1. Before you start, set yourself up well. If you cannot be yourself, create a persona. Be generous on Twitter and others will be generous back to you. Get known for positive enthusiasm, reading the hot books from other publishers, having an opinion, being bookish...and for being part of the bookish chat.
2. Brainstorm a catchy (not too long) hashtag and start feeding it out early – with the acquisition announcement, even.
3. Make sure that hashtag is centre stage on every communication you send out – proofs, press releases, emails, teaser mailings, bespoke labels, bespoke postcards etc. And ask people to use it!
4. Establish early the role that the author will play on social media in the campaign. Are they connected? Engaged and active? Will they add to your reach or will you have to compensate for none? Will you have to be aware of any of their sensitivies? Will they need training?
5. Engage the Twitter influencers early, eight to nine months in advance of publication. This means you will know who they are, you will have built lists, you will have observed whose opinions on books matter, who is connected.
6. Build anticipation and desire on Twitter by sending out proofs in waves. Bloggers see influencers, then other bloggers tweeting about their proofs and how much they are enjoying it. More bloggers start dropping hints on how they are longing to read it, photographing their post when it finally arrives. Soon you will have journalists coming to you saying: "What's this book I am hearing all about on Twitter? Why haven’t you sent it to me yet?"
7. Tweet cards are an effective tool to spread early acclaim – tweet posters, too. For Twitter they don’t have to be household names, they just have to be the influencers who are recognised in the bookish community on Twitter – it could be a blogger, a bookseller etc.
8. Add extra ticket sales on to your bookshop events, and bookshop/festival events can have a virtual audience. Some events benefit from their own hashtag. Make sure your chair has Twitter reach, too. Twitter can make more noise around your events.
9. Never think one tweet is enough! You will feel it when buzz is starting to build...and then marshal a Twitter army! Get your division, department, whole company on board. Share with them how Twitter word of mouth is building for an author or novel in the same way you share coverage or reviews and engage everyone in tweeting/retweeting – sharing from corporate accounts, too.
10. But finally...don’t keep banging on if there is no traction. Twitter can accelerate traction but it cannot create it.
Moore, Headline's communications director, will speak about harnessing the power of Twitter on The Social Room panel at the FutureBook Conference 2015. For more information click here.