Twitter is a social media platform which allows users to express themselves by sending messages to their followers in 140 characters or less. Twitter for public use was launched in July 2006 and since that time, they now have 155+ Million users, who Tweet 1 Billion messages a month! Twitter is an incredible social media phenomenon which artists can use to increase and brand their art business.
This article is for artists who want to expand their social media participation with Twitter and are unsure how to use Twitter to their advantage. The following are Twitter do’s and Twitter don’ts for artists:
Twitter Do’s for Artists
1. Be sure to fill out fully the profile section and make sure that you have an active link to your business website.
2. Have a good photo of yourself or your logo. Do not use the default icon which Twitter will provide to you. Better yet, whatever graphics, logo or picture you use for Facebook or for your website use the same for Twitter as part of your brand.
3. Use the search feature (with art related keywords) and follow people who are influencers in the art business. Do not be offended if they do not follow you back when you start out, as you are not an influencer yet.
4. Make sure you are an active user by Tweeting a minimum of 3 times a day (all at different times of the day) and Tweet no more than 10 posts a day. Any more then this and it becomes annoying to your followers.
5. Try to develop connections and relationships with people rather than advertising, promotions and spamming people. People will unfollow people who send out spam all of the time.
6. When reading an interesting post share it with your followers with a retweet (similar to forwarding an email). When someone retweets one of your posts, direct message and thank them for the retweet. They will remember you and follow you more closely because of your attention.
7. Start a free Social Oomph account as they have an automatic response feature that should be used to automatically thank a person when they connect and follow you. It is an opportunity to tell a little about your self and your art without having to type it out each time.
8. Do purge your list of people who you follow, but who are not following you. Try to keep in proportion the number of your followers to the number of people you are following. The reason for this is that Twitter allows you, 2,000 followers, to begin. If you had 100 followers and you were following 2,000 people, Twitter will flag your account and you will be considered someone who is churning your account and using the site to distribute spam. You can tell who is not following you if you do not have the ability to direct message them.
9. Do customize the background page as Twitter allows a user to do so. This is a great opportunity to not only stand out in Twitter but also to be able to provide more information on you, your website and your art, that does not fit in your official profile section. Unfortunately, there are no active links allowed in this area.
10. Be upbeat, positive and helpful to your followers. Remember: this is a tool that is used to develop relationships and contacts who are related to the art business. Share yourself and become a valuable part of this incredible interactive media.
Twitter Don’ts for Artists
1. Do not just send posts and announcements about selling your work to your followers. That is considered spam and it will cause people to unfollow you. Send interesting posts related to the art world and people will look forward to your Tweets.
2. Do not send negative or offensive Tweets. People will unfollow you for this too. Remember, this called social media and they want to follow an upbeat and positive person. Be one!
3. Do not use offensive words and phrases. It is just not acceptable and remembers that it is out there for everyone to see (even if you erase/delete on your page, it is still there on everyone else’s pages. Think twice before you send it out.
4. Do not overdo the Tweets. If you do send out an excessive amount it will be annoying to your followers and they will eventually unfollow you.
5. Do not forget to give the original person credit for a retweet. Remember, it is social media and by giving credit you are being helpful in promoting their business too. Turnabout is fair play and they will do the same for you.
6. Do not ignore direct messages. Answer them promptly, otherwise, it is similar to not acknowledging and answering someone’s email. Also, do not use the direct message feature to spam, sell or solicit business.
7. Do not Tweet personal information about yourself or other people. This is a networking tool and you are trying to develop relationships, not gossip. Do not ruin your reputation by revealing personal information and details about yourself or someone else.
8. Do not ask or plead with your followers to retweet your posts. If by chance the post was about an emergency, such as a kidnapping, natural disaster or an emergency, then it would be proper to ask to have the post retweeted.
9. Do not Tweet that you have just unfollowed someone. People do not care about this information and Twitter is not for that purpose.
10. Do not have rules that people must adhere to if they are going to be following you. People will simply not want to follow you. Try to fit in and be a part of a crowd. Someone once wrote that to be effective on Twitter, you need to think of it as if it were a cocktail party. When you attend that party you need to introduce yourself, get to know that person and then mingle with the other guests. In other words, be sociable and get to know everyone at the party as much as possible.
I have always thought of social media such as Twitter as incredible tools that provides you an opportunity to meet, interact and get to know people who you would otherwise not be able to meet in any other situation. Think of Twitter as a regular networking event where you will be meeting new people and you will need to be on your best behavior in order to make a good impression on someone who can further your art business. Whatever you do in person at a networking event, you do online at Twitter.
Twitter has a great Help Section that they call Twitter Basics. It is an easy read but answers most of your questions on how to maneuver and take advantage of Twitter for your benefit.