In this blog article we are going to interview one of Tokyo Web Designs recent clients, author Alex Lund, and ask him how he achieved rapid success in growing his social media reach. You can learn more about Alex at Alex-Lund.com or by following him on Twitter.
Alex Lund is originally from Scandinavia, but has been living in Tokyo for thirty years. He runs a consulting business in the retail and fashion industry based in Tokyo, and is the author of two contemporary novels based in Japan, SHIBUYA NEMESIS and WHEN THE FIREWORKS END, with the next book scheduled for release in early Fall 2020.
Q1. What was your original objective for having a website?
As an author I needed to have a single place to introduce my books and provide regular updates on upcoming works, new releases etc. At the same time I wanted to start blogging about my observations in Tokyo from my unique perspective as someone being based here for thirty years and counting.
Q2. How has Twitter helped you with getting closer to that goal?
Twitter has been instrumental in driving more traffic to my website and also to Amazon and Goodreads.com, which is like a giant book club for readers all over the world. In general it has led to an increased awareness of both my writing and myself as an author.
Q3. How did you feel about using social media before you started a Twitter account?
I was in fact a bit hesitant, mainly because I wasn’t sure how much time would be needed. I soon realized that putting together a tweet is a very quick process, and I have now settled on a routine of posting around three times a day at regular intervals, taking into account different time zones, in particular Europe and America.
Q4. What things did you do in the beginning to get momentum with your account?
For consistency, I set up my profile using the same visuals and key words as my website and started by mainly following other authors and people in the industry, such as book reviewers, editors, and book cover designers, many of them following back. When I got some frequency going on my tweeting, always
making sure to put in some eye-catching picture, I soon started to get many new generic followers. After that there seemed to have been almost a bit of
a snowball effect, as I kept tweeting and following interesting people.
Q5. What have you learned about using Twitter that worked well for you?
I’m quite fortunate in the sense that my activity on Twitter and my writing are very much aligned and related. I write contemporary stories set in Japan, I live in Tokyo, and tweet about interesting buildings and peculiar things I see when I’m out and about, so anyone who is following me on Twitter because they are interested in modern Tokyo and Japan is likely to also in the extension have an interest in my writing. In fact I very rarely promote my books directly on Twitter, relying on people who want to find out more about my writing visiting my website, Amazon or Goodreads where full information is available.
Q6. Do you have any advice for Twitter newcomers on what NOT to do?
I believe that being overly aggressive when it comes to promoting your products or services will eventually catch up with you and people will lose interest. I’ve often heard mentioned that for every “selling” tweet there should be at least four other interesting tweets not relating to your products or services. I’ve been very careful about this and probably have a number of around one in twenty or thirty. I think the way to get people interested in your products or services on Twitter starts by first getting them interested in you as a person, and not by constant in-your-face promotion.
Q7. Can you recommend any resources, tools or social media gurus that have personally helped you?
Tokyo Web Designs helped me with everything in the beginning, including the design and setting up of my website, and advised me on my total SNS strategy, including linking the website, Twitter, Amazon and Goodreads accounts, and I would warmly recommend them in order to get off to a good start. Getting things right from the very beginning I believe is crucial. I have been following and checking many other authors and tried to pick up bits and pieces of useful information from them that I felt would be right for me and my particular strategy, which is still a bit of a work in progress.
Q8. What are your plans and visions for how you will be using Twitter in the future?
My writing pace dictates this in a sense, but I expect to have at least two new novels coming out every year going forward. My main usage of Twitter I think will remain the same, focusing on pictures I take when I’m out on my random walks around Tokyo, as well as announcing news and campaigns from time to time about my writing, while adding complete information about each new book on my website, Amazon, and Goodreads.