Twitter Ad Campaign: Step 1

This is part of a series of posts about how to run a successful Twitter Ad campaign to promote your book. Start here.

Step 1: Create book or character accounts on Twitter

If you are a regular here, you may recall that I tried an experiment with character accounts on Twitter. The idea was that I might drum up interest in my book by giving my main two characters their own accounts, and letting them banter back and forth in character. It didn’t work. But it turned out that having character accounts is useful for another reason.

There are two kinds of author accounts on Twitter. There is the kind where most tweets are just entertaining or personal or whatever, with the occasional bit of news or promotion of the person’s books. And then there is the nothing-but-promotion account with lots of links to Facebook posts and retweets of other author’s promotions and quotes from the book and hashtags and on and on and on. That second kind sucks. Don’t be that person.

If you create an account for your book or for a character from your book, you can put all that crap on the character account. That frees up your personal account to be personal. You’ll still mention your book, but not exclusively. You’ll be an approachable author who readers can have a relationship with. Those relationships will turn into book sales. Personally, I have sold well over 100 books through my personal relationships with people on Twitter. And a key to that has been to not drive them away through constant promotion. I tweet screen captures of my reviews. I retweet when people post pictures of my book, or when they say nice things about it. And that’s it for promotion. And I try to avoid having too much of that without funny, or personal, or whatever tweets in between.

Making a character account is really easy. You need to set up a gmail address because every Twitter account needs a unique email. If you already have a gmail account, there’s a trick you can use. Suppose your email is myname@gmail.com. You can use myname+character@gmail.com to set up the new account (you can put anything you want between + and @). Twitter thinks that’s a different account, but gmail doesn’t. Use cover art. Put a link to your book or author page in the bio. Pin a tweet that explains what the account is, and maybe refer to your main account there, in case people want to follow the real you.

This is the account you are going to use to run your campaigns. You will get a handful of followers from your campaigns and some people are going to like and retweet your ads (seriously; people do that). You will follow those people. And you can follow a lot of your friends from your main Twitter account. Follow everyone (except porn bots) back. Don’t be picky. You are never going to look at the tweets of the people you follow anyway. This is a write-only account.

You will get questions from people as @-replies to your ads (yup; people do that, too). You’ll answer those of course.

If you are going to run Amazon giveaways, this is also a good place to tweet about those. I post my promo quotes on my character accounts, too.

Once you have the account set up, it’s time to turn our attention to your book. That’s Step 2.

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