3 Twitter Basics You Probably Don’t Know About

By Rachel Thompson
twitter bird on water


Twitter is hands down my favorite platform for authors. Again, and as always, not for tweeting BUY MY BOOK links repeatedly (which is not only annoying but also against The Twitter Rules we all agreed to), but for connecting with readers, book bloggers, and book reviewers, as well as other authors. There are few tools I find particularly helpful when it comes to sharing my work and the work of my clients on Twitter.

Let’s deconstruct.

1) How To Make Everyone See Your Replies!

The . before the @.

Let’s just say, for this example, that you see a tweet go by from oh, Lady Gaga, and you have the wittiest reply ever recorded in all of recorded history. If you want EVERYONE on your stream to see the tweet, put a . right before the @ (i.e., like this: .@) at the beginning of the reply (meaning, if you write the tweet and then add .@LadyGaga in the middle of the tweet, the .@ isn’t needed).

I know, it seems confusing but it’s really simple. No . before the @, only the intended recipient sees it. Add a . before the @ at the beginning of a tweet or reply, then everyone who follows you will see it. This is particularly useful during Twitter chats.

2) New ‘Pin’ Option 

If you’ve been on Facebook for awhile, you know what Pinning a post means — it stays at the top of your feed until you ‘unpin’ it. Now, Twitter has that option, too (if you’ve upgraded free to their new layout). If not, click here.

Why bother? It’s simply a way to promote something (a book sale, a quote that people have retweeted quite a bit) for as long as you want. I recommend switching it up at least once per week or less if you have a busy, active account, once every few weeks if not that active. Plus, I’m here to tell you, this pinned tweet is the first tweet people will see when they make the decision to follow you. What do you want them to see?

Finally, I’m seeing significantly more retweets and favorites on my pinned tweets than on my non-pinned tweets.

3) Amazon Cart #AmazonCart 

A wonderful new service started between Amazon and Twitter in early May of this year. If you add #AmazonCart to your book tweets (remember, for all that is holy or made of Nutella, do not spam these tweets):

‘Under the program, users must link their Amazon.com account with their Twitter account. Then they need to add the hashtag #AmazonCart when replying to a tweet that has an Amazon product link. The product will then be automatically added to their shopping cart.

Twitter users will get a reply tweet from @MyAmazon as well as an email from Amazon when the item is successfully added to their cart. The service is for U.S. customers only, although U.K. users have a similar service with the hashtag #AmazonBasket.’ (Source: Huffington Post) 

Use this judiciously, and as far as I can tell, we as authors receive no data on how many sales come from using this hashtag. But who cares? It’s one more way for us to reach readers and Amazon makes it even easier to merge social media into a sale funnel — a win/win for everyone!

Are there any new changes you want me to cover in next week’s article? Please respond below with comments or questions.