The Game-Changing Nature of Tweets (Or how NOT to build a Twitter account)

Yes.  You read that correctly.  I’m going with game-changer.

I started using Twitter in early 2009 – just as this whole tweet thing was taking off. I bought a $7 guru pamphlet called Twitter Goldrush by Dana (last name unknown).  She put it up for sale in the Warrior Forum (I was big into internet marketing back then, I was just about to build my online classroom – which is now, three years later, being redesigned).  I don’t even think I was a member of the private War Room back then, but I joined pretty soon after that – I bought it in the WSO (Warrior Special Offers Forum).  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should go check the place out.  Yes, it’s filled with those “get rich quick” guys, but honestly, the private War Room has all their good ideas packed into one place and they are all free.  So, yeah.  I’m just saying.

Anyway – this Twitter Goldrush promised me 100’s followers like in three days or something.  I got them in one.  I was thrilled!  Seriously, I had been trying to build a Twitter presence and I had about 300 people signed up already, but in one day?  One hundred followers in a day?

OK, here’s the part where I tell you not to make my same mistakes.  Don’t do it the way I did in that account.  That’s my Simple Schooling account- I have 6000+ followers, but I have no idea who they are.  I use that account when I post freebies or when I send a newsletter, but I lost control of it way back when and have absolutely no idea how to make it effective again.

Here’s what the Twitter Goldrush told me to do – just choose people you admire and are in your same field and follow them.  They almost always automatically follow you back.

Blam.  You follow 100 people in one day (especially the people I was following) and you get an automatic 100 followers back.

Here’s the problem, the very first internet marketing product I purchased was The Amazing Formula by Marlon Sanders.  I love Marlon.  I’m still on his list and maybe I don’t open every single e-mail he sends, I read the titles at the very least.  I’ve never marked Marlon as spam.  I know how to get off the list, but I like Marlon.  He helped me learn how to sell things so I feel I owe it to him to read his stuff, even if I don’t need to buy it right now.  He’s a brilliant marketer and it’s always nice to get new ideas.   So one of the first things I did was follow a bunch of people who were following Marlon.

But following him on my homeschool twitter account set off a spark that got totally out of control, you see my homeschool list was suddenly populated by nothing but internet marketers and the like.

Anyway, I was building a list – and it got big, really fast.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t a highly targeted list, which simply means – the people on my list weren’t into my stuff!  They weren’t homeschoolers!  They were other marketers!

BIG MISTAKE.

Here is tip #1 – build a targeted list.

I realized this mistake pretty quickly, but the list was just too big and I was just too busy to weed it out, so even though I started collecting homeschoolers on that Twitter account (which is @simpleschooling if you want to see what I’m talking about – you can see all my followers) there was no way to weed through the noise and make connections to PEOPLE from that list.  It was just chatter and marketing and, well, noise.

By the time I got done with building my new Facebook and website for Junco, I really was not even interested in Twitter.  I mean, I only made the account because Supagurl Heather (she’s one of the blog tour hosts I use) asked for it when I sent her my stuff for the tour.

So I made a new account (@jahuss) and sent it to her.

She was my very first follower.  🙂

And I watched what she was doing on there.  And pretty soon some other people added me, and I watched what they were doing.

And you know what I learned?  No one was selling stuff on Twitter.  It’s TRUE!  (Well, authors THINK they are selling stuff on Twitter when they blast you with their freaking sales copy every hour on the hour (thank you HootSuite), but no one is listening, believe me.)

People were talking on Twitter or entering giveaways.  That’s pretty much it.

Twitter is a place to talk and win stuff and learn about winning stuff and maybe along the way, if you have the right people on your Twitter list, you get them interested in your book through osmosis.

It’s press-the-flesh, word-of-mouth marketing.  And it works. So well.

So, tip #2 – use Twitter to talk, win shit, and give shit away.

That’s it. I mean, every once in a great while you want to let them know your new release is coming out and all that, but no one wants to read ten tweetss day about your stupid book.

Take my word for it – if you set up a highly targeted list (to me, this means my @jahuss account only follows back people who are into books – either as passionate readers or book bloggers, or another book related field) then you will get sales just by interacting, no sales copy required.  Sure a clever Tweet goes a long way – but “Hey, have you bought my book yet?  Everyone says it’s the BEST BOOK EVER!!!  BUY NOW!” – is never gonna work.

Tweeting is still marketing – it’s still working for me – but in a very subtle, low-key, person-to-person way that comes off as friendly and open.  Sure, I tweet every blog that hosts me on tour because that is polite.  If you go on tour and you don’t take the time to promote your host’s blog, then chances are they’re not gonna be interested in your book and it’s even a little bit rude.  And that’s a loss for you – book bloggers are book readers.  BOOK LOVERS, actually.  Piss them off at your own peril.

So don’t be afraid to promote your book on other book blogger sites for Pete’s sake.  That a valid use of Twitter.  Just don’t blast people continuously all day long with the same old shit.

Twitter should be FUN.  If you’re not having fun when you do your marketing, you’re doing it wrong.

YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

In review: The game-changer is…

So, there you go.  Build a targeted list and use Twitter to talk to people.  This is about 80% of the secret to using Twitter to sell things.  This creates a bond with people in a world that is increasingly at arms-length.  It creates something more than a customer relationship with your followers, it creates a friendship.  Friends are more likely to take a chance on that new book you have, especially if they’re already into your genre AND they have a book blog begging for new content.

Twitter is a game changer because it takes you directly to the people.  Sure, people can read your blog, but most of them don’t stop to leave a comment, they simply read it, take what they want from the information, and move on to the next one.  Twitter, while not effective in every instance (what is?) has the potential for you to have a personal connection to passers by.  Even more so than Facebook (and believe me, I have a HUGE post about Facebook coming up, bastards have totally changed the rules and you’re the loser).

Now, get busy building your highly-targeted Twitter account (start over if you have to) and meet people on a personal level, learn a bit about them, and if they’re into your kind of book, they’ll let you know.

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