The great thing about Twitter is that it doesn’t take a lot of time to do it right. The problem with Twitter is that its constant flow needs to be monitored daily in order to gain the rewards.
You can have a really great Twitter day on Monday, but if you ignore it for the next week, you may have lost your followers already. It’s a much more volatile network than other social media sites because it’s the fastest moving.
Below is a list of do’s and don’ts for optimizing the rewards of your Twitter account.
DON’T connect with as many people as you can, no questions asked.
You don’t have to follow everyone who follows you; be strategic about who you follow. Will following that person truly help you to market your book? OR will it simply greaten the disparity between following and followers? How many valuable tweets has that person made in the past month? The greater the disparity between the number you’re following and the number of followers, the less professional and legitimate your Twitter account looks.
DO connect with both industry professionals, publications you’d like to get into, similar authors, and potential readers.
When you choose people to follow, send them a comment so they know you’re following them. Watch what similar authors/Twitter accounts are doing and who they’re connecting with for ideas on where to go next.
DON’T use hashtags without a function or purpose.
The hashtag is NOT meant to be used with #each #and #every #word #in #your #tweet, #todescribeyourwholetweetinareallylongandnoteasilydiscernabletag, or in acronyms where no one really understands what you’re talking about (#KWIM).
DO use hashtags to join in the dialogue about a particular topic.
The hashtag functions as a way to join communities and encourage dialogue.
DON’T retweet (RT) just for the sake of having something to tweet.
Don’t RT just because you can’t think of what to tweet next. The potential for a RT of YOUR content is a great excuse for you to keep it fresh. Original content is always better than recycled.
DO retweet (RT) to connect your followers with something valuable.
When you RT something to your followers, it should be only occasional and truly worth reading.
DON’T RT your own tweets.
This will make you look like spam, and there’s no faster way to lose followers than to become redundant and irrelevant.
DO find new ways to introduce the content.
If you’ve got a book launch that you’re promoting this Saturday and you’d like to tweet about it every day this week, that’s fantastic. But make sure you’re introducing it differently so that the tweets stay interesting and worthwhile.
My book launch is at the Spaghetti Factory this Saturday from 3 – 6 p.m.! Three signed copies will be given away! #indiepub #booklaunch
Excited for my book launch! @indieauthornetwork, any advice for how to sign copies? #indiepub #booklaunch
@Alaskanews, my book on Sarah Palin’s political career “Roguing, Or Going That Way” will be launched this Saturday at the Spaghetti Factory from 3 – 6 p.m.! #Alaskanews #SarahPalin
DON’T feel that your tweets need to be solely about your own experience and discoveries.
If you only ever tweet about great articles you find or your thoughts on ____ (fill in the blank), you’re not really engaging in Twitter as a means to make connections. You’re using it as a mouthpiece.
DO respond and engage other tweeters about their tweets.
The way to get followers and engage in the communities you’d like to present with is to have original content AND respond to the original content of others. Give people motivation to follow you! The best motivation? Respond to their thoughts and ideas. If you can respond with something of substance (in other words, something more than “Great article!” or “Great point, well made!”), it is always preferable.