Thursday, December 17, 2009

Twitter Basics ~ Tweet Your Heart Out!

The social networking world can be confusing, even overwhelming to many who have not used social networking sites before. With so many choices, it is hard to decide which one to use to make connections and talk about your craft. Twitter is a great place to start!

What is Twitter anyway?

Twitter is a fast paced networking tool that can really spread the word about you, your love of your craft, and what's new in your Etsy shop simply by answering the question "What's happening?".  Twitter offers the opportunity for "micro-blogging" with a short status update of what is going on at the present moment.  Each user gets a profile, where all your tweets are shown. You follow other tweeters to see their tweets and vice versa.


Some Basics:

Status
  • Answer "What's happening?" as often as you like. However, you only have 140 characters to do it! There are several ways around this limit by using common abbreviations and shortening long urls. (Several sites that can help you shorten long urls are www.tinyurl.com and http://bit.ly.)

Replies
  • If you see a tweeter asking a question or want to comment on a tweet, click the reply button below their tweet. This will automatically put the user name in your status bar (@userwhomever). Whatever you write in your status will be then posted to your profile for all to see as well as the intended user.

Mentions
  • Wondering if anyone answered the question you just tweeted? Look to the right column. There you will find your username just under "home". By clicking your user name you will see all who replied to or mentioned you in their tweets. It is always nice thank some one for retweeting something and even better to return the favor and spread some love!

Direct Message (DM)
  • If you want to respond to a tweeter without it being posted to your profile, you can direct message a user. Think of this as a mini email- your followers will not be able to see this message. DMs are also limited to 140 characters so keep it brief!

Retweets (RT)
  • Want to share another tweeters tweets with your own followers? Just click the retweet button below their tweet to retweet their message.  This will automatically mention the user and post it your profile.

Following
  • Following a user means you will see their status updates on your "home" page each time they update and those who choose to follow you will also be able to see your updates. There are many ways to find people of interest to follow. You can use the search bar in the right column for keywords and/or hashtags. Hashtags (#) make it easy to search twitter for specific topics and to tag your own tweets so they appear in searches. For instance, if you found a handmade item that you love on etsy (a common occurence!) then you might tweet- "Just found an awesome #handmade felt dog on #Etsy!" The next time some one searches "handmade" or "Etsy", your tweet will appear in that search.

  • You may also use a third party application or other websites to find tweeters to follow. There are many out there and more being added quite frequently. Some sites also allow you to bulk follow and unfollow. Just be careful as twitter sets limits for you on how many people you my follow. Once you follow 2,000 tweeters you need to have at least 2,000 followers in order to follow more.
Try these sites for starters:
http://twitseeker.com
http://www.twellow.com
http://wefollow.com
http://www.tweepz.com

If you have reached your limit you can choose to use a site like http://huitter.com/mutuality2 to bulk unfollow. This site allows you to bulk unfollow those who are bots (not real people!), spammy, haven't used their accounts in a while or are not following you back. Sounds a little childish, not following those who don't follow back, but in the twitter world there is not much loyalty in that sense. Don't take it personally! You are not obligated to follow all you follow you. Find people of similar interests and who you will enjoying chatting and making friends with!

Using Twitter:

I have made sales on twitter, and love to share what is going on in my shop. However, there is a line between posting links to your shop occassionally and being spammy. Twitter is fast paced, but only posting links to new items every few seconds won't be helpful to you or your shop. I have made some wonderful friends and connections there and enjoy promoting other shops, retweeting items that I like myself, offering inspirational quotes or silly things that happened during the day. To me twitter is about making friends and showing people what I am up to. If you use twitter only to promote your shop, you may find yourself being unfollowed for it. Keep it real and you will find yourself making some really great friends! :)

And if you want to tweet along with me join me @Saraswatijewels. Happy tweeting!!!

3 comments:

  1. I've so come to enjoy Twitter. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great information..thanks .I have twitter but never use it..!!

    ReplyDelete