck. I don’t use it too often though. i generally use Buffer to stagger my tweets

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    Reply

    Steven Lewis February 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    For me it’s not so much that Klout is addictive it’s that it’s competitive. I don’t mind if others go up and I stay the same but I hate it when my own score drops!

    Reply

    Claude Nougat February 11, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Klout is still a bit of a mystery to me: my score went to 47 then down to 43 and in spite of this drop, they insist I’m “steady” and that my reach has “grown”…So I don’t think I get it…This said, I found your post very useful with respect to Twitter! Thanks a lot!

    Reply

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