Last night I attended a workshop at the Northern Colorado Writers studio that was all about social marketing. Laurie Macomber with Blue Skies Marketing shared information about how writers can use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
I have an account with each of these places, but I have to admit, that I was most fascinated by Twitter. And apparently I am not alone. Today's feature in the business section of our local paper, the Coloradoan, had an in depth story all about Twitter and how local businesses like New Belgium, Odells and Beet Street are now using it.
If you are not familiar with Twitter, it is a place to share small tidbits of information that are no more than 140 characters (a Tweet). It has been described as a microblogging. It creates a quick and easy way to stay connected to others in your field, to friends or to family.
Clearly I am not alone with my Twitter fascination. According to an article on the Wall Street Journal website, "Twitter is in a period of explosive growth. Unique visitors to the site topped 7 million in February, up from less than 500,000 a year earlier."
Bottom line, Twitter has become the "in thing." So how can writers use it? For non-fiction writers, you can use Twitter to position yourself as an expert. Become known as "the" person in your field. If you are a fiction writer, use Twitter as an opportunity to share about you and your life as an author. In both cases, you can use this social media outlet to drive traffic to your blog or website.
One of the most useful pieces of information that Laurie shared last night was what to Twitter about. It is important to vary your Tweets. She even gave us a little formula to use that I thought was very helpful.
60% of your Tweets should be anecdotal-quick tidbits or stories about you. Remember you only have 140 characters, so you have to write tight, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring.
20% should be useful tips or information. Maybe a great website, a quote, writing tip...
10% can be self-serving and can promote your book, yourself, your freelancing business...
10% open-ended questions or polls to engage your followers.
Twitter takes some time to get used to, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Jump in today and start Tweeting! Then share with me and the other Writing Bug followers how you are using Twitter.
Follow my Tweets at http://twitter.com/thewritingbug