***I'VE MOVED!!! MY NEW BLOG CAN BE FOUND HERE: http://katyclouds.blogspot.com/ - AND THERE'S A NEW TWITTER COURSE TOO :-) ***
I've seen a lot of people on the Folksy forums who seem a bit baffled by how to use twitter to their full advantage, so I thought I would write a blog post to direct people to with some advice.
The thing to remember is that twitter, unlike Flickr, CAN be used to promote your business without having to bend the rules at all. In fact, lots of companies use it to 'tweet' about their best deals, promotions or new products.
I have nearly 1000 followers on twitter, and my tweets are regularly 'retweeted'. I've got quite a few sales through it too. I'm not an expert! I just thought I would share some of my advice for super-beginners. There are loads of articles on twitter all over the web, so do a little research and pick out the tips that work best for you.
Try and use the same username as your shop on Folksy or Etsy (or another site, of course!) It will make it easier for people to find you, and refer to you.
You get a small space for a short bio. Use it for your blog address if you update a few times a week. Your blog will give much more information about you as a person and as a crafty business owner.
The idea of twitter is short bursts of useful or interesting information every time you check it. Therefore, following everyone you find will make it less useful for you. I would search Folksy and Etsy forums for posts about twitter, you'll find people are eager to share their link. Follow as many crafty people or businesses as you can, as well as celebrities you find interesting, businesses you love or friends you have.
I'm really against following people for the sake of getting followers myself. I started off following around 1000 people because I just added everyone I saw. My timeline was full of random tweets, spam, boring stuff I wasn't interested in. I gave it a week to separate the wheat from the chaf, and then purged my timeline of everyone who didn't interest me. I now follow around 200 people.
I would ensure you follow @etsy and @folksy. You might like to look through their lists of followers for more people you might find interesting.
Don't let this put you off following people, always give them a chance. Twitter is a great medium for discovering new things on the web, but if you find yourself skipping over someones tweets after a week, don't be afraid to delete them. Make it useful for you.
People will tend to follow you for a number reasons. They might see you have a crafty business and be interested. They might like your products. They might like your avatar. They might see that you are being followed by a corporation or business they admire. They might have found you using search. Either way, don't feel you need to follow people back. Like I said, it's all about making it useful and interesting for you. I always follow crafty people back, and then if they only promote their stuff over and over again, I unfollow. I like to know more about what people are doing in their lives than just be force-fed links to their products.
Twitter isn't a numbers game. You want to be followed by people who find you interesting, who will retweet your promotions, or who might turn into buyers. It takes a while to build up a good follower base. Promotions such as 'Follow Friday' which is signified by the tag #ff in tweets, can help you gain followers. People will suggest you to their followers on a Friday if they find you interesting.
As I have already said, it is important to strike a balance between personal and business tweets. Think about what you like to see in your timeline. I like to see a mix of links to new products, retweets of people I might not have otherwise seen, and fun or interesting things that are happening in peoples lives. The twitterverse doesn't need to know about every meal that you are eating, but personal things make you more approachable.
Things I don't like to see:
- Constant complaining or negativity followed by long bursts of promoting the same items over and over.
- Just promoting
- Begging for followers or retweets
Because I am a super busy mum, I use twitterfeed to cut down on the amount of time I spend writing tweets. Twitterfeed is a RSS reader thingy, that will check certain pages such as your blog, Etsy and Folksy shops and Flickr, and post the title of the post, item or photo and as much of the description as it can fit. It does it automatically and you can set it to only show one update a day, which will reduce the chances of your followers feeling like you are spamming them
It's pretty easy to set up. You can just go to the twitterfeed website and it will guide you through setting it up. I like to arrange it so the feed is posted about an hour after I've actually posted it. This means I'm marketing my business when I'm not actually sitting right in front of the computer.
I hope that you have found some of this information useful. Please comment if you have! Leave a link to your twitter and I'll follow you. Good luck!
My twitter: http://www.twitter.com/twinklyspangle