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Offline lovely7designs

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"Twitter 101: Signing Up & Basic Twitter Skills"
« on: August 17, 2010, 11:35:54 PM »
This tutorial was born as an email.  A very long email that every new member should read before entering the Twitterverse and representing HAF online.  Even though this is vital information, it will never take the place of chatting with a HAF team member about the way they use Twitter as a tool for building their own business and promoting the group.

I'm by no means a Twitter expert, but this tutorial will give you the basic skills needed to start a Twitter account, promoting yourself, other HAF members, and the HAFshop.

-If I've explained anything incorrectly, or left anything out, add it as a comment and we can modify the post as needed.-


Twitter 101:

Go to http://twitter.com/ and click on the yellow "sign up" tab on the right side of the page.  This will take you to the account sign up page.  Fill in the boxes.  For your username, you will want to use the same name as your HAF or Etsy shop so you are recognized and your tweets are easily associated with your shop.  The goal is to build a brand that your customers can find and follow easily across different social media websites.  I used my Etsy shop name "lovely7designs" as my username on Twitter, Blogspot, my fan page on Facebook, Paypal and any other sites associated with my online selling.  If you haven't already, now would be a good time to set up a separate email account for your business.  I'm a fan of gmail, but any email service will do. 

Once you've filled out the signup form and read the terms of service, click the "create my account" button.  Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of your very own Twitter account.  Now you must learn how to spread your intended message in 140 characters or less including web addresses, product names, and any other eye catching words you like to type.  Yes, there really is a 140 character limit on Twitter, so in order to fit in all the other more important stuff, we need to shorten any web address you may be referencing in your Tweet.  Yes, I said Tweet.  A Tweet is a the official name of that 140 character message we just talked about.  Pretty much every Tweet used to promote something must include the web address that leads the reader to whatever product you're promoting.  If the customer doesn't have an easy clickable link to follow, they will most likely lose interest quickly and that could be a lost sale. 

There are a few free online services that you can use to shorten the web address of the product or store you're Tweeting about so it takes up less of your precious 140 characters.  Leave Twitter open and in a new window, open the web page of whatever it is you want to Tweet about.  Copy the web address at the top of the website that you just opened.  The one with the amazing item or shop that you want to Tweet out to the world.  Now we're ready to shorten it up.

Like I mentioned before, there are a few sites to choose from.  We are going to use tinyurl since that's the one that I'm most familiar with.  In a new window, open http://tinyurl.com/.  In the box directly below the words "Enter a long URL to make tiny", paste the link that was just copied for the item you want to Tweet about.  Click the button that says "Make TinyURL".  The the magic happens.  Or something.  Anyhow.  You should see "TinyURL Was Created"!  Then you'll see your long old link, and your shiny, new, Twitterized, short link.  Copy the shortened link.  It should resemble this: http://tinyurl.com/2a98gtm.

Now it's time to compose your first Tweet.  Go back to the window that has Twitter opened.  You should see the words "What's Happening" near the top of the page.  You will be typing in the box directly under that.

Two things you should know.

if you want to reply to or mention a specific person, use the @ symbol, then add the person's username with no spaces. For example: @lovely7designs. Then you could send a specific reply to my news feed. BUT. beware. it's still going to show up for others to read as well. In fact, it will produce a clickable link that leads straight to my profile.  Kinda handy if you were promoting my products.  To see if you have been mentioned lately, look on the right side of your home page, you will see your username with the @ in front of it.  Clicking on it will give you a list of any Tweets where someone mentioned you using the @ with your username.  It's nice to see when someone mentions your shop, then you can promote them in return, or just be nice and say thank you.

Now.  For the VERY important one. by adding the # before a word, it adds your Tweet to a centralized page with the Tweets of any other user who referenced the same thing.  This is great for finding people to follow who have common hobbies or interests.  All tweets marked #HAF (Handmade Artists' Forum) or #HAFshop or #etsy or #buttons or #bracelet are then searchable to anyone with a Twitter account by doing a simple search of # and any word you want to see.  If i'm up at 4am, and I want to see the latest posts mentioning HAF, all i have to do is search for #HAF and all the latest tweets that involve the forum are listed for me.  That makes it much easier and faster to review and "Retweet" (pass along) the latest news on anything you're interested in to your Followers.

Yes.  Followers.  It sounds a bit creepy, but you actually want as many Followers as you can get. Your Followers are basically the subscribers to your Tweets.  Every Tweet you send out goes to your Followers.  Your Followers can then Retweet that message to all of their Followers.  It's like a GIANT game of telephone. 

Remember Twitter is NOT private.  It is very, very, public.  The only privacy here is a "Direct Message" which resembles an email.  Still not a great place to spill your guts.  People do weird things sometimes so the best bet is to treat the whole site as a public bulletin board.  Don't share any personal information above and beyond what is needed to properly promote your business.  That's why you're here, right?

Ok.  Since you're here to promote your business, it's only logical that you want to spread the word to as many people as you possibly can.  Not just your Mom, and your Sister, and your friends from high school.  They already know about your business.  I'm sure of it.  You definitely want everyone you know to follow you because they can Retweet all of your awesome products to everyone they know, and so on.

In addition to all the awesome people you know, you want to get Followers that have never heard of your business.  You want other businesses, other artisans, suppliers, wholesalers, zookeepers, trumpet players, dog enthusiasts, the LA Lakers.  It really doesn't matter WHO is following you. 

It's simple math.  The more Followers you have, the more people see your Tweets, they might Retweet to their Followers.  You never know when someone might need your product.  No one is too young or too old.  Too rich or too poor.  No one lives too far away.  They are all potential customers.

Sadly enough, you aren't given 500 free Followers when you start a new Twitter account.  You don't even get a measly 50 for starting out.  You start with none!  Zero.  That's awesome, right?  The best way you can invest your time here is to become a Follower.  In most cases the people you Follow will Follow you back in return.  This is especially true in the artisan community, but don't narrow your vision to strictly people and companies that have the same interests as you.  Follow EVERYBODY. 

Everyone needs Followers.  Without Followers, no one see your Tweets.  If no one is reading about whatever it is you've created this account to talk about, then you're not using your time here wisely.  You want to grow your audience every day.  Take the time to follow one or two new people a day.  Don't put a lot of thought into it.  You don't have to read their life's history or know what they like or don't like.  If they end up Tweeting too often for you or Tweeting about things you don't want to see, simply click Unfollow on any one of their Tweets and they disappear.  Don't take it personally if you lose Followers every once in a while.  It happens.

Here is the address to my profile. 

https://twitter.com/lovely7designs

Head over when you've got the time and Follow me if you'd like.  Most importantly, there are two links on the top right of my profile page. One says Following, the other says Followers.  Following are the accounts that I receive Tweets from.  Followers are, of course, the people who read my Tweets.  This will get you started, check out one, or both of my lists and click the small grey box to the far right of anyone you'd like to receive Tweets from.  Most small businesses and web sellers will Follow you if you've Followed them. 

To find people with a specific interest or hobby, enter # and whatever you want into the search box.  It will pull up a group of people who have tweeted about that specific thing. Search for #HAF #HAFshop #ETSY #jewelry #buttons #seaglass #vintage #yarn #chainmaille.  You can find just about anything you're looking for.

Your first tweets can be anything.  Just make sure to use # a lot. Then anyone on Twitter who searches for that word will see your Tweet and you will gain a larger audience.

For example:

check out my #seaglass #charm #bracelets on #etsy then add your shop web address or shortened tinyurl address so they can click it and get to your store.

It would look just like this:

beachy #seaglass and #seashell #charm #bracelet by deezie on #etsy http://tinyurl.com/2efrdxj #HAF

or this:

beautiful brass and light blue #seaglass #charm #bracelet by deezie on #etsy http://tinyurl.com/35jhuzu recruiting for #HAF #HAFshop

If you read something that someone has Tweeted and you want to share with your Followers, just point your cursor to the bottom right corner of any Tweet on your home page.  You will see a "Retweet" option appear. Click it.  You will be asked if you want to Retweet to your Followers.  Click yes. 

There are a few easy ways to promote our Handmade Artists' Forum.  Add #HAF or #HAFshop to your Tweet to raise awareness about our Forum or to bring customers to our Shop.  You can promote other HAF members by Retweeting their Tweets.  Just run a search for #HAF or #HAFshop and pick a few things to send out.

Don't go overboard with your promoting or people will ignore your Tweets or Unfollow you.  No one has the time to read and process Tweets about all of our items every day.  There isn't a rule of how few or how many items or times each do you should promote.  The most I am comfortable promoting is once every half hour.  Other option is to pick one or two items or Artists to promote each day.  Your readers in the morning and your readers in the evening may be two totally different groups. 

Don't forget to promote yourself in addition to helping others in HAF.  Remember that including #HAF in your post makes it visible for all members who search and Retweet for the group. 

Add your work to the Forum.  Many times we will link the Forum posts directly to our Tweets to get visitors and views for the site. 

If you see a listing in the Forum that you want to promote, just go into the post, copy the link, run it through tinyurl, and add the shop owners name in the Tweet.

like this:

This frame ROCKS! Seriously. Mosaic Rock-Covered Frame by AimieesRockWorks http://tinyurl.com/2e725sx #HAF #HAFteam

That should be everything you need for a successful start on Twitter.  Theres a FAQ below to look through if you have any questions and no one is around the Forum to help out.

http://support.twitter.com/entries/13920-frequently-asked-questions

Happy Twittering,
-Emma

Offline faithsdream

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Re: "Twitter 101: Signing Up & Basic Twitter Skills"
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2010, 12:31:11 PM »
This helped me a lot Thanks


Offline chainmaille

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Re: "Twitter 101: Signing Up & Basic Twitter Skills"
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2010, 05:38:30 PM »
That is a lot of helpful info for the beginner using twitter.
Many people get a little weird about following everyone and want to use twitter as a way to communicate with friends. That is fine too, so if you want to have a personal and business twitter account that may be helpful.
I personally do not use twitter for personal communications, I only use it for business promotion.
So I follow everybody, because your tweets end up on their timeline so who ever follows them can see it too.

If you are serious about using twitter for promotion you should use a couple of free services.
I use tweetdeck http://www.tweetdeck.com/ which is a desktop application. You can add all your different twitter accounts to it and have multiple columns of your common searches. I use several columns and search terms that I want to follow, you can tweet, retweet, @ reply, and direct message with this desk top application.

The next thing I use is Social Oomph https://www.socialoomph.com/
This is a site that you use online. You can schedule your tweets in advance to be displayed at a later time on multiple accounts. You can also set up some automation with social oomph. You can auto follow those who follow you. You can also set up automated direct messages to be sent to your new followers.

If you use certain accounts for promotion only, these automated features will really help you build your following. The other way to get followers is just follow others. I would do a search on twitter for say handmade, then follow all the people that are tweeting about handmade. Most of these people will follow you back.

Now if you want to spend a couple of bucks, you can check out Tweet Adder http://tweetadder.com/
This software actually works well, you can automatically follow people that are talking about the things that you are interested in.
You can handle multiple accounts, auto follow people, unfollow those who don't follow you, automatic direct messages and then some.
You need to have the right mentality to use this software though.
Once again either twitter is your personal communication source with your friends or a promotional tool. It can be both though.

Like I said use twitter strictly for promotion, people send me direct messages on twitter and I know I miss 90% of them. Who knows if that is good or bad, I try to be a good follow on twitter and retweet others to give them a little bump, but with over 60,000 followers on 5 different accounts you only can be so personal.

So there you have it my twitter secrets. There are many other twitter services and tools, the ones I spoke of are just the ones I have used first hand.

Hope that helps.