No, really I do. Why? There are so many reasons. I've met tweeps on Twitter who have become true friends. I've connected with tweeps who become customers or clients of my creative endeavors. I've used Twitter to share and receive business-related information. And I've used Twitter to connect with tweeps who like the same things I do, like bicycling, creating and social media. It's pretty much like being at a huge social gathering without all the stress of feeling awkward, wearing shoes and nobody laughing at your jokes.
So you are probably wondering how being at a huge social gathering is beneficial to you and your business. Well, I'm going to share my top five favorite reasons you should be on Twitter and a little homework assignment for each one too. And by 'on Twitter', I don't just mean you have a Twitter handle and log in once every six months. By 'on', I mean you are actively engaging on the platform. And you will need to be following more than 10 or 20 tweeps to get the kind of engagement you really need. One of the first things I recommend you do is find 50 new people to follow on Twitter. And if you are concerned you can't find 50 people to follow, you aren't thinking or looking hard enough. Think about who inspires you creatively, fascinates you in the business world, has the same or similar hobbies, or seems like a really cool person you would like to know. If you are still stumped, you can follow me @AllThingsSassy! Are you ready? Here we go!
Reason #1: Learn new stuff.
Check out what your 50+ tweeps are sharing and read some of the blogs, articles and what not they are sharing. I find at least 5 fascinating things this way every day. Once you find something that you like, you can share (retweet) it to your Twitter followers. I like to include a short reason why I'm RTing if there are enough character spaces left. Oftentimes, I will see a RT from someone I follow which leads me to a new tweep to follow. I think that sort of connection is really cool! I love meeting new people and sharing the love on Twitter.
Homework: Get on Twitter. Follow 50 new tweeps. RT a tweet or two to your followers.
Reason #2: Meet cool tweeps.
As I mentioned above, you might get led down a little side street on Twitter to a new tweep you might like to follow. Or you might find a great new blog and decide to follow them on Twitter. Either way, you will be meeting new tweeps. I have met lots of people through Twitter, who I then met in real life. Lots of people think that Twitter means you are only making an on-line connection with someone and it isn't real. I think that is wrong. Some of my best friends and favorite people in the world are folks I met on Twitter. Just ask my awesome tweep Amanda aka @Driftermama. We met on Twitter and then met in real life over dinner with our significant others a couple of months later. We've been friends now for about five years. Crazy, right? I've also connected in real life with tweeps at conventions and seminars. It's nice to have something to talk about when you introduce yourself. Just think of a tweet they posted, mention it and you've broken the ice!
I've also made some strong business-related connections, like when Natalie MacNeil was first launching She Takes On The World and she asked if she could feature me on her blog, In Her Heels. Natalie now has a successful business with a huge following and that feature brought me to the attention of a lot of people. And I will be honest, I've tweeted a few folks I think are awesome and some of them may or may not be famous. But you can do that with Twitter. It sort of levels the playing field, so to speak, and you never know who might tweet back. Just don't be that guy that awkwardly asks for a RT. Ever.
Homework: Tweet one of your 50 new tweeps. Ask them a question that they can answer as an expert (business or about fashion, whatever). Thank them via Twitter.
Reason #3: Share your stuff.
This does not mean you only tweet about the awesome handmade items you create. You're going to be doing lots of tweeting if you do all your homework, right? So don't fill your Twitter feed with posts that just all about you and your stuff. Think about the total number of times you are planning to (or already are) tweeting every day and think about making your tweets about your stuff no more than a quarter or the total. There are lots of different ways to share your stuff. Trust me. When I first got on Twitter I shared too much of my stuff sometimes. And it cost me followers. And the opportunity for engagement with those who left me.
One way you can share about your stuff is to share a link to your blog posts with a teaser indicating what the post is about. This gives your followers a little power in the decision-making process of whether or not they want to read the post. Sharing photos is one way to catch a follower's eye. And if your photos are awesome, your followers may begin to look forward to your tweets. Just don't share the same content over and over again. It's boring and doesn't encourage any engagement. Ask your followers to give you feedback on that new piece of art you created rather than just sharing the photo. It's even OK to ask your followers to RT your tweets every once in a while. Just don't do it and sound needy. Because you're not. You're awesome!
Use appropriate hashtags when needed. Don't over hashtag your tweets. Choose one or two that best fit your tweet. If you are unsure if the hashtag is appropriate, don't use it. Be cautious about using hashtags related to current events or celebrities. If your tweet isn't really related, it could make you look bad.
Homework: Tweet a link to one of your blog posts with a reason why your followers should read it- ask for feedback, tell them why it is beneficial to them. Tweet something else and ask your followers to RT it for you. Share a photo or video via Twitter and ask your followers to take an action- feedback, share, etc. Use appropriate hashtags.
Reason #4: Share your tweeps stuff.
Similarly to how I recommend sharing in #3, you can share stuff from the tweeps you follow. It's even better if you do it without being asked! Did you just click the link to a great blog post from a tweet? Share that tweet! See a fabulous new handmade scarf shared from a tweeps Etsy shop? RT that scarf! Wondering why this is so important? It's all about reach. What is reach? Reach is your audience.
If you RT a tweet to your 200 followers from someone who just tweeted it to their 200 followers, you've helped potentially increase the reach of their tweet to 400 people. It's like the Faberge Organics commercial from the 80's. I call this sharing the love. My Twitter followers are my love. I treat them with care and respect and would never share anything I didn't think the majority of them would be interested in. I also look at every photo and read every post I share just to be sure there isn't anything that might offend or upset anyone.
Homework: Find 5 tweets from the folks you follow who have stuff to share with your followers. Include a short reason why you think they will like it or find it beneficial. Remember, you are asking someone to take time to read it.
Reason #5: Let people get to know you.
This one isn't number five because it is the least important. It's probably the most important in my opinion. Actually all five of the reasons in this list are of equal importance, but this one is all about you. Be sure to let your personality shine on Twitter. You are the one tweeting. You are the one who wants folks to click the follow button. Don't be someone you aren't. If you are goofy, be goofy. Perhaps a professional level of goofy would be appropriate if your Twitter account is mainly for your business.
That brings up another point. Don't be all business. Yes, you should have a Twitter account for your business, but you should share a bit about yourself. Share what you love even if it doesn't have anything to do with your business. This will give followers (and potential followers) the opportunity to get to know you. It's a bit like dating. Without all the awkwardness and not knowing what to wear. At least for me. Once you start or restart tweeting on a regular basis it will be second nature for your personality to come out. Trust me!
Homework: Think about your personality and then describe yourself in five words. Use these descriptors to help you define your identity on Twitter. Start tweeting as yourself!
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