Building a large Twitter following is a must for self-publishing authors
Using Twitter as a means of promoting your books is now almost a must, as Twitter is a great platform for marketing and book promotion. Along with Facebook, of course, these are the two best platforms for attracting attention to your writing.
While gaining a lot of Facebook Likes to your Page usually means paying for Facebook advertising, getting new Twitter followers can be done easily for free.
But attracting new followers, and hence, potential new readers or book buyers takes a little work. If you are not taking action to continually build your Twitter following, you really should take some action now to correct the situation.
The good news is that it is very easy, and if you enact the following step-by-step procedure, take your time and be methodical, you will see your Twitter account growing every day. The two keys to building your Twitter account are to follow new users regularly and to unfollow inactive users and those who do not follow you back.
Now, you might be a little hesitant about unfollowing users, but you will not risk your Twitter account being suspended for unfollowing. Twitter, in fact, has no unfollow limits.
However, although Twitter doesn’t explain this very well, it does have a policy against what it calls churning, which can lead to account suspension. Churning is the process of following and unfollowing a lot of Twitter users very quickly, or over and over again. You can read Twitter’s best practices for more detail.
So let’s get started on making your Twitter account work for you, and help you sell more books.
Start cleaning up your Twitter account
Before you start following new users, you should clean your account of inactive users. You want to achieve a ratio balance of your account, which means having more followers than you are following.
This doesn’t mean that you need a huge ratio difference, but if you are following 1,000s more users than are following you, it will make it difficult for you to follow new users. As long as your follower count is slightly above your following count, you have a good ratio.
The first step is to register with a Twitter unfollowing service. There are many, but I have been using Manage Flitter for a long time now and it works extremely efficiently.
Step One. Go to Manage Flitter and register your Twitter account, and then have it analyse your account. It will list all the Twitter accounts you are following. You are now ready to do some cleaning.
Step Two. Look on the left of the screen for the button ‘Inactive Users’. Click it and you will see a list of dead Twitter accounts and these will be the very first accounts that you will unfollow. In the upper part of the screen, there is a button, ‘Order’. Click it and then click ‘Follow Order’ to see the oldest accounts listed first. Don’t unfollow any accounts just yet though.
Step Three. At the top left there is a button, ‘Not Following Back’ Click this to see users who are not following you back. Again, click the ‘Order’ button at the top, and then ‘Follow Order’ to see the oldest to the newest. Now you have a clear view of which accounts haven’t followed you back.
Step Four. Go back to the Inactive Users and set the order again, from oldest to newest, then click the ‘Unfollow’ button to the left of the top account. You just unfollowed a dead Twitter account.
Step Five. This is important, so read this very carefully. Take your time, and don’t rush into unfollowing too many accounts at any one time. It’s going to take a few weeks or more to get your account back in order. So, the first time you use Manage Flitter, only unfollow around 40 -50 accounts, then leave it and wait for 24 hours before you unfollow another 40. Do this daily for ten days, unfollowing Inactive accounts first, and then unfollow the oldest accounts that haven’t followed you back.
Step Six. After a week or two, your account will be much cleaner, and you can start thinking about attracting new followers. The first step on this path is to follow back those who already follow you. Following back is the very best way of building a Twitter following. Be wary though, and only follow back those who you believe to be genuine accounts and not spammers. Never follow back an account without a profile image and bio.
Step Seven. After a few weeks, you should have a more balanced and usable Twitter account, so start following new accounts every day in the hope that they will follow you back. Say, 50-60 at most. Look at who follows people you know, as they are usually interested in what you are interested in too. Books and writing. But, do not follow huge accounts with millions of followers. They’ll never follow back, so why bother?
Keep up your new routine of following new accounts, and unfollowing 40-50 Inactive and Not Following Back accounts every few days.
But, be careful DO NOT unfollow any account you have recently followed. That is ‘churning’ and could lead to your account being suspended. Wait at least 4 – 5 weeks before unfollowing any accounts you have followed.
Step Eight. Now that you have a growing Twitter account, check back into Manage Flitter once a week or so, and do a little housekeeping, and keep your Twitter account working for you. Before you know it, your Twitter account will be growing, and so will your potential readership and book sales.
Don’t rush into trying to build your Twitter account. It will be a continual work in progress for you as part of your book promotion. Doing a little every day will bring you a steady stream of new followers if you make it a part of your daily routine.
Remember to clean your account first, then start following 50 or so users every day. Clean out inactive users every few days, and allow at least a four weeks before you unfollow any users who did not follow you back.
This has been my routine for years now and has helped me build a Twitter following of over 150,000.
Once you see your Twitter account growing, you will be building a wider audience for your comments, blog posts and your promotional book posts.