Only original content need apply. Unlink your Facebook feed now, if you didn’t do it yesterday. A 140 character world is not one you can replicate with a bot. In fact it just pisses off the Twitter horde. Really, you are doing more harm than good at this point.
Use the personality you were given. Writers are lauded for their voice or criticized for a lack of one. Use it on Twitter. An erotic romance author shouldn’t sound like an inspirational one. And neither should only blast us with their latest thing to sell. It doesn’t have to be personal, although we love that, but it needs to be uniquely you.
Use the 75% rule. Only 1 in 4 of your Twitter messages should be overt sales pitches. This isn’t a tweet-by-tweet rule, but an overall twit feed rule. If all I ever see from you is the same 140 character push to sell your book, then I won’t follow you long. And you will never make my favorites list. Does that mean 3 of the 4 messages are a waste of time? Nope. They can be quotes from your book, or reviews retweeted from your book, or an image of the cover or the list is endless. And each can have a link of where to buy the book. Do you see the difference?
Tweet often and consistently. Twitter isn’t a tool for the faint of heart. Because it lives in real time, second by second, with no evil Big Brother filtering, it is important to establish a pattern of Tweeting. Like every day. Every 8 hours. No less than 4 of the 7 days, or you will just fall off the map for your budding Twitter presence. Now if you are Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Swift, Paulo Coelho, or the Dali Lama, the Twitter public will graciously wait for your wisdom. Otherwise the less well-known you are the more frequent you should post.
Don’t let Twitter devour you. Yes, after all my other rules, I know this seems a direct contradiction. But like all good things, chocolate, fountain Pepsi, comfort food, perhaps sex (not sure about that one), too much can kill you. Or at least make you resemble a zombie. Set limits on your time. There are hundreds of apps that will let you preschedule tweets, monitor your feed, and scores of other useful junk. But if you never write another word outside of Twitter, you have a bigger problem than no Twitter account. I call this my Social Maxim.
THE SOCIAL MAXIM (self-important CAPS intended): The amount of time spent on Twitter (insert any social media) will benefit your writing career until the point you tip over the line into the Social Zone. The Social Zone is the place where you worry about the number of retweets, obsess on your follower number, and get no real work done in a day. For me the Social Maxim says I can tweet about 4-6 times a week before I tip over into the Social Zone For you, that number may be different.