Sunday, June 14, 2009

Twittering for fun and prospects!

Tweeting has been driving a signifant number of new viewers to my art sites! Of course, the more eyeballs that hit my pet portrait sites, the better my business! It takes a while, I think, to figure out how to do this, but this week I felt like I'm getting it:

I followed ppl who I think will be interested in following me. Animal people. I follow who they follow.

I then decided to follow those who aren't really potential customers: other artists, online market experts, tweeters who inspire others to go for their dreams, organic gardeners, crafters. And their followers. Although not "blatant" animal ppl, lots of folks who are organic gardeners, crafters and inspiring people also HAVE pets and might consider a pet portrait for themselves or for a gift. And I noticed some interesting things about how those who have a lot of followers tweet:

What happened was that twitter became a more interesting experience for me, I followed links in tweets that seemed interesting to me, and started following blogs that will help me.

So I learned what makes a reader take that more active step of clicking on the tweeter's profile, going to their website, etc., which is exactly what I hope to accomplish and HAS been happening...a lot...this week. What did I learn that I brought into my tweeting?

First, I respond with @ responses. It's so nice to know that someone is paying attention. Which means I skim through nonsense tweets to find something interesting so I can respond in an interesting way. With twitter, you gotta find the meat fast.

So, I am culling out who I follow. I am culling the animal rescues. What can I say? I know they're all great folks with desperate situations, but I can't adopt them all. I cull those who tweet every few minutes. I culled those who tweet stupid stuff, like "going to get coffee", "coffee is so strong, going to get more milk" "I'm back people! This is good coffee". I cull those who market...and only market...obviously and desperately. I cull those who only talk about the weather, follow fridays, etc.

This leaves me with more quality tweets that I can engage with. My belief is that once I have a quality exchange with someone...sometimes humourous and teasing, sometimes "way to go!", sometimes a comment on a link they gave...that they are more likely to remember me as someone they like and want to really follow. I know that as a tweet consumer, that is how I reacted. It's not that every tweet I read has to be profound, I like the casual and silly stuff, too. But not if it's all silly stuff.

Second, I leave space with my tweets. Better to tweet once an hour 4 times a day than 4 times in 10 minutes. For one thing, I'm likely to hit more people...those who's habit is to be at the computer at different times. The only time I've been deviating from that is when I really want to say more but can't fit it in, and that's been once, I think.

Third, I kinda backhandedly mention my portrait business only in an appropriate way, for instance when someone @ s me with a compliment. I'll say, "rt @nice_person, thanks for the compliment on my colored pencil pitbull portrait, you made my day!" I check those @s first thing, because I miss them, generally, real time.

I also mention when I've updated my blog.

Other than that, I try to be more of a responder, and I got that from someone else's tweet. That successful social networking is more about giving. The getting follows!

Third, I send direct messages to anyone following me that I want to follow me (and block the salesmen). I thank them, tell them I'm looking forward to their tweets and tell them what I generally tweet about.

And yes this has been timeconsuming. But I have been doing the culling and following, and direct messaging during tired, down times when I can. So before bed, "watching" the Phillies, too tired to draw, I have been doing these tweet chores. Also odd moments when I go to my tweet home, I'll see some culls and get rid of them.

Hope this helps someone else make a little sense about how this can work for you. Hit twitter often, but just a short time. Make meaningful return tweets. Cull the herd to make your tweet home more interesting. Become a consumer, as well. Direct message. It's working for me!! (BTW, I tweet as "robinzebley") And hey, while you're here, buy something, huh? :D


Cat-in-a-Box said...

Twitter scares me... since I am currently sitting on blogger checking my blogs and not racking up my 20 hours of art this week :D

(seriously though, this was very informative and if you and Tina Mammoser do it, it must be worth looking into!)

Now back to the ol' scratchboard!

Robin said...

Cat, the time at the computer is an issue I fight all the time. I love to "talk" about art. SO I understand. I'll let you know if it ever turns into a sale; at this time, though, I am giving EVERYTHING a shot to try and make this leap.

DJ said...

Thanks for all the Twitter Tips!
I haven't made that jump, yet, but you make it sound so productive...

Susan Beth Studio said...

Robin, I didn't realize you has two blog sites - just signed up to follow this one too! I really enjoyed reading your advice about Twitter and will let you know as soon as I'm ready to give it a try, probably soon!