1. Choose a unique photo for your Twitter account. I cannot stress this strongly enough: your followers will come to know you by this photo, and a unique photo will make it easier for them to skim through the timeline to ignore you. Or read your tweets. Whatever.
2. Use an attractive photo. If you are unattractive (ask yourself, "do small children run, screaming, at the sight of me?") use a photo of someone who is attractive. Preferably of the same (predominate) gender as you, but this is optional. [See also, @frankhinton.]
3. Tweet. You can’t create a Twitter account then tweet once every three weeks. This isn’t using Twitter, this is having an account and being a Twitter wallflower. No one will ever notice you this way: the timeline moves fast and gets busy in a hurry.
4. Make sure your tweets don’t suck. Like #1, this is critical. For example, chances are your followers will let it slide if you post one tweet about how you can’t get your toilet unclogged. But nobody wants to read your daily struggle with an overfull potty. [Buy a plunger and use less paper, by the way.]
5. Don’t be an ass. If you are, by nature, an incorrigible ass, ask yourself, “What would a polite, or even kind, person do under these circumstances?” and then pretend that you are polite, or even kind, and tweet accordingly.
6. If someone follows you, don’t immediately freak out. Read their tweets, and if they appeal to you – or you find them merely tolerable – follow them back. This is social media, not a bulletin board. (Celebrities, I’m looking at you.)
7. Find something complimentary to say to your new Twitter friends, on a regular basis. For example, you might want to tweet, “Hey, @taylorhicklen, are those new shoes? They look nice.” He'll likely appreciate the courtesy.
8. Never tweet with your mouth full. Trust me. You’ll see what I mean.
9. Every Friday, people recommend other people for their followers to follow. If you follow 1,427 people, and every single Friday, you recommend each and every single one of them, you lose credibility. We get that you like the people you follow, we assume that is why you follow them.
10. Sometimes, if you tweet something really witty or helpful or interesting, some of your followers may “retweet” your tweet: this lets their followers see what you said, and you get credited. This is an honor not to be abused. When you retweet something, take the time to make sure it doesn’t suck.
11. When @inkyelbows retweets one of your tweets, you’ll know you’re getting the hang of it. If she promotes something you've written - on your blog, for example - then you've made the big leagues.
This list is illustrative, and not exhaustive, and I hope you find these tidbits useful. If nothing else, I hope you’ll join me in saying “tidbits” aloud – tidbits. There, don’t you feel silly?
Your humble and obed’t Serv’t,