--How do I find followers?
--What are "retweets" and "mentions"?
--What is a hashtag?
--Should I followback?
--The Twitter Formula: why unfollow?
--What is the best time to twitter?
When people are thinking of adding you to Twitter, it's good to include some of your likes or what you are about. One good thing to include are some hashtags (see below), as people can use hashtags to search for your bio. Include your location or country. And your web address, if you have one. A blank bio won't attract new followers.
HOW DO I FIND FOLLOWERS?
So, you've signed up for Twitter but you only have a few followers. How do you get more? By following other people on Twitter. If you follow someone, chances are they will follow you back.
Use the search feature on Twitter and look for a keyword or "hashtag." I like science fiction, so I might search for #scifi or #sciencefiction or maybe #fantasy (though you end up with a lot of football references that way). It will give you a list of users that have either tweeted using those words or that have them in their bio. Take a look at them, if you like them, add them.
Tweet something everyday. If you're a writer or have a blog, don't just spam tweets about your book or blog all day long. (I'm guilty, I've done this). People will get tired of commercials. Tweet some personal things and retweet some other people's tweets. Interact.
People want to see frequent Twitter posts, retweets and mentions. Maybe they have a book or project and they're hoping you'll retweet for them or get into a discussion about their project.
You need to be active in tweeting, retweeting and using mentions.
For more info:
--How to Get More Followers on Twitter
WHAT ARE RETWEETS AND MENTIONS?
If you write a particularly useful or clever tweet then someone else might "retweet" it, meaning they will forward your tweet to their followers. This is what you want, because you want more people to hear what you have to say. If you retweet other people's twitter posts then they will be more likely to retweet yours.
So, keep an eye on the twitters coming in and if you see something you like, retweet it.
A "mention" is where you use someone's twitter handle (mine is @meredithskye) in one of your tweets. Maybe you read a book or article that someone on Twitter wrote, you could use their twitter handle and say something about it. Like "@meredithskye Read her book Gods of Garran and really liked it!". This "mention" will show up to the person that you mentioned under the @Connect tab on their Twitter page.
Using the @Connect tab, you can see what others are saying about you or to you. Since you can't send a direct message to someone on Twitter unless they follow you, this is one way to send a message to someone.
--Twitter for Authors
WHAT IS A HASHTAG?
A hashtag is any word with # in front of it. You can search by terms that people mark like this. They become unofficial forums. I like science fiction, so I use #scifi if I want to see posts about science fiction. Or #ebook to see posts about ebooks. Or #free if I want to see posts about stuff people are giving away.
Here are some of my favorite hashtags:
And so on ... try the search box on Twitter and see what hashtags might work for you.
More on Using Hashtags:
--How to Use Hashtags with Twitter
--What is a Hashtag on Twitter?
SHOULD I FOLLOW-BACK?
When you're new to Twitter, if someone follows you--follow them back. If you don't, it's very possible they will unfollow you. Why? Because of the Twitter Formula.
WHAT IS THE TWITTER FORMULA?
Twitter wants everyone to interact. So, they have a formula that rewards those who follow just about as many people as they are being followed by.
You can follow up to 2000 people on Twitter but once you hit that number, the Twitter formula kicks in. After that, you have to have 90% as many followers as you are following.
I hit that number a few months ago. Once I realized that I could find new followers by following other lovers of scifi, I started adding everyone I could with anything to do with reading science fiction and fantasy. Until I hit 2000. Now, I had to start "unfollowing" because I had far less than 1800 followers. If I don't unfollow people that don't follow me, then I'm stuck. I can't move forward.
Some people just follow everyone then unfollow them after they followback. I used the website: followerwonk.com to analyze who I'm following that isn't following me so I can unfollow them. It seems a bit mercenary, but I want to follow people that will interact with me and follow me back. Then I can keep adding more Twitter followers.
Another good site to analyze Twitter followers is SocialBro.
For more info:
--Can't Follow More than 2000 people on Twitter: How to Get over the Hump!
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO TWITTER?
Most people only see the current tweets because they are following so many people. Keep in mind your time zone when tweeting and where your followers are. If you're on the West coast and you want people on the East coast to see your tweets then adjust your timing appropriately.
Now you have the Twitter basics, go forth and tweet!