Okay, so I am going to offer up some more information when using Twitter as a networking/promotional tool for your books.
I know lots of people out there have posted about this on other blogs and articles, but I am finding lots of people are still a bit wary of Twitter to promote their books and I've offered up this same advice.
It is hard to get followers if you don't know what you are doing. It is difficult to figure it all out and sometimes, well, you'll just say 'Screw it!' and avoid it if you get too frustrated. I was about to just drop Twitter because of the fact that I couldn't get the followers I wanted.
Here is what I did:
First, give a SO (shout out) to new followers. If you look at your Twitter page, you have "Home", "Connect", "Interactions" and "Me".
By clicking on "Connect" you can see who followed you, who mentioned you, who retweeted one of your tweets or even "favorited" one of your Tweets. The best thing to do is click on the tiny picture of one of your latest followers. Make sure you are not going to follow or bring attention to some spammer or girl who is using provocative pics to get followers (unless of course, that's your thing...lol!), etc. There are also those who are trying to sell you something. (Who isn't?) Make sure it is someone you WANT to follow back. Make a list, get their Twitter handle. (@MLChesley)
Next, go back to 'Home' where you can tweet and type in something like this: "SO to new followers: @MLChesley, @ZombieZak, @LordWalkiWolf thanks for the follow!"
That's what I put in. Now when you put in the user name like that, the person you are mentioning will see their name. Gives 'em kind of a warm fuzzy, I suppose. At least they know they didn't just follow a bot. And you might have to do this a few times. I can only put in about 4-6 names in one Tweet. But this has helped me gain lots of new followers rather quickly.
There is a cap on how many people you can follow if you have under 2,000 followers. So make sure you aren't just following every single person/dog/ape that is following you. Be kind of picky about it and keep your followers and the people you are following as even as you can. There's ways around this, but I'm not going to post it because I don't do it. I'll be patient and gain my followers respectfully.
Now I spend about 20 minutes a day on Twitter and got a good following going. I lose a couple a day and gain like 5 more with some of my methods.
If you are all about promoting your book, you won't get followers. You have to 're-tweet' others. They're tweeting their book links just like you are. So click on the 'retweet' option when you see a book link or blog link by a fellow author. You'll get more followers this way, because you aren't making it all about you and your book. I'll sit there and retweet up to ten people, then post my links. I'll repeat the process as often as I can in that 20 minutes.
I also throw in some personal comments or I will reply to questions (if I know the answer) or even offer up a cup of virtual coffee to Talli Roland when she pops on. ;) You gotta have a little fun with Twitter too, don't be a working stiff.
The very last thing I will tweet before logging off is something witty or fun. Sometimes inspirational. Or as inspirational as I can get.
This is the one I have gotten the best response with: "Support your fellow authors! RT book links even if you don't like the genre. Someone will. #asmsg #writers #authors #readers"
RT meaning ReTweet, of course. Lots of people have liked that and have retweeted just that phrase. I have to come up with some more, I don't want to keep using the same thing all the time. But I used it last night because it had been awhile.
Okay, so I hope that helps you even more.
Got any suggestions on how to get followers? What are some of your best 'tweets'? How much time (if any) do you spend on Twitter? Why do you avoid Twitter?