Self-promotion is crazy easy now. Creating an account on any major social media site is extremely simple; posting links to your latest blog post or cover reveal is instantaneous and effortless. But it's also never been easier to be impersonal. Or worse, annoying.
We all know a few ground rules: no auto-DMs to anyone who follows you, no following a whole bunch of people just to get follows back (i.e. you're not actually interested in conversing with them). But even if you start out with good intentions, you can fall into habits that will turn off everyone who follows you.
Don't retweet everything said about you. This seems vain and is supremely irritating. Not only are we unlikely to take Bobby Rae's gushing about your book to heart, but we probably already like you and/or your book. Unless it's Kirkus Reviews or another bestselling author, we don't need to be swayed.
Twitter now even has a "Turn off Retweets" for a user you're following, which shows you that this is a definite widespread problem.
Talk about more than your books. A reminder: Twitter is a social media platform for conversation. You want to sound like a genuine person! So talk about your cats, the movies you're excited for, the political parade going through your town. Then, when you do talk about your books, people feel a little more familiar with you, and won't mind clicking through your link.
Near your release day or another major event, you naturally will be tweeting more content related to your books. This is fine!—for a short period of time, say, a week or so. The key is to transition back into normal, I'm-a-real-person-not-a-promotion-machine tweeting.
Don't reply to all tweets with periods in front of the user's handle, or put the user's handle at the end. This makes all your followers view your tweet, not just the followers who follow both you and the other user. There's a reason why Twitter is set up the latter way—we don't need to see out-of-context conversations or dozens of inane "Thanks for the #FF @[username]!" tweets.
Of course, if the tweet has information or content you'd like to share and stands alone, this is perfectly fine. But like everything else, it must be done in moderation.
The takeaway from all this? Don't clog up people's feeds. An overwhelming social media presence might just be worse than no social media presence. And think how you'd want your feed to look like. Remember that Twitter is a conversation tool.
Do you agree? Disagree? How do you use or view Twitter?