The growth of Twitter is phenomenal. While only five percent of Americans are currently using Twitter, the monthly growth is staggering. In January of this year, Twitter had 4.5 million unique visitors. In February that number grew to 7 million unique visitors. That is 50 percent growth in one month.
Twitter is hot right now. I don’t think there have ever been so many websites supplying applications for or information about any other social networking site. Here are just a few of them:
· www.tweetlater.com – lets you schedule tweets ahead of time
· www.twitterbuttons – neat “follow me on Twitter” buttons like the one on this blog
· www.twitterfriends.com – provides all sorts of stats about your Twitter account
· www.twibs.com – a directory of businesses on Twitter
· www.twitpic.com – lets you share photos on Twitter
· http://useqwitter.com – this application emails you when someone stops following you
· http://tweetwasters.com – this tool tells you how much time you are spending on Twitter
· http://search.twitter.com – this is a search engine just for Twitter
There is no doubt about it; Twitter is a major contender in the social networking world. It is one of the most effective tools for spreading word on the Internet about a new product or service, or a breaking news event.
And that is just what Twitter is; a social networking tool. As with any social networking tool, its effectiveness lies in how one uses it.
If you are an author and you want to or are already using social networking to increase your connections, here are a few things I have learned.
1. Social networking takes time. Having just gotten onboard with social networking this year, I can tell you that you have to put time into it to get something out of it. Since I started social networking, I have found myself more often saying, “Where has my day gone?” — and I am only spending about an hour a day on it.
2. Social networking is about connection. Connecting with people involves listening to and caring about them and adding value to their life. If you are into social networking for what you can get out of it, you won’t reap much. It’s part of that “give and it will be given” principle.
3. Be selective. I know that this goes against the current trend in social networking and especially Twitter. Many people are all about following and getting as many followers as possible. However, if you are using social networking to enlarge your circle and increase your connections to grow reading fans, then stay focused on your target audience while expanding your connections and circle of influence. The truth is we can only genuinely connect with a limited number of people.
When it comes to promoting yourself and your books on the Internet, making yourself visible is important. Christian authors who use Twitter now have another tool to collect followers and gain more visibility. ChristianBookVideos.com has created a directory (called CrossTweet) of Christian authors using Twitter. This directory is listed on their website to help Christian book fans find the authors they read so they can follow them on Twitter. If you are a published Christian author who is active on Twitter and would like to be listed in this directory, send a Tweet to @ChristnBookVids and tell them which genre you want to be listed under. The directory of Christian authors on Twitter can be found at www.christianbookvideos.com/browse/crosstweet.
See you on the CrossTweet Directory!