twitter.com is a funny thing. while i've had fun twittering for a while now, i feel very much as though i have a set of twitter friends (tweeple?), and they barely, if at all, overlap with my actual friends (not that i'm not actually friends with my twitter set, but you know...) there's been a good deal of thought put out there about how businesses and brands can use twitter to their advantage to effectively engage their audience.
since, for the first time, i found myself suckered in to following someone and becoming slightly enveloped with their blog and websites yesterday (somehow, i thought i was immune to these new-fangled marketing techniques), i thought i'd post a litlle how-to on using twitter to market your handmade business (or any web-based business, really, i suppose). below are some simple steps on how you might develop twitter as a useful tool to promote yourself.
- consider what your goals might be for your account. goals can range from, but are not limited to, sharing knowledge (posting links to useful tutorials or tips online), to giving your business a personality (having a friendly, anecdotal voice in posts), or driving traffic to your content around the web. most likely, successful accounts will aim at all three of these goals.
- understand your voice. much like blogging, you want to consider how you're coming across to your audience. voice is important - having a level of professionalism, being approachable, being yourself.
- register a username.
- tweet away! don't forget to interact with people by replying - engaging the people who are following you is a great way to really make the most of this medium. by starting a post with @(username), it's easy for a user to find replies intended for them (even if they're not currently following you, which is okay!)
- spruce it up - make your page your own, relate it to your other web precenses - change your background image under Design in your account settings.
- find people- you can try the search tool to search for terms related to what you do, then network with people talking about similar topics. if you have a little time to do some tweaking, you can try one of many third party tools for finding other members and organizing twitter feeds, such as tweetdeck.
- enjoy! don't think of twitter as a chore. i hate when people describe something as simple as twitter as "time consuming". it is what you make of it. when you find something interesting, or perhaps whenever you find something worthy of bookmarking, simply tweet it. when you have spare moment after checking email or starting a new task online, simply take a minute to check your twitterstream to reply back to your network. easy peasy. incorporating twitter into your daily habits is the best way to have success with this tool. tweeting on the go - from your phone, etc, also keeps things fresh and easy.
- remember how useful twitter is for communicating in real time - in the moment sales, specials, games, etc are great.
so, while i may never convince my ludite friends (you know who you are!) to embrace twitter, i love the community i do get to interact with through the tool. and i love it as a way for buyers, fans and other handmade businesses to get to know me just that much better.