by S. Furlong-Bolliger

If you are a writer and struggling to incorporate Twitter as part of your marketing platform, remember that quality beats quantity.  I’ve found that by using a few simple tools, it’s easier to manage Twitter time and reap the rewards of this powerful social network. 

HootSuite is a tool that allows users to schedule tweets in advance.  By using HootSuite, I can spend just one hour writing and scheduling my tweets for the entire week.   For the rest of the week, I just need to check into Twitter from time to time to keep up with correspondence.  This is a huge time saver! 
I use HootSuite to schedule tweets, mentions and new follower welcomes.  For example, if I know that I’m having a guest blog posted on a certain day I schedule fifteen or so tweets to correspond with the post.  Something like this:
#Writers check out my #blog post today at Marilyn’s Musings via @marilynmeredith 

Twitter is all about “paying it forward.”  So, by mentioning someone’s work to your followers, they will hopefully reciprocate by mentioning your work to their followers thus increasing your marketing reach.  It’s easy to get bogged down with mentions; however, Ffhelper allows me to view everyone that has mentioned me and compose a return mention that includes their bio and URL.  All this can be done with just a few simple clicks.  Ffhelper is like having your own personal social secretary on Twitter.
For example: 
I #follow @marilynmeredith ~ Author of <> #blog 4 #writers.  Check it out at

Here’s a tip for writers on Twitter: follow back!  With an exception of a few people that post offensive material, I follow everyone back—even businesses.  I do this, because EVERYONE is a potential reader.  Plus, it makes Twitter more interesting if I’m communicating with a broad range of users from different backgrounds.  
There’s just one problem.  If the ratio of your followers to those you’re following is off balance, Twitter will restrict your ability to follow more users. To prevent this, I use JustUnfollow to manage my ratio. 
JustUnfollow allows me to find all my non-followers (people I’m following that are not following back).  Once I’ve identified my non-followers, I send them a followback request.  If they don’t respond, I quit following them.  By using this tool, I’ve been able to keep my account balanced and avoid the dreaded Twitter Lockdown.

One of my goals in using Twitter as part of my marketing platform is to reach the maximum amount of readers with the least amount of effort.  
In order to best manage my Twitter time, I use TweetReach to analyze the effectiveness of my tweets.  With TweetReach, I can plug in a tweet and measure the number of twitter users that I’ve reached.  I recently analyzed one of my tweets that I sent to my 4,500 followers and discovered that it actually reached over 150, 000 Twitter members.  I attribute the tweets effectiveness to the creative use of hashtags.

For example:
DEAD GIVEAWAY #mystery short receives 4 ½ stars from Night Owl! Check it out: #MustRead #Fiction 4 #Kindle
By using TweetReach, I have discovered these hashtags to be the most effective:
To reach readers:
#kindle; #fiction; #mustread; #amreading; #tweetthebook; #bookbuzz; #summerreads; #ebook #mystery
To network with other writers:
#amwriting; #writetip; #pubtip; #ian1 (Independent Author Network); #writegoal; #amediting; #amenl (All Mystery Newsletter)

Other Useful Tools
Here’s some other third party applications that I invite you to check out:  TweetDeck and Twhirl are useful for those with a lot of followers.  Also, the Twitter Apps for I-phone and Android are useful tools for accessing your account on the go.

#Authorshelpingauthors -- I’ve only listed a few of the many tools available for Twitter.  If you’ve found other useful tools, please feel free to share in the comment section.

Follow Me:  S. Furlong-Bolliger @foulplayauthor
Untreed Reads:
Amazon Author page:

Susan’s Bio:  Susan lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children.  She works as an academic writer and contributor for several national magazines.  She’s published short stories through Untreed Reads Publishing, various anthologies and e-zines, and Woman’s World Magazine.  You can contact her at

 Thank you so much, Susan, for these amazing tips. Now maybe I can use Twitter the way it's supposed to be used. 



David DeLee said…
Thank you for this. I have only recently joined Twitter and find this timely and very useful information.

Oh, and you can follow me @daviddelee
Thanks for taking the time to comment, David. I'll see you on Twitter!
Cindy Sample said…
My mind is reeling. What wonderful tips. Thanks so much for this post. BTW, how do I tweet a useful post like this that is tied to social media?
Jan Christensen said…
Great info--thanks, Marilyn, for hosting Susan. I hope to become more visible on Twitter, and these tips should help a lot.
Fantastic tweeting tips, Susan, and lots of valuable hashtags. Thanks, Susan and Marilyn.
Kathleen Kaska said…
Thanks Susan and Marilyn. This was so helpful. I use Twitter, but it boggles my mind most of the time.
As you can tell by the comments, Susan, your tips have been a great success. Thank you so much for sharing.
Thank you to all that took time to stop by and comment. I'm glad that these tips have helped you out. Marilyn, thanks for having me today. I appreciate the opportunity to appear on your blog.
Susan, thanks for the tips. I can use all the help I can fins. I find Twitter somewhat overwhelming and wonder who reads all those posts? I scan and retweet those I like or from friends.

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