10 Twitter Tips Writers Need to Know

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Writers frequently tell me that they “don’t get Twitter.” If you find yourself struggling with it, this post is for you. Below, I offer 10 Twitter tips writers like you will find helpful as you seek to build an online community of worldwide readers.


Last month Dan Zarrella, author of The Science of Marketing: When to Tweet, What to Post, How to Blog, and Other Proven Strategies, published a list of the 20 most retweetable words. He based his list on his own research into the top indicators of retweeted content.

Here’s his list:

  • you

  • twitter

  • please

  • retweet
  • post
  • blog

  • social
  • free
  • media
  • help
  • please retweet

  • great

  • social media

  • 10

  • follow

  • how to

  • top

  • blog post
  • check out
  • new blog post

Top 10 Twitter Tips for Writers

 If you’re wondering how you can use Zarrella’s research on the most retweetable words, here are some examples.

  1. Ask for retweets, but don’t overdo it. It’s never a good idea to continuously ask your followers to retweet messages about your book, your website, your author central page, or your blog. However, you can sprinkle these words into your tweets on occasion. After all, the above list has 20 words so don’t forget to use some of the others too.
  2. It makes sense that Twitter users would want to continue their education about Twitter. So help your community of writers and readers by sharing new posts on how they can use Twitter more efficiently and effectively. When tweeting about Twitter, use the hashtag #twitter.
  3. It’s no surprise that the word “you” is one of the above words. We already knew the importance of talking directly to our readers in our website copy and blogs. So it makes sense that “you” is also important on Twitter – and it’s my guess on other platforms as well. Always endeavor to speak directly to your audience.
  4. People enjoy reading new posts versus older posts that are sometimes recycled tirelessly. So based on Zarrella’s research, never hesitate to note that the post you’re promoting is a brand new one.
  5. I was pleased to see the word great on this list. I always like to distinguish posts that I think are exceptional by using this modifier. Try it and see if it helps you generate more retweets.
  6. I often describe Twitter as a social media network that Miss Manners would adore. Is it just me or does it seem that users on this platform are generally more courteous? You can use it with retweet (please retweet, another key phrase on Twitter), or use it in phrases such as “please see ____,” “please check out,” and “please like.” Basically, you need to use this word in your calls to action.
  7. As with the word Twitter, it makes sense that social media is on the list. Again, we’re all trying to better understand social media and how it relates to building a community and marketing our books. So be sure to share posts that are particularly enlightening about social media and don’t forget to include the hashtags #social #media.
  8. When writing headlines for blog posts, it’s important to include a number whenever you can. Posts such as “The only 3 Tips You Need to Know about Twitter” are far more likely to be read and retweeted than “How Writers Can Use Twitter.”
  9. New research is debunking the myth that people shouldn’t use the word free in their email taglines. Now, it seems free is a great term to use on Twitter. Use it freely whenever you have a free eBook to offer on Twitter or when you are giving away books on Goodreads. Remember to use the hashtag #free.
  10. “How to” is another great phrase to use on Twitter and in our blog headlines. We’d all love to learn how to improve dialogue in our stories, how to write better posts, how to dream up new topics for our blogs, how to run contests on Facebook and how to write a novel in one month. Think about this term as you prepare to write your own blog posts.

If you don’t have Zarrella’s book, buy a copy. You will learn a lot about how and when you should be using Twitter – two other important elements of Twitter use.

Now, are there words that you use that you’ve found to trigger more retweets? If so, I’d love to know what they are.

Social Media Just for WritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media strategist, trainer, and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 


Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

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  1. I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t often use hashtags. This article gives great advice on how to use them and which ones to use, so thank you.

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