1. I post original content that genuinely interests me - I post a lot of indie short films from Youtube - I'm already watching them so to post them is easy. I post a lot of photographic stuff, art stuff, design stuff, a reasonable amount of music stuff (from Soundcloud and Youtube, which get the best retweets/likes as it happens), and of course, book stuff, but also vegan recipes and articles on sustainable living. The reason I do it is that it will attract followers who are more likely to connect and remain loyal. This has nothing to do with selling books. I hear too many authors complaining that they sell no books and yet they have a Twitter account. When I take the time to look at their account, I find the same things - they tweet nothing but self-promotions, only follow other authors (and pretty much only other authors are following them) and they post tweets irregularly. Like most other self-publishing authors, I have no training in marketing, but it makes sense to me to continually push my 'brand' out there when, on average, 50 new titles in my genre are published every single day (yes; every single day). Fundamentally, Twitter gives me/the publishing co-op a presence and a personality in social media, and someone is more likely to buy/recommend a product from someone they know.
2. I choose accounts to follow wisely and I'm a good follower - I use lists because it's the easiest way to organise the content I want to see and retweet - I have a core group of 100 favourite accounts and always check that list twice daily - but it's good husbandry to change stuff up and swap out new accounts from time to time - attention span being what it is, you gotta grab it. So, I follow a Twitter account; follow/like on Facebook, send a friend request if possible; follow on Soundcloud, subscribe to a Youtube Channel, follow on Goodreads ... and choose a recent tweet to retweet and categorise the account in one of the 17 lists/create a new list. Tweet a recent upload to Youtube or Soundcloud. Social media is integrated, so one portal opens/gives access to other portals. We also have a Youtube channel - for the book trailers, and a Soundcloud account - where excerpts from our audiobooks can be accessed). Portals, portals, portals - all linked.
3. I find it a must to post a tweet as far as possible with an image - I hardly look at tweets without images - so it's true.
4. I post stuff that I purchase and rate/review - I always include the Twitter handle of the author/musician if they have a Twitter account.
5. I always use #hashtags - retweet group hashtags like #IARTG and #LPRTG and #tw4rw are very successful, so are #hashtags like #ebooks #LGBT, #GTWO, #bookbangs, #supportindieauthors. Pay attention to the #hashtags that other people are using for similar content and change up your own #hashtags - things change very quickly on Twitter/social media in general.
6. I have integrated Twitter with my/our websites, and Facebook - the tweet timeline is displayed on our websites' front pages, and tweets and blog posts are auto-posted to Facebook (as is stuff from Goodreads). There's no need to double or triple key anything these days.
7. I subscribe to appropriate lists because it saves time in collating content that I want to read and share. If you have an interest, you're bound to find a Twitter list that supports it - subscribe, review, retweet, contribute (by tweeting using the appropriate #hashtag).
8. I use the Twitter recommended accounts to follow function, and regularly declutter using unfollow.com. I unfollow accounts that unfollow me without debate. I am realistic in my expectations about who is likely to follow me back - I hardly think J K Rowling will follow me back, so why am I following her? (I'm not by the way). If I follow an account then there is a reason for it. Chasing followers by following them is a fool's game; you just end up with a timeline of tweets that you have no interest in. But expect surprises too. My best follower has 500k+ followers of their own - that extends my reach quite a bit if they choose to retweet a tweet of mine. They happen to be an indie musician and I tweet their content regularly - it pays off in the end. And remember, there are no prizes for the largest number of followers. I'd rather have 13k active and loyal followers than 100k of dormant ones. If an account I am following hasn't tweeted anything for 3 or more months, I unfollow. There is no point following someone who is not active. However, if a follower is inactive then there is nothing much I can do about that.
9. Tweet daily, including weekends and holidays. One or a hundred tweets a day, it doesn't matter - just everyday. I post between 50 and 100 a day, everyday. I invariably tweet at the same times of the day - just be consistent.
10. Reply to all relevant DMs or state 'no DMs please' in your profile strap-line (DM = direct message).
11. Set up auto-thank you for all new followers - and don't merely use the auto-thank you to try and sell something. My thank you does not even direct the follower to my website or Facebook page - it's a thank you, simply that.
12. Do not use auto retweet services - I found them to be a complete waste of time. I think it is good practice to see the tweets you are sending out.
13. I limit promo tweets of my own to 10% of my total tweets - in fact, my average is even less - perhaps 4 out of 50. Yes, I will regularly tweet and retweet a new release for a while, and sometimes I'll do a tweet blast to really hammer the message home - but it's an exception not the rule.
14. I use the free plan from commune.it for some analytics and thank you cards which I use most weeks to thank new followers, top engaged followers, etc.
15. I pin our most relevant tweet to the top of our profile - in our case, the tweet of our latest release - and change up when appropriate to keep it fresh/relevant.
16. I check links work before posting them!
17. I regularly thank followers, retweeters and use #SO to do the occasional shout out. Friday is the day for the #FridayFollow tweets - I do them most weeks but not always. If I recommend an account to follow, there is a good reason for it, and I usually state why I am recommending it as an account to follow.
18. Avoid Twitter paid ads and boosts - I found them to be a complete waste of time and money.
19. I have the Twitter 'follow me' button on our websites, and the tweet widget on each key webpage and blog post. Make it easy for people to follow you and tweet/retweet your content.
20. Use the search facility on Twitter to find accounts and tweets by key words/phrases. I will regularly do a search for 'm/m romance' - this will find me new accounts to follow, tweets to retweet and usually new #hashtags to try out.
1. I'm an author, I must be on social media to sell books - not true (I sold books before I was on Twitter/Facebook. I sell more books now because I take marketing seriously, of which social media is a part, but only a part).
2. I'm no good at marketing; my book is for sale at Amazon and I leave all that up to Amazon because they do a better job at marketing than I'll ever manage - not true (marketing is as easy as anything else, and a fuck more simple than writing novels, and there is plenty of free guidance and there are lots of free tools).
3. Twitter is full of self-promoting authors with nothing interesting to say - not true (If it was, I wouldn't be using it).
4. I'll spend all of my time on social media and never get any actual writing done - not true (Discipline; spend a minute or 12 hours a day - just spend them wisely. I spend 5 to 8 hours a day - because I enjoy it and it pays off. If it didn't pay off, I would use it less or quit).
5. Twitter is just for the millennials - not true (I'm 50 and perfectly competent).
6. If I have Twitter, then I'll have to have Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, Googel+, etc - not true (choose what works and what you enjoy - that doesn't mean you can't experiment - and you should.)
7. I can't be limited to 140 characters per tweet - not true (It takes some practice, but using twitter cards, links and #hashtags mean that I rarely find the 140 character limit frustrating - actually, it's efficient).
8. You can't have conversations on Twitter like you can on Facebook - not true (and I find myself using email less and less because I am communicating through Twitter. I also Twitter chats which are a lot of fun).
9. Only celebrities attract followers - not true. (There are 320 million monthly active users - of which Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian are but 2).
10. Twitter will never replace my blog and traditional activities like advertising - not true (social media complements traditional methods, and can enhance the spend on advertising. It's all about reach).