Tips for Using Twitter

by | Feb 13, 2009 | Book Marketing Basics

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If you’ve pondered using Twitter but aren’t sure how to use it effectively or if you’ve been on Twitter for a while and aren’t sure if you’re maximizing it as you should be, here are some quick tips to give you some great twittering-ideas:

• Teach stuff – teach a little mini-lesson on Twitter. Delve into your area of expertise or just talk about book publishing and how to get published.

• Share sites or blogs that your followers would be interested in. Be their “filter” to new and exciting information.

• Use to post tweets to your account for later posting so you don’t have to be sitting on top of Twitter every minute of the day.

• Use Twitter as a news source: you can easily announce news both from your world (as long as it relates to your topic) and from the world of your expertise. So for example I’ve done tweets on book industry stuff, breaking news, etc.

• Widen your network – follow other Twitter folk, this will not only give you some ideas for your own “tweets” but it’s a great way to network with other writers or professionals.

• Offer advice: use or Twitter Search ( to see who’s asking for info on your area of expertise and then offer them some help/insight. This is a great way to build relationships.

• It’s ok to market yourself but be careful about pimping your stuff too much.

• Be Original, useful and helpful.

• If you’re on tour with your book or doing an event, tweet on that and invite your local followers to attend.

• Tweet any good reviews your book gets, it’s always fun to share the good stuff!

• Every Tweet counts (don’t tell people you’re washing your cat) don’t just tweet on useless stuff or you’ll lose followers

• It’s not all about you (again, back to the cat) people want to know useful stuff, I know, it’s getting repetitive but there’s a reason: it’s important

• Promote your Twitter account in your email signature line and on your blog

• Network: don’t expect your followers to grow if you’re not following other people. Network, search for others in your area and follow them.

• Personal is ok. Even though I said not to post useless information it’s still not a bad idea to (from time to time) post a personal Tweet or two. Provide value and twitter-followers will beat a path to your door.

• Follow everyone who follows you. You can use sites like and to autofollow everyone who follows you. These services can also send a nice welcome message to your new followers.

• There is a lot of noise on Twitter, the sooner you get comfortable with that the better. It’s like being at one massive cocktail party, you have to find ways to filter out the noise. Sites like Tweetlater can help you do that.

• Imbed a link or some other sign up in your welcome message, this is another great way to capture emails for your newsletter (assuming you have one).

• Use sites like Tweetlater or Twitter Search to see who’s talking about you and then follow them too or comment on their tweet.

• It’s ok to repeat your tweets. With the volume of messages people get your followers will often miss some of your posts.

• Feed your blog through Twitter using

• Join Help a Reporter out @skydiver for tweets on media leads (it’s a great service!).

• Don’t feel like you have to respond to every tweet but I generally try to respond to all tweets that are replies to mine (you can find these under @replies on your Twitter home page).

• Want to stay on top of your market and find stuff to Tweet about? Then go to and search for your category. There are thousands of them up there. Here are a few to consider:, and

• Review a product or book on Twitter

• Follow big names in your market on Twitter: this will often bring in their followers too and you want to see what the “big guys” are up to.

• Get a good picture: don’t leave your avatar blank. Personalize your page if you can but a good Twitter picture is a must.

• is a lot like Google alerts. You can plug in your keywords and you’re pinged each time they are used.

• Are you ready to add pictures to your Tweets? Then head on over to, this site will let you upload pictures and tweet to them.

• Videos can also be shared on Twitter and is a great way to record a video (12 seconds long, hence the name) and share it with your followers.

• Music on Twitter is also possible thanks to TwittyTunes ( this site is great for sharing music and it has a simple Firefox add-in that lets you Twitter on music you’re currently listening to!


  1. Sheila Deeth

    Great advice. I’m heading off to try and take advantage of it. Thank you.

  2. Penny

    Thanks, I’m glad you liked this – good luck on Twitter. What’s your “handle”?

  3. Kathleen Gage

    Great tips! I find TweetLater to be one of the best tools out there. Have to check out TwittyTunes!

  4. Penny

    Hey Kathleen! Thanks for checking in – yes, Tweetlater is great. I love it…

  5. srdha

    i gust want to say some thing “great job”

    Update your Twitter randomly according to your intrest Or, from Rss Feed Or, from your own tweet message list Or, Any combination of the above three

  6. Robert Pelton

    Need to know Where I can get a copy of your twitter book offered in a package deal a short time ago. Thanks, Robert

  7. Jennifer Swanson

    Do you have any advice for how to pick a “handle”? What if your name is already taken? Do you make it funny or somehow relate it to your writing? Thanks for any advice you can give.


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