Friday, March 19, 2010

Tip of the Day: Twitter

I love the idea of doing a tip of the day (or two or ten, or skip a day or two, whatever).
We all had to start somewhere. Some of us are newer than others at blogging, tweeting, selling, living, whatever. There are lots of things I had to piece together on my own, or dig up, or just get slapped in the face with before I learned them and so I'm going to pass on that information to whoever happens to be reading this. Congrats, that's you! Unless there's no one here and then I'll just talk to myself. Either way.

Today's Tip of the Day: Twitter

Are you lost on twitter? Does it confuse you? Maybe you're scared to sign up or don't know how to use it effectively? Do you care? You should.

Twitter can be a powerful tool for your online business. It can also be a wonderful place to make new friends. Ideally, you will combine the two. I'll try to help you figure out how.

1. First, set up a Twitter account.
The best way to do this is to make it the same as your Etsy ID, your Artfire ID, your domain name, etc. You want to trademark yourself across the internet and be recognizable.

2. Fill out your profile and add an avatar.
This makes you more accessible and people can more easily gauge if you'd be a good person for them to follow.

3. Find some people to follow.
Don't go crazy and just follow anybody. That will end up driving you crazy and add to your confusion later. Twitter has a search box about halfway down on the righthand side where you can search by subjects. Are you a painter? Type art, artist, painting, acrylic, or something similar in the search box and you will find people who have used those "hash tags" recently. These are probably people you will want to check out.

It is also good to find people who share the same hobbies with you, so it's not always about business on Twitter. Do you like to garden? Try searching gardening terms. Or cooking terms. Or music.

It is also a good idea to figure out your target market for your business and aim at having some of those people follow you, too. Do you sew and sell purses? You might try finding well-known fashion magazines on Twitter and following a few of the people who follow those magazines.

4. Comment and reply on the people you follow.
If you see a tweet that sounds interesting or asks a question, answer it! Make sure it is addressed to the person you are replying to so they see it. Meaningful conversations are a great way to meet people and become known on Twitter. Other people can see the conversation and think, "Hey, that person sounds interesting! Let me check them out!"

5. Follow back.
You don't have to follow back everyone who follows you. But check out their profile. If they look interesting, follow them back! If they just spam links to their own items, feel free to pass.

6. Make a few interesting tweets throughout the day.
Don't be one of those people who tweets what they are doing 24/7. No one will care if you are going to the bathroom at 7:47 am and eating toast at 7:52 am and waiting for the mailman at 8:02am. Tweet things that others will respond to or find something in common with or that are just plain interesting. Tweet a few things in the morning to connect with the morning crowd, a few things in the afternoon for a different crowd, and a few things in the evening, too.

7. Let people know you're now using Twitter.
Do you have a facebook fan page? (New tip of the day blog post about that soon) Let your fans know your twitter link. Do you have a blog? Put a 'Follow me on twitter' link there. Visit discussion forums and join in on the twitter talks and see if anyone there looks interesting and add your links if they do.

8. Visit
Here you will find a ton of categories to browse to make it easier to find people you'd be interested in following in the subjects that interest you.

9. Be somewhat consistent.
Don't post a ton of stuff on Monday and then forget to check for a week. People like other active people and will engage much better if you're active. And interesting. (Notice a theme, yet?)

10. Use Direct Messaging sparingly.
This is a big one with a lot of twitterers. DMs are for saying things to people that you don't want public. A lot of people use DMs to spam. Don't do this. Don't send a DM saying "Hey, thanks for the follow. Come buy my stuff." Don't send a DM saying "Retweet this for me". Don't send DMs just to say "Hi."

Okay, well this ended up longer than I'd intended but what the heck. Hopefully it will help someone! If you have any twitter tips and tricks, feel free to comment and let me know!


christyklein said...

All very fab tips! Twitter is an excellent sales driver. I think about 85% of my sales so far, have been generated by my connections on twitter! Love it!

I have one tip to add - When using twitter to promote your business or site, don't be shy about getting your links out there, but make sure that's not the only thing you tweet or you will lose followers like crazy. There has to be a good balance. For every link I tweet I try to balance it out with at least 5 regular or conversational tweets. Helps to keep others engaged. :-)

I've been meaning to check out wefollow... thanks for reminding me! xoxo

Dawn Doucette said...

I just started using twitter last week! I'm having so much fun and learning so very much. Thanks for sharing all of these tips! They are all very valuable!

Have a terrific weekend!

clippieboutique said...

Thanks for posting this link in the etsy forums, you just answered every last question I had!

newhopebeading said...

Ok I'm going to take the plunge! I hear all about certian ways to do links and stuff that are short and i am all intimidated by that but I will take the plunge and learn as i go! Thanks for this post ... it was great!

nostOWLgia said...

Thank you! I've been stumbling about on twitter for a few weeks now, not really understanding it! Your post really helped!

seika said...

Thank you very much for this post. I'm new on twitter and have been confused how to use it. Thak you!

Daria Nicolaescu said...

Hey hi thanks a lot for this very helpful and useful helped me a lot as I am new to all this kind of stuff...and still have a question... how that hashtags work...I mean do I have to put them on every link for my stuff there?do these hashtags really help?
Thanks a lot once again ;)