This post was prompted by my continued membership and participation in a Facebook group known as Real Lives, a team of authors who have penned biographies or memoirs. It is one of many author teams under the umbrella of BooksGoSocial. It became clear to me many authors do not understand Twitter basics and lists.

Twitter 101

Think of this as a 101 in Twitter basics and lists. I have grown my following on Twitter from almost zero to 14,000 in a short time. Twitter is a useful social media platform for authors but like most things it takes time and you definitely need a routine. It’s something you can’t just dip in and out of as the mood takes you.

I probably spend one – two hours a day nurturing my Twitter account. Twitter works for me. It sells books. There are tools to help you achieve growth and exposure on Twitter and they save a lot of time too.

I have used most of the available tools and have settled on two to maximize my productivity. After all, like most indie authors, I need time to write and edit and not to spend too much time on social media.

Social Oomph and Crowdfire

Those two tools are Social Oomph and Crowdfire. The former is great, in fact it can’t be beaten, for scheduling Tweets. You can create your own Tweets and add your own graphics or images. It is possible to repeat the Tweet by the hour, the day, or by the week. You are in charge of the frequency. [Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Social Oomph – you may try it for free and I recommend you do]

Crowdfire permits me to add followers by mimicking other similar Twitter accounts. I can also unfollow them which I do regularly. It’s a discourtesy to follow someone and not have them reciprocate – all part of social media etiquette.

Both Social Oomph and Crowdfire only cost a few dollars every month. It’s worth the investment to see the results and after all it’s your business. If you don’t invest in it then you are going the wrong way about your career as an author.

So, consider a small investment and promote you and your books. You are your brand so make sure you have an attractive Twitter profile with a suitable profile image and cover image.

You should also have a Pinned Tweet. That is a Tweet promoting one of your books with a great image pinned to the top of your timeline. In that way, other users can easily find a tweet that you want Re-Tweeting.


The basics therefore of Twitter are:

  • Tweet
  • Re-Tweet
  • Engage
  • Follow
  • Unfollow

By following that routine you will soon develop an online presence and a healthy following. Let me say a word or two about two of those bullet points. Re-Tweeting is great. It shows you have noticed other accounts and are sharing their efforts to a wider audience by RT’ing.

If you do that then people will do the same for you. Not all, but some will.

Re-Tweeting is also a form of sharing new content to your timeline so it is not all about “me.” Likewise, another useful source of fresh content is Triberr. If you are an author, book blogger or reviewer, have a blog and a Twitter following of 3000 or more then contact me. I would be delighted to invite you into the Viral Books Tribe.

Engage means responding to likes or RT’s or if someone mentions you using your Twitter handle.


Okay, what is a List on Twitter? Essentially it is unsurprisingly just that – a list. But comprised of accounts that have something in common with the list creator.

This next part is aimed at fellow members of the Real Lives group but is also generally applicable to all. In the following images, I will show you where to find Lists and how to use them.


Okay in the above image of the timeline of Celebrating Gran, I have highlighted ‘Lists.’ The number 5 indicates this account has 5 lists. This account belongs to Ann Richardson, the author team leader of the Real Lives Group.


Above – Again highlighted on the timeline or Profile of Celebrating Gran. This is where you find the Lists if they exist. Click on ‘Lists.’

Below – You can now see which Lists she is a member of and/or subscribed to.

Below – I clicked on the BGS Real Lives Group and this is what I saw. It is the Tweets of all members of the group who are in this List. Got it?

On the right of the image you can see ‘Recently Added Members.’ Use this to follow other members of the group.


Above – This gives you the option to subscribe/unsubscribe to the List.


Above – Another view of the List Members’s Tweets.


Above – Pay attention! 🙂 This is my timeline/profile and I clicked on Lists. It shows my lists. Note I clicked on ‘Subscribe’ on Celebrating Gran’s timeline’s list of BGS Real Lives Group. That action has imported the same List to my Lists. This makes it easier to go into this List from my own timeline without going to Celebrating Gran’s timeline. I can now Re-Tweet from this view.


Above – This is the view of the List again from my Twitter Profile. I can follow fellow group members easily from this view.

I hope that helps all members of the Real Lives Group and any other authors who are baffled by by Twitter. There is no need to be baffled. Persevere!

Starting Friday September 8, 2017, the Real Lives group will start using this list to cross-promote each other across Twitter. You can do that in one of two ways. One, scroll down the List and re-Tweet as many members’s Tweets as you wish to. Or, go to each member’s Twitter profile and RT their Pinned Tweet.

Please note all these views are on my laptop. I prefer using a PC rather than a tablet or smartphone for all my internet activities. The views you see when using other than a PC may be different but you can still do what I have suggested.

Finally, why not subscribe to my monthly Newsletter and get more tips on social media time management and a load of extra goodies such as oodles of Facebook Author promotion groups? It’s all in a FREE eBooklet if you sign up below this post.






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