Have you ever followed an author on Twitter and received a generic auto-response back, either as a tweet or a DM? Sometimes it is a basic "thanks for the follow" and other times it is a blatant promo asking you to read the author's book. How often do you actually go out and buy/read that author's book because of that tweet or DM?
The reason I bring this up is I want authors to really think the best way to auto tweet or DM their new followers as it could give a really positive or negative impression of you.
Hopefully your new followers have chosen to follow you because they have already read your book. Except for friends who are authors, isn't that why you follow an author? You already read and enjoyed their book. No additional promo is necessary. That means you've missed an opportunity to engage with a new follower (at best) or annoyed someone who might have otherwise enjoyed your social media persona (who, at worst, immediately unfollows you).
You don't want to seem like a bot. They key word of social media is "social", which means interaction.
I recently ran an experiment that was successful. I set an auto tweet for new followers asking them to share the best writing advice they have ever received. Not every new follower responded, but I have gotten two to five responses per day, which I then share with my followers (who then might retweet and grow my following, thereby setting off another auto tweet, and the cycle continues). I can also respond to some of them with genuine, personal responses from me, which is the actual point of social media. :)
I wanted to share this experiment with authors, so you can consider it as you create or revise your social media campaign. My plan is to come up with five to eleven more questions or interactions, with the intent of using that auto tweet for one to two months before I change it. I can update or reuse them next year, but by having a rotation to choose from, I share more and newer info with my current followers, and I might even come up with new ideas from my new followers.
Suggestions for auto tweets/DMs for authors:
- Ask what's their favorite book in your genre
- Ask who is their favorite character in your book and why
- If you have a promo running, share that (but you have to change your auto response exactly when your promo ends)
- Ask who their favorite author is
- Ask if they have a favorite current tv show
- If you are a big sports fan and tweet a lot about that sport, ask what their favorite sport/team is
- Ask what city they are from and what restaurant do they recommend if you ever visit that city
While some of my suggestions might seem a little weird for an author, they give a few examples that you can personalize for you -and you may be surprised by the responses you get. You may learn more about your audience and gain some truly interesting followers and info about them that you might not have otherwise known.
And let's face it, you can use these interactions to help create and develop new characters for your books!
Be social in your social media.