Friday 16 October 2015

Using a Twitter Collection to Promote

Twitter is great but that 140 characters limit is often an obstruction. There are ways to get round it though:

  1. Use a graphic to include the extra text. Remember to get the aspect ratio of the graphic right. Twitter now resizes images to 455x227 pixels and will crop the height if it is more than twice the width. Here's an example:
  2. Use one of a number of services which will split your text and post it as multiple tweets one after another.
  3. Set up a Twitter Collection.

What is a Twitter Collection?

A Twitter Collection is a series of tweets grouped together by users. They may contain tweets by a single or multiple tweeps. Each collection has a name and description. New tweets can be added to it, each appearing at the top. For authors it's ideal for tweeting about a series. The collection can be retweeted as a whole or individually. Unlike normal tweets they appear in the order added rather than by date and time added - you can add an old tweet to the top of the list.
Here's part of an example:

Notice the collection has a title - 'The lighter side of promo' and a description - 'Can you use humor to…'. It also has a button at the left 'Tweet about this collection'.
Clicking the button gets you this:

This can be edited by the tweep or the default message tweeted as follows:

(If you want to see the actual collection it's at )

How can authors use this?

  • You can link together a number of tweets with a common theme - in the example - humor. 
  • If a discussion evolves from a tweet the posts could be placed in a collection. 
  • You could also use this to promote a number of books in a series.  
  • It's also possible for a number of authors to create Collections about a common genre. This has great potential. I'm still working out how this would work but my initial idea is as follows

A Tweet Collection Team

Promotion sites such as Bookbub owe their success to their genre specific emails. It might be possible to set up a Twitter Collection Group to do the same thing on Twitter. Tweeps would find this attractive because they see the posts of the genre collection they are interested in and following.

How it would work - Let's suppose you are a romance author but don't write erotica.

  1. You write a tweet for your book and create an optional image for it 455 x 227 pixels in size. You post that tweet as normal in your timeline and get the URL of the tweet by clicking 'Details'
  2. You go to the Facebook group for Romance (no erotica) and post the link to the tweet as is normally done for retweet groups.
  3. You click the group's pinned Twitter Collection tweet and retweet that on Twitter. You undertake to do step 3 on a daily basis until you no longer want to be involved and have deleted the Facebook message you made in step 2
  4. IF you need to make a change to your tweet DON'T edit it. Delete it from the Facebook comment and make it again (Don't do that too often!) You are only allowed ONE comment/tweet in the collection
That's it - you don't have to retweet the individual tweets of group members because they will all be in the collection!

On a daily basis the group moderator/s will:

  • Delete the bottom two tweets and re-post them to the top of the collection
  • Add any new tweets to the collection
  • Make a minor change to the group pinned tweet to allow it to be retweeted again.
Of course if you write erotic romance/ science fiction/ thrillers / paranormal / fantasy / children's books / whatever, you simply use the appropriate group. No group for your genre? Create it - you are the moderator. Don't forget you can add any tweet, not just your own. You could add some tweets from other authors in your genre to get things going.

Promote the collection - not the individual tweets

The pinned Twitter Collection tweet should have an appropriate image associated. Change it often and get the group involved in making new ones.

How do I make a Twitter Collection?

Twitter suggests using either Tweetdeck or Curator - both programs from Twitter. Tweetdeck is probably easier for most Twitter users to access.
If you don't have Tweetdeck, get it at It doesn't require installation but will need access to your Twitter account/s.
If you are new to Tweetdeck there's a beginner's guide to using it at Mashable.

Mashable doesn't mention the new additions to Tweetdeck. Clicking the '+' at the left allows you to add any of these:

There at the bottom you'll find 'Collections'. Click it.
At the top click the -
The'll be a short delay then a new column will appear in Tweetdeck. Give the collection a name and add a description.
Tweetdeck says you can 'Drag Tweets into this collection' - you can, but you'll have to click the tweet then drag its drag icon. If you have a lot of tweets, that can freeze your computer while it catches up. I find it's better to copy and paste the tweet URL into the bottom of the collection.
To get the tweet URL from a normal Twitter page click the 'Details' link and copy the URL. In Tweetdeck you can use the ellipsis to get a menu and click 'Add to collection'

How do I get the Collection link?

At the top right of the collection in Tweetdeck click the 'slider' controls to get a menu. Then click Share and choose one of the options. I like to add an image, so I choose 'Tweet about this timeline'.

Where can I get more details?

You must be a glutton for technical stuff but here you go -

If this post has helped or entertained, will you help me? Download a FREE copy of the book 'Immortality Gene' from or 'Raging Storm' at
Even if you never read them (but I hope you will) - it will help rankings.
As to this post - it's part of a forthcoming book 'An Illustrated Guide to Getting Published.' In it, you'll learn all sorts of book promotion tricks.
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