Twitter has become an increasingly popular tool within the writing community, used to promote books, writing services and authors. With over 645 million users on Twitter, growing at a rate of 135,000 per day, that’s a lot of opportunity to take advantage of!
However, with only 140 characters available, writing something that is relevant and appealing can become somewhat of a challenge. I have created 6 simple rules that I always try to follow (sometimes, I get distracted and sidestep from the rule book). These 6 rules should help you find Twitter a much more reliable and useful tool to help promote your book or services.

1. Remember you have a profile. Like any other social networking website, you will have your own person profile. When someone comes across your tweets they may want to find out more about you. One of those places is your twitter profile. Make sure you make the most of this section. Complete a relevant bio; add a photograph of yourself and possibly a cover. This page sells you, but it can also sell your book, or your website. People, who come across your profile page, may add you or follow one of your links or even retweet one of your posts, so remember to make it as appealing as possible.

2. Write Interesting and Appealing tweets. In a bookstore you have the great advantage that your book has a cover and a blurb on the cover to attract potential readers. On Twitter you have your profile and any tweets that you create. With 140 characters to use this can be challenging to create something that will capture the eyes, and interest of the readers. It is tempting to fill your tweets up with “Buy my book now at…” Or “this is a great book, buy it here….” Most readers will just glance over these tweets. So how do you attract attention? Use snippets from your book, or from reviews you have received, or even create a mini blurb. “An ordinary boy in an extraordinary Adventure #YA #Fantasy” or “A magical adventure, full of Riddles, Monsters and Mystery.

3. Content. You can tweet much more than text. Remember to add pictures or video links. Perhaps you have a new book trailer you want to show? Tweets with pictures are retweeted 35% more than text tweets, and tweets with video links have a 28% increase in retweets. So get those pictures posted 

4. Follow Others. Think about promoting your book or writing services as running and promoting a business. You would obviously want to look in on the competitors, or similar businesses, or even business that would support what you are offering. Luckily on Twitter, you can do this very thing and more! Look up authors, or twitter book accounts and follow these people. Even better you can check out who they follow and their followers (It’s like getting access to a competitor customer database!) No select the people from these lists to follow. Make sure they are relevant. You’ll find that as you start to follow people, they will follow you back, increasing your promoting sphere.

Additionally, search for terms that would relate to your book. If you have written about werewolves, do a search. Look at the tweet results and the suggested users, you may find some tweets to retweet, and even people to follow.

5. Engage with Others. We all want to promote our books, and hope that we get the followers, the retweets and the attention. However, the best approach is to actively look at what others are tweeting. Respond to their tweets, message them and even retweet their posts. Doing so will build up a relationship with these users. These users in turn may be more likely to reply to and retweet your posts. This will mean that your tweets will be seen by the followers of this other users. So it’s a win-win situation. Ask questions, take part in conversations, and be interested in what others have to say.

Don’t Forget! Your followers may ask you questions too. It’s so important that you respond to them. They have taken an interest in you, or your work so take a bit of time to engage with them. It may increase loyalty and who knows they may even help spread the word  Having 1 dedicated fan can be as useful a tool as any you could ever need.

6. Get to know your timezones. Remember that Twitter is a global networking platform. You may be based in one timezone, but your followers may be based in a completely different one. Meaning that you could be tweeting when your fans are at work or sleeping. You may need to tweet the same tweet a few times a day at different times so that you have maximum change of others seeing your message.

Automation. You can use automation to help you achieve this goal. But remember to change your messages up a bit every so often. This way you can schedule a tweet to be posted when you’re tucked up in bed, or in work. Repetitive messages can be boring though and worst of all can cause followers to un-follow. So think about your balance. It’s better to take the time and post real, unique messages than to lose a follower.

Useful Features at Twitter:
• Hast Tags (#) used in front of a word with emphasize it to readers. It will also create a link to another other tweets that have that #word included. Popular hastagged words end up trending. So use #Ebook #Book #Youngadult or #YA #mystery #adventure etc

• @ Symbol use the @ symbol in front of other twitter users to link to them. For example @authoralan will link me to your tweet. Perhaps you want to say a public thank you, or send a response to a user that asked a question. When you reply to a user their twitter username will automatically be at the start of your next tweet.

• Links Remember you can add links in your tweets. Twitter will automatically shorten any links for you.

• Retweets Retweeting other users tweets can help build your tweet content. These retweeted messages will display on your activity timelines and your followers may retweet these. It’s all about creating engagement from your account. The more you do, and the more you engage others, the more likely others will be interested in what you have to say. I.e. promoting your book.