Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Some Twitter advice from a novice

Jenny from A Bird in the Hand Art wrote an article about using Hootsuite in your daily life for the BBArtisans team blog.  I’ve been trying to learn more about Twitter myself, and have been following Handmadeology’s “Twitter Blueprint,” a series of easy lessons about Twitter.  If you’re interested in following Tim’s tutorial, here’s day 1

These are a few things I didn’t know about and will start using, which may help you too:

1) The horizontal image (below) starting with Timeline is called the “mentions column"... though I'd call it a row myself!  It’s situated on your Twitter page and contains various tabs you should know about:

If you click on the @username (for me it’s @storybeader), you’ll bring up @mentions and more.  When you click on the little box to the right that says Shows mentions only , you’ll see when people have tweeted only to you.  One of the most important things to do on Twitter is to respond to others!  I have a hard time doing this because I don’t check my Twitter page regularly.  But now I know where to find what my followers are sending to me!  The Activity tab is where you can see "favorites, follows, retweets and more by the people you follow."

2)  Remember: when you reply to someone on Twitter, ALL your followers and ALL the followers of the person you are addressing will see the tweet.  If a user’s account is locked, only followers of that account can see the tweets, not your followers.  If you want to send a private message (called a Direct Message) that’s possible by clicking the Messages tab on the top black twitter line, next to Profile.  

3) Tim suggests you make different lists of people you want to keep up with.  The List tab is also on the mentions column, all the way to the right.  I recently made a list of people I knew who are taking the Weekly Art Date class with me.  I clicked on Lists, then Create a List from the drop down menu, and typed in “weekly art date” and chose Private instead of Public.  Then I went and looked for all the people related to my class and added them onto my new List.   See the little person (below) besides the Following box for artcontests?  Inside this drop down menu is “Add to List” ; just put a check mark beside the list you want that follower to be in.  It’s that easy.

The major problem I have is, what should I tweet about?  I’m always feeling that I’m disturbing other people, with tweets about my new shop items and new blog posts.  Tim suggested that “people in the handmade world love to know about process and inspiration, so share yours.”

Great advice.

For those of us that have online shops, tweeting about how you made something, not just a link to a new item, is a good idea.  Someone might be interested enough to follow you!  Just finished a item?  What was the hardest part in completing it?  What was the most fun?  Ask others how they do a certain thing.  Maybe they can help!  Tim talks about Pinterest as a good way to tweet about inspiration.  If you have a Pinterest account, tweet about something you really like there.  And don’t forget to share interesting post you find with others.  We all need a little inspiration throughout our day!

4) I’ve heard that you can include photos in your tweets but never knew how it worked!  
You see that little icon on the right side of christiecottage’s tweets?  When you click on that, a photo will appear on the right side of your screen!  Thanks Tim, I didn’t know that!  Try it out on your Twitter account.  Have you ever added a photo to your tweet?  I haven't, but I might try twitpic.com  someday soon!

5) There are lots of Twitter apps, like Hootsuite and twitpic available online.  Tim recommended Tweepi.com which I tried.  It will help you manage your followers.  There are two versions: free and premium.  I chose the free version, which has a lot of activities in my "dashboard".  One thing I liked was the chance to clean up my following list.  Some people haven't tweeted in over 2 years! But there's also a way to see who's following you and you're not following back.  Check it out or watch this neat YouTube video about Tweepi by smobrandon , to see what it's all about!

I'm going to stop there, my mind is overloaded! Good luck with Twitter.


Rose said...

Thanks for the great advice, Deb! I do use the lists feature and leave comments for mentions and RTs. I REALLY need to get a program going so I can schedule fun Tweets for my followers...links/products I like, etc. I saved Jenny's post. I just need to find some time!

BeadedTail said...

Great information Deb! I have really neglected my Twitter account but just run out of time to keep up with it. I need to get with the program!

SibStudio said...

Thanks for the great twitter information. I get stuck on #3 - what to tweet? You have some great ideas - thanks!

Athena said...

I just started Tweeting for my husband's business, so a lot of this I'll implement. Can't find the picture icon, though...

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