Today, while scrolling through my subscription folder, I found a blog post from Caroline Smailes' blog, In Search of Me..., entitled "How Writers Engage on Twitter" (find it here: http://www.carolinesmailes.co.uk/how-writers-engage-on-twitter). In this post, she addresses some things that have always bugged me about certain users on the social networking website.
The first quality that she points out is being "Consistent and Helpful/Funny/Open/Shouty." This means constantly giving your Tweeps something to enjoy about your posts, some reason for them to keep reading what you broadcast. Basically, you need to be interesting and be that way day after day. If you want to attract writers, you need to give them a reason to care about what you are posting. You can't just expect your viewers to visit your website, like your Facebook page, or subscribe to your blog if you don't allow them to get to know you as a valuable resource.
The second quality is being available. This means retweeting, replying, answer private messages, and reaching out to other users. The biggest reason for doing this is to start a conversation with your followers. You are building bridges and making connections that could lead to a mutually beneficial relationship. While your ultimate goal might be to promote your new book or guide more traffic to your blog, you won't succeed in any of these types of ventures if you don't make your Tweeps into friends. They need to know that you are a live person, not just a robot.
This all gives way to one of my biggest Twitter pet peeves: auto-promotion, as I call it. After adding someone, have you ever gotten a private message that asks you to view their website, buy their new product, or check out what service they are offering? Without ever talking to you, they pretend to immediately know you are interested in what they are pushing. I realize that automatic messages such as these might be a standard, but I loathe them. It all feels like spam to me and I delete every single one.
So, my point is to beg you, please, get to know your followers on Twitter (and other social media)! You don't have to make them your new best friend, just please acknowledge that they are a real person with real interests and make an effort before you try to promote yourself.