Okay, I will be the first to admit that with just two weeks on Twitter I am quite the neophyte and still have a lot to learn. However, it did not take long for me to realize several important things that I think should be incredibly obvious to everyone but, based on what I see constantly, are not. Here are five guidelines that I personally wish everyone on Twitter would use:
1) Quality is much, much more important than quantity. If you tweet 100 times a day, I will not follow you, no matter who you are, your qualifications, or how much you might be able to help in getting me published. Chances are, if you are tweeting that much, you are probably guilty of violating my next point, too.
2) Don't constantly hock your wares, be it a book, website, lecture series, or whatever. Nothing turns me off faster than a person who sends out the same 4-5 tweets over and over again, with a link to his/her latest (and often only) book. I want news and other original information, and if I can't get it from you, I will check elsewhere. Sure, reposting things from time to time is fine, but once or twice a day is more than enough.
3) Your tweets should have value, and not just to you. If all of your tweets are self-promotional, I have no reason at all to read or follow them. Again, give me something that can help me, or off I go to follow those who will. Naturally, a lot of people tweet about what is happening in their lives, and while this is not necessarily "of value" to me career-wise, I often enjoy them simply for their entertainment value.
4) #Hashtags are your friends. They make it possible to find relevant posts from people you are not currently following. Using them well can make your tweets far more visible, but use them properly and sparingly. Using 3+ hashtags in a single tweet is an almost certain sign of off-topic spam, which I will immediately ignore.
5) If you want to follow me, wonderful. If you expect me to reciprocate, follow the guidelines above. I do not feel any obligation to follow people just because they follow me, nor should anyone else. If that means they decide not to follow me anymore, I can live with that.
That is all for now, except to say that, should you want to follow me, I can be found at @ajwyckoff.