Etiquette is something you need to keep in mind when building your audience on Twitter. It is no secret that Twitter is probably my favorite of all the social media platforms out there. However, all too often, I observe tweets and behaviors that are just….well…frankly, they are bad form! By observing some basic etiquette, you can expect to find that you will cultivate an authentic, engaged audience.
I've read tons of articles that tell you what not to do on Twitter. I find this kind of information unhelpful. Tell me what I CAN do! What changes can I implement in my creative business right now that will help me achieve the maximum benefits from Twitter. Based on my own personal experiences…some from things I have seen…others through my own mistakes (and believe me…I have made many!)…I have devised my own "Twitter Do" list. At this point it has become rote for me, but every once in a while I go through my list and check in with myself. There are things I still need to improve, but hey, it's a process!
I am always sincere when I say this…I hope that the following Twitter etiquette tips help you in your creative business!
1. Remember that is about THEM, not You.
The most important concept that I keep in the forefront of my mind when I post on Twitter (or any social platform actually) is that social media is about being SOCIAL. I've been to the summer BBQ where I meet someone who spends the entire time talking about themselves. You know who I'm talking about. I'm sure you have met someone like that "in real life". It isn't that they aren't a nice person or anything. It is just that they really aren't interested in getting to know me. It is apparent that they want me to know all about them though. LOL Is this the kind of person with whom I'd choose to spend my free time? Ummm…no!
It's the same on Twitter. While I want to hear about your latest art project, your trip to Quilt Market (and you'd better be sharing pics), what your artistic process is and your tips for storing the multitudes of art supplies you have collected, don't forget that to ask me questions. Engage me. Don't forget to listen to me, too. By "me", I mean your audience…which brings me to them, as a matter of fact…
2. Know your audience.
Before you build one of these, you need a plan. While you can certainly build a general audience of friends, family and acquaintances, when using Twitter for your creative business, it's a good idea to build your audience around that niche. What does that mean? It doesn't mean you have to find other people who have creative businesses like you…it just means you should be looking for like-minded people. Those people might like to craft, but may not have a craft business. That's ok!
A good idea is to keep a list of keywords that you can use to do a hashtag (#)search in Twitter. When you search these hashtags you will find people who are tweeting about those topics. For example, some of my searches in Twitter are #crafts, #crafting, #scrapbooking, #mixedmedia, etc.
When you are posting content, think about who is following you. They are the ones reading your tweets and the ones who would retweet that content. It is easier to post content, ask questions of and engage with an audience who share your interests.
3. Retweet and You'll Be Retweeted.
It's simple. Retweeting people is like giving a compliment. You liked their post so much that you wanted to share it with your followers. That's a good thing. I know when someone retweets (or RT) me, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I feel really appreciative. It makes me want to go to their newsfeed and see what I can RT for them. Sometimes that back and forth RTing turns into conversation. I've met some pretty cool people and developed beneficial relationships due to this dynamic.
An added benefit of the RT is it one way for you to LISTEN to your audience. If a particular post was RT a lot, it is a good indication that my audience really liked that…and it means I should be mindful to post similar things in the future.
4. Mind your manners.
Quite literally….say thank you. If someone RT or @mentions you, say thank you. You can also use it to start conversation. For example, if someone RT one of your posts you can say, "I appreciate the RT! What did you like about that post?"
Basic manners are just as important on Twitter as they are in real life. It demonstrates that you are not only professional, but that you are nice person also…which I know you are.
5. Be mindful of your tweets.
Please, please, please remember that your posts and @mentions are public! What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. What happens online stays on Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube….. Get the picture? Hey, we all have our bad days and sometimes we meet people in the webosphere with whom we just won't get along. While it is ok to post that you might not be functioning at your best on any given day…stating that you just had a fight with your significant other and that they are an idiot is just not a good idea. Neither is entertaining a hot 140 character debate with someone who's views differ from yours. Trust me…no one wins. Not you, not them and certainly not your audience!
Join me back here on Monday for Part Two where I'll share numbers 6 through 10 of my "Twitter Do" list!
I would love to hear your feedback. I read and respond to every post personally because you and your success are important to me. That is sincere.