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Twitter Tips for Jewelry Artisans

There are many social networking sites you could be on - Facebook, Myspace, various blogging communities and so on. But Twitter is the one that's HOT right now. You can follow me at twitter.com/beadinggem.

The rapid growth of Twitter is easy to understand - it fits right in with a time-pressed society already attuned to instant messaging media like chats and texting. Twitter also appeals to those who prefer frequent micro-blogging in under 140 characters rather than writing infrequent longer blog posts. The influence of Twitter could well be profound - check out Time.com's How Twitter Will Change Our Lives.

On the other hand, many users try and soon abandon it. The Nielsen (ratings group) posted some retention data which shows that 60% of Twitter users failed to return after a month. I can well understand their confusion. Twitter does appear rather like a site for narcissists. Newbies may also think Twitter can magically deliver customers, followers whatever. But like blogging or any other social network, the returns depend on the amount of effort the user is willing to put in and the patience to see it through. It pays to also use any service intelligently otherwise that effort is just going to go down the drain.

Hundreds of companies are now jumping on the bandwagon. They are hoping to follow the cohort of "early adopters" or users shifting from older sites like Myspace. There are 6 good reasons why jewelry artisans should try out Twitter :

1. Whole new community of potential customers (but don't spam them! see below)
2. A totally new way to engage and communicate with your customers and fans
3. Easier than blogging, perhaps instead of blogging
4. Find new suppliers or unique products
5. Check out the competition
6. Spot trends

TWITTER TIPS

Getting Started
For a short sharp video introduction, check out the Howcast.com's How to Use Twitter. (n.b. it might take a while to get going).

You can tweet as often as you want. If you mouse over other people's tweets on your page, you will see a back arrow. Clicking on that will show the @username which means you are replying to that individual publicly. Direct message a person if the tweet is only for him or her. Twitter Search allows you to see what's happening for anything you care about.

Managing Twitter
If you enjoy tweeting and are frustrated with the limitations of the homepage, then a really good way to manage and organise your twitter account and see what's happening in your twittersphere is to use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. It's a free download that I often use and have come to like. I have been able to tweet more and monitor twitterdom via columns. You can add columns of your own like Search: jewelry and move them around.

Sites like Hootsuite includes a very useful tool - there is the box where you can put any URL and shorten it into a tinyurl for your tweet. With only 140 characters, you really need it!

Making sense of Twitter
Twitter is rapidly evolving in how it is used by the community. RT is a codeword for retweets - you could copy somebody's tweet with proper source credit to YOUR group of followers. Another phenomenon is the hashtag, a way of grouping certain types of tweets. Some hashtags are now clickable. Tagdef.com has the (searchable) full list if you need a hashtag dictionary. But don't overuse this feature as it can generate confusion and frustrate your followers.

This article covers the 7 Common Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes.

Customising your Twitter page
First you had to design your webpage, then your blog, now you get to custom your twitter page! It's actually a static background - only the central message field moves. So you have to come up with a large "banner" which the viewer can only see either side! You can check my Twitter page and scroll up and down and you'll see what I mean.

Don't let it take over your life
Once you get started, Twitter can be quite addictive so make sure it doesn't rule your life and you still have time to design and make jewelry! Technology is cool but only you have the control to say no. Why follow every single person who follows you? Follow those who you WANT to follow. I am definitely not a fan of campaigns to gain huge numbers of followers.

Don't Spam
Also if you are promoting your jewelry, don't over do it. Try to do something creative with your tweets and not just announce a new shop arrival, one after another. Twitter is not a commercial channel.

If you check the comments following this Huffington Post article, there are a couple of telling remarks about jewelry artisans overusing Twitter. I quote "It's a nice service if you stay away from the name-collectors and spammers (and whatever you do, avoid the Etsy sellers - they spam like crazy!!). Also check the corresponding Etsy forum thread "You should probably lay off the Twitter spam!" about what jewelry artisans had to say. I think the problem is the overuse of Twitterfeed which automatically sends every new listing to Twitter.

So are you game? One of my friends, who shall remain nameless, says there is no way on earth she could possibly say what she wanted in just 140 characters!

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for the comprehensive article! I've been meaning to do some research on twitter for a while, it's nice to have it all laid out for me in one place!

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  2. I JUST finally opened a Twitter acct. I want to follow you but I don't know if you want to follow me because I follow a lot of politically conservative tweeters. I would like to know what you think of
    my twitter page tho, I think it's awesome!

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  3. Lots of good tips! It's hard not to "spam". I only list one item and day and I tweet that plus various sales I see or really interesting things that's going on.

    I do agree that there is a lot of spamming going on though. I can barely read incoming tweets and gain any meaningful information from them.

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  4. Wonderfully informative post! I've been on Twitter for a few months now and I like it. I've even sold a few pieces via Twitter. The thing to remember is you have to interact -- not all the time, but a little bit every few days at the least. I don't follow anyone who doesn't appear to read their tweetstream or interact at all. I only follow those who interact often, or at least retweet. That way I now they are reading their received tweets at least. Otherwise, what's the point? :)

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  5. Sheridan, that's exactly what I found out about Twitter. I do submit my blog posts via Twitterfeed but I also interact and offer additional information not covered in my blog whenever possible.

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  6. BetteJo - your Twitter homepage is gorgeous. Different opinions and views are what makes people interesting!

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  7. I'm late to this post but fantastic topic! Hmm..got me thinking again. I am NOT one to talk about what I do in my private life (hence my difficulty in blogging sometimes) and so I have questioned at times what is my purpose on twitter. Right now, I twit when a new piece is posted (mostly for a lack of what to post since I don't "talk about myself"). Funny thing though..I just tweetered (?) that I changed my website...nothing about any jewelry in the shop. Also, I really haven't a clue how to use twitter otherwise...might need to look into that... thanks Pearl!
    -Stephanie

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  8. This is a great article Pearl!

    I am really enjoying Twitter. I find it is quick and easy way to pass along polymer clay tips and info that I wouldn't necessarily write a whole post on. And it fits easily into my routine.

    I find it is a wonderful way to connect with 'like minds' and be part of a larger community.It is also very fun to see what other beaders (such as you) are up to!

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  9. I've read this so many times over. Twitter is a little more complex than I had expected. Very good links.

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  10. This is fantastic! I read the 11 ways to lose friends online post and found 1 mistake I've been making! whoops! Love SocialMediaRockstar! I'll be changing the way I do things...

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You're AWESOME! Thanks for the comment and feedback. You do make a difference on my blog!

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