Twitter! Now there’s an interesting concept! I have come across so many people who are downright terrified of it… It moves so fast and your first tweet is daunting – how do you start? How do you add followers? How do you gain followers? How do you just ‘be‘?!
Well – for a business owner – it’s perfectly simple – you have a brand, you need to sell yourself! It’s like the old line for ebay – ‘I sold my soul on ebay’ – now all you need to do is ‘sell your soul on twitter’ too…
This is a simple guide – and ok, you’ll look at my account and say ‘wait a minute, you haven’t followed your own guidelines’ – I know, I am sorry, I joined Twitter when it all began and then I had to delete that account as I got trolled and I didn’t want to protect my account, so I started again… But it was before I started Larryware – so my twitter name is, and confusingly, @EmyJSkylark (follow me and say hello!) – Emy because that’s my nickname from Emily – J because that’s the beginning letter of my middle name (Jane) and Skylark because they are my favourite birds – and that was my name for various nature forums and the original BBC Science & Nature Messageboard back in the day… before it was shut down due to, yeah, trolls!
- Sign up to Twitter (seems simple enough)
- Create a username which relates to your business, whether it’s the name, what you make, what your interests are, a combination of all, make it easily remembered though and not too long either as it will take up valuable character space.
- Follow people! If you’re a small business owner like myself – type in search ‘handmade’ and see what comes up – @HandmadeHour for example may come up – follow that… and keep searching – look up ‘Craft’, ‘Small Business’ and then add some celebs, news channels, charities – anything that interests you and you alone, not because you ‘think’ that is what you should be following and looks ‘trendy’ on your profile, no-one is going to care and at the end of the day, you want to follow accounts which will tweet content which you WANT TO SEE!
- Start adding content – remember each tweet size is just 140 characters long, and this includes twitter names and links, but thankfully, doesn’t include images (it used to!) It’s the little symbol with the feather inside the square, that will give you a tweeting box!
- If you have an online shop – whether it’s Etsy, Folksy or a Facebook page, or even a website – then add this in the tweet, with the correct link – but instead of adding a direct linked image, physically add the image yourself from your computer and then copy and paste the link as occasionally, the etsy shop image or folksy or whatever, won’t show as the correct size and in fact, if you directly tweet from any of these other social media platforms, sometimes you won’t get a picture at all and I, like the rest of the world, is a lazy so and so and if I can’t see your image on your tweet and only see a link, I ain’t going to spend time clicking it – sorry! 5b – Now if the link is massively long, there’s a great free service which will shorten it for you, just copy and paste it to here – Bitly URL Shortener – brilliant! So add about 5 tweets of content – just to start off with for now
- Start to ‘connect’ your other social media accounts to Twitter – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, tumblr, etsy… you will find your account settings, top right on your profile page,next to the feather symbol which you can click when you want to start a new tweet.
- Hashtags – easy to make a ‘hash’ of… There are so so many… But you have to be selective, due to the 140 characters only in each tweet… Looking around for my own hashtags for my own particular line of business, these are the ones I’ve found that work well for me – it only takes an hour of research on Twitter…
#womensart #smallbusiness #etsyshop #onlinecraft #craftbuzz #womaninbiz #shopsmall #etsysocial #handmade #giftidea #shopping
And those are just a few!
8. Someone has tweeted you! Way to go! Go to your ‘notifcations’ and hit ‘reply’ to start off with, it’s the little arrow which is heading to the left, if you float your cursor from your mouse over each symbol, it will tell you what they do! A box will appear already with their @profile name, so you don’t have to type that – once you’ve typed in an answer, click ‘tweet’ and then it should come up on your timeline, click ‘Home’.
9. You like a Tweet – so, Retweet it! It’s the middle symbol below, the arrows going to the left and the right in a box image. Or you like a tweet – then click on the ‘heart’ and it’ll get saved ro your ‘Likes’ which you can view from your own ‘Profile’ – click your name or your twitter name on ‘Home’ – to the left!
10. Now we come to the hours – of course, there’s a small matter of your profile pic, your small bit of bio which includes your shop url too – and of course, your cover picture… And not to mention what colour you’d like to be on the screen – I’ve always gone for blue, as I can ‘see’ it – I see many in light green and light yellow, which simply does not show up on the white background when I click their profiles to be nosy! 10b – if you want to follow someone without opening their profile, again float the cursor over their name and there’s a little person in a box in grey, just click that and you’ll know you’re following by the little tick to the side of their head.
But the hours, oh the hours and of course they have to relate to you and your business! If you click on each link, it will take you to the relevant Twitter account – you’re welcome! 😀
9-10pm #britcrafthour << no account as such, but FOLLOW @BritishCrafters (Facebook too!)
12pm-1 – #UKBusinessLunch
7:30 – 8:30pm #HandmadeHour
12pm-1 – #UKBusinessLunch
12pm-1 – #UKBusinessLunch
11-12pm #WeekendHour << no account as such, just a hashtag #
5-7:30pm #SBS – promote yourself to Theo Paphitis – Small Business Sunday
8-9pm – #HandmadeHour
9pm – #EnglandHour
There are also ‘county hours’ – my own is #DevonHour Wednesdays – 8-9pm – so do search for your own, it’s worth it!
Just make sure you use the relevant hashtag (#) to the relevant hour in your tweets, or no-one from that hour will see your tweet!
I’ve probably missed out a lot of other things – but this was meant to be just a simple guide!
Oh my word! I hear you all exclaim – but like someone pointed out today, you don’t HAVE to do them all every week – just mix and match and try them out – some will work for you, some won’t… it’s all trial and error!
Twitter like any social platform is not just for you, it’s for everyone, so the more you help others by RT’s or Follow Fridays #FF and just taking part in the ‘hours’, the more of the possibility that they’ll help you back too! Just to get yourself ‘out there’ is all that matters!
There are of course paid websites which will help you – you can schedule tweets, in fact, you can tweet in your sleep if you wanted to… I’ve tried several websites but I’m in love with Around.io – there’s a free trial to use, then it’s a monthly sub, which I am paying $9.99 – but it’s a massive help, it connects to my Etsy shop and I can schedule as many posts as I want to my Facebook business page, Twitter, Pinterest, tumblr, google+ – using all relevant hashtags and even schedule them to be sent actually ‘in’ those hours themselves… you just need a bit of time to schedule and then you’ll be set….
If you have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch – just leave me a comment underneath and I’ll reply as soon as I can!
I hope Twitter doesn’t feel as daunting now to any of you who haven’t tried… It really won’t bite!
Thanks for reading – please share this blog to anyone who needs a Twitter hand 😀 x