I attribute this success to my activity on Twitter. These are my five tips for building a solid Twitter following.
1. Following the Right People - if you are a writer, then the people who you will want to follow you will be other writers, readers, publishers, editors and agents. If you follow people with a similar interest then they are likely to follow you back. There are various hashtags all writers should know and you will find fellow writers by searching for these hashtags.
2. Thanking Your Followers - remember to thank your followers for following you, as this helps with retention of followers. A short direct message to every new follower saying 'Hello [insert name]' and something like 'nice to tweet you' is quick and courteous. Automatic direct messages look impersonal which is why it is important to insert the name to show you wrote the message yourself. Better yet, comment on something in their bio and you may get into an interesting conversation.
3. Tweet Good Content - this also helps with retention. Keep your followers interested in you by linking to book reviews or blogs about writing. If these book reviews and blogs are hosted on your website then this is a good way to increase your website traffic too. Also, stay true to your bio. If you describe yourself as an author then you should be tweeting about writing, books, editing and other writers. If you stray off topic then your followers will get bored of you. Hard-selling your own book is also quite boring and should be avoided.
4. Give Back - I firmly believe all writers should help their fellow writers and Twitter is an easy way to do this. Tweeting good content is part of this but you can also help writers get exposure by retweeting, favouriting and replying to their tweets. You could visit their websites (often listed in the bio) and interact with these sites. Best of all, you could buy one of your followers' books, read it and review it.
5. Go Pro - be professional in your Twitter activity. Use a sensible photo of yourself as your Twitter profile picture, rather than an image of something silly or abstract. You are a person, not an organisation, and Twitter users will feel better able to relate to you if they can see you are a real person. Be professional in your tweets too. Don't overload your tweets with hard-selling messages or twenty hashtags or spelling errors or shouty CAPITAL LETTERS AND EXCLAMATION MARKS!!! It will make your tweets look like spam and nobody wants clutter on their feed.
And remember, Twitter is a lot of fun so enjoy yourself.