Saturday, July 11, 2009
A quick guide to Twitter and Tweeting, for the Tweam (sorry!)
What is Twitter?
Twitter is yet another social network site, somewhere between Facebook, a chat room and a mini blog, with the interesting constraint that you can only use 140 characters each time you post!
Whenever you post a message on twitter (known as a "tweet") it shows on the pages of those people who have chosen to follow you. In turn, when you chose to follow someone, you will see their "tweets". You can post comments, link to websites and photos, and reply to other user's "tweets!"
Why should I bother?
Twitter is a great way of building up relationships with other artists and crafters, and of course potential customers! At present there are an estimated 8 million Twitter users.
Once you've signed up for an account you can add a profile (with a link to your website) and a photo. Then you can start to follow people.
I love Mr Tweet - once you sign up, this site makes suggestions on who you should follow, based on the content of your previous tweets!
What do I tweet about?
It's best not to spam too much - the occasional link to a new item is fine (and recommended!), but many people will stop following you pretty quickly if all you post is "look at my stuff", "have you seen my stuff?" and "did I mention I sell stuff"!?
So, ask questions, answer other people’s questions, give opinions, offer tips and post useful information. The more interesting your tweets, the more followers you are likely to attract and keep.
More Stuff you can do
If someone gives a great quote/piece of information that you feel is worth repeating to your followers, you can "re-tweet". To do this you would type "RT@" then the username of the person you are re-tweeting, without spaces, followed by their original message. So, if I tweeted "IAE are fabulous!" to re-tweet you would type "RT@artangel11 IAE are fabulous!"
You can also send someone a direct message or "DM" via Twitter. This is like sending them an email - only they can see it. You can only send someone a DM if they are following you. The majority of DMs you will receive tend to be a bit spammy - you often get them when you start to follow someone, along the lines of "thanks for the follow - now check out my stuff"!
But you can also use DMs for other things - for example, I have used them to let someone know that I liked their work, and also to update a buyer re a commission (though DMs are best just for brief updates - you still only get 140 characters. So if you need to go into detail, best send an email!)
Hope this answers some questions, but feel free to ask more, or to add more tips if I've missed anything crucial!