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11 Twitter Tips for Writers

1. Why should you use Twitter?

Twitter is a great place to network. It has a strong, welcoming community of writers plus you can network with your target audience - those who might buy your book.


2. Your account

Some people set up separate Twitter accounts for their writing and have another personal account. You can do either. If you have more than one account you can manage them with platforms such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck otherwise you spend all your time logging in and logging out of Twitter.


Sometimes it’s necessary to have different accounts. When I ran a travel website I set up a separate account as the followers on my personal account as most of my followers were book people. Consider what you’re going to tweet and who you’d like to connect with.

When you set up the name for your account make it easy for people to find you and be consistent across your other social media accounts.


On Twitter you also have a username known as a handle which is the @ symbol followed by up to 15 characters. Twitter has few restrictions here but again it’s wise to make sure people searching for you can find and recognise you.


3. Your profile and header images

The dimensions for a profile image on Twitter are 400 x 400 px. Change your profile image to a picture of you or your book cover. It’s a good idea to be consistent with other social media platforms you might use so you’re easily identifiable. Don’t leave the default egg else your Twitter may look like a scam account.


The header image is a great space to showcase your books and quotes about them. See Matt Haig’s profile as an example. The header image can be a little tricky to get right. The dimensions of your image need to be 1500 x 500 px but Twitter will cut off the top and bottom so make sure that your important images and text are no wider than 360 px. Also the profile image will show in the bottom left hand corner of the header so anything behind it will be obscured.


4. Profile

You have 160 characters for your profile. People should read this and have a clear idea of what you’re about. Here is where you can mention your latest book, if you’re represented by a literary agent, are a member of any writing societies and include a link to your website or Facebook page.


Here are a couple of examples of author bios:


Vashti Hardy - BRIGHTSTORM: A sky-ship Adventure, Scholastic, Inde Booksellers Children’s Book of the Season Spring'18, rep'd by Viney Shaw


Amy Harmon - Amy Harmon is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Law of Moses, Making Faces, From Sand and Ash, The Bird and the Sword, and several others.


You can also add your location to your profile. This can be your town and country, just country or you could select worldwide.


5. Followers

Start by following your friends. Then find an account of a writer in your field and follow some of their followers as they’re probably the people you want to connect with. A number will follow you back.


Do not ever buy followers. They are usually from fake zombie accounts. You are actually paying for the numbers and won’t receive any engagement which is what you’re after. If you buy followers it will be obvious to anyone looking at your account because of the lack of engagement on your posts.


6. Lists

Build lists to help you manage your account. This is especially useful as the amount of accounts you follow starts to grow. You can add anyone to your list and can arrange them in topics such as ‘writers.’ You can also make lists public or private.


7. Hashtags

Use hashtags to reach a wider audience such as #amwriting #amreading #writerslife #writingcommunity This means that anyone who searches these hashtags on twitter will find your tweet and you can engage with more Twitter users this way.


Don’t use any more than three hashtags on a tweet otherwise your followers will think your tweet is spam. (Different rules apply on Instagram.)


8. Mentions

When you’re composing a tweet make sure you tag any relevant people. For example if you’re composing a tweet about a book you’ve just read tag the author using their @ address.

This is a great way to encourage engagement. Often they’ll like your tweet or even reply.


9. Consistency

Be consistent and tweet regularly about topics of interest to you. This is the best and most authentic way to build followers.


10. Engagement

Where possible respond when people follow you, like your tweet or send you a message to build engagement.


11. Twitter chats

A Twitter chat is a conversation based around one hashtag. Twitter chats are a great place to discuss books, writing topics and to get to know other authors. They often have interesting guests such as literary agents and publishers who you can quiz. Writers for children check out #UKMGCHAT or #UKTEENCHAT


If you have any questions about Twitter please contact us and we'll do our best to help.