Most people have no idea how to use Twitter. They find the 140-character limit frustrating, as it does not allow a lot of space to advertise in depth. They also don’t understand why the pace is so fast. As soon as you tweet something, it will be pushed far down other people’s feeds in a matter of seconds.
What is the use of a network like that?
Simple: Twitter is about conversations.
You’re supposed to be talking
The point of Twitter was never to be a place for you to shamelessly plug your product and services the same way you might on a Facebook page. It was mean to be very similar to text messaging (hence the fast pace), except that multiple people could see and participate in the conversation.
To use Twitter to promote your book, you gotta focus less on promoting and more on making friends. People aren’t going to care about what you’re pushing if they don’t know you. You’ll just seem–and be–annoying to them. Search for other authors and read their excerpts and ask them about their experience, their characters, and even just everyday life. Strike up conversations with people who are interested in reading (you can find them by searching for tweets and profiles with the hashtags “#reading” “#bookworm” and such.
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform, so it wasn’t meant to work the same way as Facebook does, which allows you to get away with 1 to 2 updates a day and still be active enough for fans. Twitter requires more frequent updates and attention.
Install the app on your phone and tweet several times a day. You know how you check your phone whenever you get a break, or instinctively look at the clock every 15 minutes at work? You need to get into the habit of tweeting about what you’re doing and interesting things that are going on, as long as they are related or semi-related to your book. The goal is to put yourself where people can see and hear you, and to become a fixture in their minds so that when your book does come out, they already feel like they know you and will be more inclined to buy from you.
Once you have connected with your potential readers, keep the relationship growing. Retweet and reply to their thoughts. Show interest in their projects. Remember stuff about then and ask them how various things are going in the future when everyone has all but forgotten.
Also, use Twitter to keep an eye on what other authors are doing, especially those who write in the same genre as you do. You can learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t from studying their approaches and developing your strategy as you go along.
Does it sound like Twitter is a huge time and energy commitment? It certainly is. But, you love your book, right? You want people to read it and like it and care about it. So, until you give a shit about other people and their work, there’s going to be less love coming back to you. Mutual interest and respect makes this world go ’round.