How I Accumulated 40,000 Twitter Followers

How I reached 40,000 followers on Twitter
I remember when I joined Twitter seven years ago. Within the first day, I had four followers, and I recall running out of my office and into the kitchen so I could tell my husband that four people were following me. “Me!” I said.

I was stoked.

I didn’t know back then that to gain followers you had to follow people, so I did nothing, aside from posting a few tweets every day.

Don’t Be a Twit

Then I did the worst thing possible. (I made other mistakes in those days but, hey, I was still learning.) I signed up for an application called TrueTwit. Basically, the application “verifies” that someone who follows you isn’t a bot or a spammer by making new followers type a captcha. If they don’t type the captcha, you can’t follow them back, assuming they’re worth following.

If someone locks down their account, preventing people from following, it’s their fault for being overly cautious. The result? Their account doesn’t grow. They are virtually turning their back to Twitter’s social experience and the opportunity to socialize with their readers and meet new readers as well as meet new colleagues.

When I used the application, I obviously didn’t know better. After a year or two, I might have had 100 followers. Then I read a radical suggestion. Someone recommended that anyone who used an app like TrueTwit should dump it immediately and start following 50 people a day.

I immediately dumped TrueTwit and started following my target demographic, authors.

By the end of the year, I gained about 5,000 followers, and my account grew from there to its present state of 40,000 followers.

So my first bit of advice is don’t use TrueTwit or any application that’s similar to it and if you want to have followers, you need to follow people. Actively start to follow 50 people a day. Starting now.

Unfollow Inactive Twitter Accounts

Not everyone you follow will follow you back. So after giving people a week or so to follow you back, you’ll need to unfollow them. Just say adios to them.

To unfollow these Twitter users, you’ll need to use an application such as Tweepi or ManageFlitter. I’ve used both apps, and I look them both. ManageFlitter also keeps track of inactive accounts (I believe Tweepi does too but I no longer use it) – those people who followed you but then stopped tweeting. I unfollow those accounts as well because I don’t want to tweet to inactive accounts.

ManageFlitter has quite a few awesome features. For example, it identifies bots and spam accounts, I profiled all of its features in a how-to post some time back. The instructions and screenshots haven’t changed, so I recommend that you visit it here.

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Use GIFS to Ignite Your Book Marketing

via GIPHY

GIFS are all the rage. You see them on Twitter, Facebook, email newsletters, and virtually wherever you turn your attention to on the internet.

Experts will tell you that the only way to stop your followers from scanning a Twitter newsfeed is with a GIF.

Actually, GIFs are so eye-catching that wherever you use them, people will stop, smile, and replay the GIF a second or third time – at least.

You can also use GIFs for book marketing. You just need a sense of humor and a dash of ingenuity.

Take a series of pictures while reading from your newest book or have someone take pictures of you while you write or type at your desk. Any of these examples can be used to market yourself and your books and add some levity along the way.

Let’s get down to how to create a GIF. You can snap the pictures – or have someone snap them for you – or search for a GIF and use it instead. Or you can have someone take a series of shots as you read through a book, making it appear that you are quite the speed reader.

Did you know that you can use Canva.com to create a GIF? Just create a series of images, upload them to an app, then grab the URL and use it on social media or in your MailChimp newsletter.

Using my dog as an example, I took a series of pictures of her, uploaded them to the application Giphy, added a tag, and voila, here’s my GIF.

via GIPHY

You can also add GIFs to your MailChimp newsletter. Use the search bar at Giphy to find a GIF and copy the URL.

Then when you’re on MailChimp, click the image icon.

Then paste the URL from Giphy.

Voila, you have a GIF for your newsletter.

via GIPHY

Why Authors Need to Use GIFs

According to HootSuite, here are a few reasons why you should start using GIFs:

  • GIFs show that you’re paying attention to internet trends
  • GIFs show that you and your brand has a fun side
  • GIFs can add more context to a shorter message, post, or Tweet
  • GIFs get your message across in a shorter amount of time
  • GIFs are easily shareable
  • GIFs convey emotions better than text or photos alone

GIF Applications

There are two main applications you can use to find GIFs.

  1. Giphy
  2. Bin

Use these applications to create GIFs.

When using Giphy, you have the options to copy the link to add to MailChimp, download the GIF for uploading to social media, embed the GIF in a blog post (as I did in this post), and to share the GIF directly from Giphy to a variety of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Learn to Make Your Own GIFs

How do you plan to use GIFs in your book marketing?


Want to save time with social media? Get Avoid Social Media Time Suck for FREE.

Social Media Time Suck

 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Penny is Coming!

Join the next Conversations with Frances when Penny Sansevieri, aka @Bookgal, comes on the show to talk about how to sell more books. Every indie author will want to attend this free webinar. Register now!

Indie Author Weekly Update – December 8, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update includes posts on blogging, book promotion, Facebook, and a new Kindle feature. I hope you enjoy the selection.

Easy Blogging for Authors: 10 Tips for a Successful Author Blog by Anne R. Allen: “I’ve made some spectacular blunders in my blogging career. But since we learn from our mistakes, I’ve got a boatload of information now. As Ruth and I say: “We made the mistakes so you don’t have to.” The worst decision I made was trying to turn this blog into a monetized business blog. That lasted about six months— until my doctor said I was going to have to choose between blogging and living to see my next birthday. This is the second anniversary of the beginning of that failed experiment, and I’ve been thinking over what I’ve learned.”

3 Shameless Book Promotion Tips For Your Next Release from The Write Life: “Nothing makes a reader feel like an A-class insider like being treated to A-class gifts. Many authors create incredible extras inspired by their writing, drawn from their characters or worlds. This can be anything from a map of an alternate world to lovely character cards, or a peek behind the curtain at your creative process.”

How To Get More Facebook Likes: The Beginner’s Guide from Blogging Wizard: “2 billion. Yes, billion, with a B. In June of 2017, that is how many active users Facebook exceeded according to Statista. That amount is staggering, and the awe tends to compound when you hear that over 65% percent of that amount use Facebook daily. Wouldn’t you like a slice of over 2 billion users?”

Indie Author Content Ideas for Your December Book Marketing from Penny Sansevieri: “Yes, many of us just want to tuck away in our jammies with a mug of eggnog and rum but book marketing never ends! And remember, it’s crucial you stay in front of your fans and potential buyers, and I know that can be exhausting, so I’m trying to help you out by giving you monthly content ideas based around fun, unofficial and official holidays.”

Kindle Create App Out of Beta by Nate Hoffelder: “Amazon’s app for making Kindle ebooks, Kindle Create, is out of beta. Originally launched in April, Kindle Create is Amazon’s 4th Kindle ebook making app (the other three are  Kindle Kids Book Creator, Kindle Textbook Creator, and Kindle Comics Creator).”

11 Creative Ways to Boost Reader Engagement from BookBub: “Having loyal readers can make it easier for an author to sell subsequent books. While reader loyalty is primarily fostered from love of a book, it can also be cultivated through online engagement. Getting readers to engage online takes time and effort, which may not yield immediate revenue, and the ROI of these efforts can be difficult to measure. However, there can be significant long-term gains from having loyal fans who are willing to preorder, review, and enthusiastically tell their friends about a book.”

Quote of the Week

Graham Greene

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Penny is Coming!

Join the next Conversations with Frances when Penny Sansevieri, aka @Bookgal, comes on the show to talk about how to sell more books. Every indie author will want to attend this free webinar. Register now!

 Penny Sansevieri

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – September 29, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update includes posts from Adam Connell, Joanna Penn,  Ali Luke, Buffer, and Writers in the Storm. I hope you enjoy the selections.

Well, we are firmly into fall, my favorite season. How does your writing change with the seasons? I’d love to know!


Indie Author Updates

How To Launch Your Own Facebook Group And Get Loyal Fans  from Adam Connell: “Facebook groups are powerful. They’re a perfect place to start real conversations about things that matter to you. And because your audience members are already on Facebook (Facebook addiction is a real thing, people), they are far more likely to engage with you and your brand in Facebook groups than they are on your blog. With Facebook Live, you can now do live training right inside of your group.”

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How to Sell More Books with Less Social Media with Chris Syme


Last week, Chris Syme of CKSyme Media Group was my guest on Conversations with Frances. The hour-long webinar was wide-ranging but mostly focused on Chris’s belief that social media needn’t be time consuming as long as you have goal-focused strategies.

Here are a few notes from the webinar. Be sure to watch the video to hear all of Chris’s advice and suggestions.


The best ways to use social media to sell books: Use social media wisely. Social media is just another tool; a community-based tool that has revolutionized everything. It is a powerful tool for both sales and engagement. It’s the only tool that does that.

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Indie Author Weekly Update – September 8, 2017

This week’s Indie Author Weekly Update focuses on blogging and publishing strategies. I think you’ll enjoy the posts below from Adam Connell, Joan Stewart, Anne R. Allen and Writer Unboxed.

Was there a heat wave where you live? There was one in Northern California and thank goodness the temperature has returned to its more temperate moderate. I hope you enjoy the few days of summer that we have left.

How To Beat Blogger’s Block With Endless Blog Post Ideas from Adam Connell: “Blogging is supposed to be about inspiring your readers. So, how come your blog leaves you uninspired every time you have to write another blog post? You end up thinking: Another week’s gone by and I need to write a post. I have nothing to write about. I’ve written everything I can about my niche. When this happens, the mere thought of sitting down to write feels like there’s a mega-ton rock on your head – which you can’t seem to shake off. No amount of mustering, fighting or even trying some wacky things can make what you’re feeling go away.”

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Indie Author Weekly Update – September 1, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

In this week’s Indie Author Weekly Update, posts range from Mark Coker’s views on cultivating superfans to Hugh Howey’s insightful Part IV of his series on writing and publishing. I hope you enjoy them all.

Where I live, September is starting with a heat wave. Wish me luck as I strive to stay cool and say a prayer — or send good thoughts — to all the people in Texas who are suffering due to Hurricane Harvey.


Indie Author Updates

How Indie Authors Can Cultivate Superfans from Publishers Weekly and by Mark Coker: “Most book marketing advice focuses on how to get readers to buy your books, yet ignores how to care for your readers once you’ve got them. With subtle tweaks to your publishing process, you have the opportunity to cultivate more passionate readers. I call these passionate readers superfans.”

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Indie Author Weekly Update June 9, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Today’s Indie Author Weekly Update features posts from Joel Friedlander’s blog, BookWorks’ blog, and a variety of bloggers including Chris Syme. Learn about Facebook’s new inbox and take in some tips from Book Expo 2017.

Indie Author Updates

How to Set Up a Facebook Page for Authors from BookWorks: “Love it or hate it, if you’re an author, you need a Facebook page. With 1.86 billion monthly active users as of the last quarter of 2016, and according to the Pew Research Center, with 79% of all online adults in the U.S. using Facebook, you can’t afford to ignore it.”

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Secrets of Successful Book Launches with Howard VanEs

In this webinar, as part of my Conversations with Frances series, I interviewed Howard VanEs about successful book launches. A master at selling books, Howard shared some of his best strategies.

Here are some notes from our conversation:

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Indie Author Weekly Update – April 21, 2017

Indie Author News

This week’s Indie Author Weekly Update focuses on social media news including what’s new with Instagram and how best to use Pinterest.


Indie Author Updates

Instagram Just Revamped Instagram Direct, Which Now Has 375 Million Monthly Users from AdWeek: “Instagram revamped its Instagram Direct messaging feature—which now includes disappearing photos and videos, along with texts and reshares—and the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network announced that Instagram Direct now has 375 million monthly active users, up from 300 million last November.”

[Read more…]