Twitter can be a confusing, fast paced and overwhelming platform when you are just starting out on the road to promote your handmade business or blog! A lot of people I know make accounts, get overwhelmed or frustrated with the learning curve, and abandon ship - which is sad, because they are leaving behind a valuable resource for their brand!
Twitter enables you to connect almost effortless with new individuals and tell them about your brand! Your content is able to reach a much wider audience than a Facebook status or a blog post and it is much easier for your content to become viral on Twitter. My general rule of thumb is give each new social media platform about six months of regular use before you decide whether or not it is working for you, and Twitter is no exception.
Six months seems a bit extreme, I know. But this amount of time allows you to learn all the ins, outs, tricks and perks of each social media platform and how to use it effectively. It gives you time to build an audience, create connections, and draw statistics as to how much traffic the platform is driving to your site. When I first joined Twitter I hated it. I didn't like using it and I abandoned it. I revisited it a few months later, actually read some articles with tips for how to connect with others on Twitter, and fell in love. I have made so many real connections with people, friends, even! Twitter has opened me up to so many opportunities!
Thanks to Twitter in 2012:
I participated in The Strawberry Swing Festival, which is an event sponsored in part by Etsy. I made more at that two day event than I normally do in one month. That is hundreds of dollars in sales I would not have had if I didn't have a Twitter account and happened to see that random tweet with a link to the event page.
I met Kristina Streeter, which lead to a great friendship, as well as several features on her blog, new advertising opportunities, and so many opportunities for growth. I joined The TSU A-list, which has brought me several sales and widened my audience through third party advertising within the TSU A-list Twitter community - more sales that would not have happened if I didn't have a Twitter account and created connections with other users.
I was approached about a design of mine being taught at a prestigious sewing studio in Ohio, and also approached to have a pattern I created printed in an e-book of mess free crafts for children - amazing opportunities I wouldn't have had if I hadn't connected with those people on Twitter.
My shop was featured on more than 10 blogs, the curators of which I met through Twitter. Those features lead to more traffic to my shop and several sales - sales I wouldn't have had if I didn't actively engage with other Twitter users.
I was introduced to Love146, and through that connection arose an opportunity. I donated product, promotional materials and supplies for their crafting event in NY this November. I get to help a great cause, and my brand will be showcased at their event, and mentioned on the events promotional materials, and my own promotional materials I sent will be included in swag bags for the attendees. This is hundreds of people that will be seeing my brand and associate it with a cause both they and I feel strongly about and want to support, people that wouldn't have seen my products in person or gotten my promotional materials in their hand if I hadn't inquired about a tweet one of the people I follow posted mentioning the organization.
Twitter is about so much more than just the content YOU post - by taking the time to actually consume the content in your feed and find interesting people to follow, you may find very useful info, opportunities or tools to grow your handmade business or blog. So many people just link up their Facebook page so the content is shared in both places and never actually use Twitter as a tool. In order to get the full benefits of Twitter, you need to curate and actively consume content.
Go further than reading what other Twitter users are posting - take the time to reply or re-tweet content from other users. This creates a connection, creates new content for your followers and lays the foundation for communication, which could lead to amazing things for your handmade business! You never know what a few tweets back and forth will lead to! So don't be shy, ask questions, make comments, start conversations!
So, set up a Twitter account! Go out into the Twitterverse and make friends!
Social media is just that. Social. To get great results from social media, you have to be social. You have to have a personality. You have to engage and make connections.
Do you have a Twitter account? Link up here and find great new people to follow!