Welcome to the tenth installment of Twitter Tuesday. In the spirit of Twitter, this blog will be short and sweet and to the point. The tips offered here are all based off my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. If our goal is to build an author platform in the thousands to tens of thousands, then we will have to approach Twitter differently than a faceless corporation or even the regular person who does not possess a goal of becoming a brandwill help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.
This Week’s Fail Whale–Cutesy Moniker Tweeter
When we are writers using social media to build a brand, the only acceptable Twitter handle is the name that will be printed on the front of our books…period. Too many writers are wasting valuable time by hiding behind cutesy or clever monikers. Our name is our brand.
I can already hear the screams of protest and gnashing of teeth. Sorry. I am going to save you a ton of time and extra work.
When we seek to be published this means we seek to be considered writing professionals. Professionals sell books that are listed by their names. If we are writing for a hobby, then we can be @funnywritergirl all we like. If we are writing for fun, we don’t have to worry about one day selling out our print run so we can get another book deal and quit that day job.
Danielle Steele, Stephen King, James Rollins, John Grisham, Amy Tan, Shephenie Meyers, Sandra Brown, J.K. Rowling, and Dan Brown all rely on their NAMES to sell millions of books. If we want to be like these mega-authors, then it is a good idea to act like them. Powerhouse authors are proud of their names and rely on their brands (names) to move a ton of books and bring home fat royalty checks.
I see a lot of writers on Twitter who post great content and are really wonderful people. I like them and want to support their work, but I cannot go to Barnes & Noble and pick up a book by @author_girl, @vampyre_mistress or @thrillerguy.
What I love are the social media folk who claim to know how to teach authors about branding, but their handle is something akin to @authorsuccesscoach.
Um…yeah. Sorry, can’t buy your book on BRANDING under the name @authorsuccesscoach.
And, hey, I have made all the dumb mistakes so you don’t have to. When I started on social media, I was texaswriterchik until one day it dawned on me that my followers might love me and my content (blogs), but they couldn’t go to Amazon and find a book by texaswriterchik. And I was being awfully self-serving to think that followers were going to drop everything to:
1. Find a computer.
2. Log into Twitter.
3. Find one of my tweets.
4. To click on my profile.
5. To get my name.
6. To buy my books.
I made the sale too hard! There were too many competing authors smart enough to use THEIR NAME. *slaps forehead*
When we hide behind clever monikers we are wasting valuable time and energy. We are frittering away the most powerful marketing tool we have…the “top of mind.” Every time our followers see our name float by linked to great content, it is an opportunity to link our name interminably with that content.
For instance, those who follow me on Twitter know that @KristenLambTX is all about social media for writers. How? Because every time I tweet, I link my NAME to my content over and over and over.
The earlier we start the better. So if you are on Twitter to build a brand and you happen to have a cutesy moniker, change it. And yes, your name is probably taken. Mine was too, which is why I am @KristenLambTX. I could have also been @KristenLamb007 and given myself a license to kill. You can preserve your name with a smidge of creativity.
This Week’s Twitter Tip–Your Name is Your Handle
Put your name out there. We are on Twitter to create relationships and friendships. Do you make your real life friends call you @fantasy_writer? Then why do it to your Twitter pals?
Trust me. Twitter peeps are the people who help us build a worldwide following. They should at least know our name. The more often our name appears linked to positive and valuable content, the stronger our brand becomes.
All a brand is is a name linked to content.
When you see Ragu, that NAME is linked to pasta sauce.
When you see FedEx, that NAME is linked to overnight shipping.
When people see Stephen King, that NAME is linked to NY Times Best-Selling Horror.
When people see our NAME, what do they think? We are responsible for defining that WHAT…which is brand.
Tweet ya later!