The directions below will be the road map I use to try and become a better Twit:
The Do List (some are painfully obvious, but I've been know to miss the forest for the trees):
- Follow, thank, and reciprocate people who retweet (RT) your tweets.
- Ask people questions (if you truly are looking for an answer, not just as bait).
- Follow the '80/20 Rule.' Write 20% percent of your tweets about you and/or your writing, and focus the remaining 80% on others. RT, comment, share relevant content, recommend books and blog posts, etc.
- Use hash tags, but no more than 2 per post. I've read that this is good Twitter etiquette (Twitiquette?).
- Attach links to your tweets (Twitter will automatically shorten them). You can squeeze out a few more characters by shortening your link with bitly, Hootsuite or a similar tool.
- Maximize your 140 characters. List your message, be concise, add hash tags, links, and/or pictures when possible.
- Vary the content and presentation order of your tweets to avoid stagnation and repetition. Don't become predictable.
- Tweet quotes from your best book reviews and link to the review or the book (in moderation).
- Tweet quotes from your books, and link to where they can be purchased. This technique is like a mini-version of Bublish or Microcerpt. Again, use moderation.
- Try tweeting in the afternoons and near weekends, especially Thursday and Friday afternoons. Reportedly, these are high traffic times for Twitter. I am using Hootsuite to schedule my posts during these hours, but I also plan to be available online at these times, to interact with any followers who respond.
- Use Twitter Lists to organize your followers. For example, create a list of followers who comment about your book as a way to keep track of and stay in touch with them. Same thing for book reviewers, blogs, regular retweeters, personal favorites, friends, etc.
- Check the Twitter Glossary when you're confused or uncertain.
The Don't List:
- Don’t set up an auto-message that sends a tweet to everyone who follows you. Since I find these tweets annoying, doing it myself would be hypocritical.
- Don't try to sell your book, especially with spammy tweets. This one is tough. Try to craft a creative tweet that is not a sales pitch and contains some value to the reader.
- Avoid validation services, for the same reasons as auto-messaging. It's like telling your potential followers "my time is more valuable than yours."
- Don't recycle your tweets. Nobody likes reruns.
Author Update: I'm writing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 46,000 word mark, which, based on the way I write first drafts is approximately 2/3 complete. If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream at Smashwords with this code: JH88U.