Twitter is a brilliant resource for sharing your articles and gaining followers. There are various techniques you can use, which I have spoken about before.
If you are a fiction writer, however, many of these techniques may not be effective. One technique I discovered is to create an account for one of your fictional characters.
Many years ago I started writing a vampire novel. At present, it is only halfway through. The lead character is a vampire named Raylon who was part of an experiment. It was this character I used for my Twitter account.
This is a method that would work on Twitter and Instagram. I have only done this on Twitter. Instagram, however, welcomes this approach. There is even an option on a business account to be a fictional character.
Setting up a profile
As you write your novel, you will have an idea of what you expect the character to look like. Either design a picture yourself or use one of the copyright images. Find a photo and use it as your profile image. Images of people gain more followers than logos.
Once you have picked your picture, work on a description that gives a little of your novel away. Leave intrigue in the description. Tweak the curiosity of the followers.
Interacting as your character.
Once your profile is complete it is time to put your fiction writer head-on. Interact on the account as your character. Write texts that you believe the character would write.
There is even an opportunity here to put teasers for your novel. In your 280 characters, you can hint at the story. I wrote tweets that the character would have written as if my novel was occurring at the time to Vampire Raylon.
To encourage followers many of the standard techniques will work.
Be genuine and interact with people. Interact though in a manner your character would.
Use common hashtags and everyday events to comment on. This will make you current and relevant. It will also help you gain a personality, this will encourage followers.
Spend time constructing clever tweets, that gives an idea of who your character is and what they stand for.
Make sure you are active and followers will follow. Generally, tweets with pictures receive more interaction than those without. Use relevant images to your character and your story.
The added advantage
This approach will build an interest in your character and a following. Once your book is published you then have several people who will be interested in your character. They will buy the novel because they are familiar with one of the characters. They have a vested interest to find out what happens to them.
You will also gain the added advantage of having lived as your character for many months. JK Rowling wrote many backstories for her characters that never found their way into her books. You will have the same, a back story, that will inform your novel and the characters.
When you write more personal scenes within the novel they will be more authentic. You have lived through Twitter as your character. You will have a better idea of how they would react as the character you are portraying.
Consider this technique as part of your book marketing campaign. Ensure you do this early enough to build a following. However, don’t spend so long on this that you forget to write the book.
I stopped writing Raylon’s story because I got another idea for a better story. I will always be grateful for the experience and skills Vampire Raylon taught me through Twitter. One day I may return and complete his story, for now, he holds a very special place in my heart. Hopefully one day he will meet one of your fictional characters.
Sam H Arnold is a UK writer and mentor. To support her writing and read her fiction work join Patreon. To follow all her work find her on Facebook. To receive regular writing tips join her Email List. – © Sam H Arnold 2020