Welcome to the third in a series of posts about getting started on different social media platforms! Today we are focusing on Twitter, the social network that challenges creative business owners to refine their marketing messages down to 140 characters.
Twitter: The Backstory
Twitter launched in 2007 and now has over 288 million monthly active users sending out over 500 million Tweets (posts) each day! Twitter is international, too, with 77% of accounts outside of the U.S. and support for over 30 languages. Although 80% of active Twitter users are on mobile devices, the desktop version is easy to use, too.
There are many benefits of joining Twitter, including active and welcoming networks of creative artisans, entrepreneurs, and bloggers and the ability to automatically share Etsy listings. Many fans like to chat in real time with their favorite artisans on Twitter. With the short post limit and the rapid pace of interaction, though, it can seem intimidating at first.
Optimize Your Profile
1. Choose a user name, also known as a Twitter handle, that is 15 characters or less.
2. Choose a profile picture.
3. Create a custom header (banner image) in Canva using the Twitter header template. Choose colors, fonts, and/or images that are consistent with your branding elsewhere online.
4. Write a description for your account and link to your website. Use phrases that include keywords related to your business when appropriate.
5. Consider linking your Twitter account to your Etsy shop or your Facebook or Pinterest accounts.
Like all social media platforms, Twitter has a language of its own! Learning the lingo will help you to feel at home on the site.
- Start by following other users. You do not need to know someone to follow them, nor do they need to approve your follow. When you create your account, Twitter will suggest accounts to follow. You can also search for accounts by name or by keyword.
- Initially, each Twitter user is limited to following 2,000 accounts. After reaching 2,000, you will periodically be allowed to follow more accounts.
You can see how many people you follow (following) and how many people follow you (followers) on your Twitter profile page.
- Tweets are the posts you send out on Twitter. Each Tweet is limited to 140 characters, including spaces. Links and images each use 20 characters.
- Mentions, as the name suggests, are when other users mention you in a Tweet. To mention another user, type @theirusername in your Tweet. Mentions use up characters, which is why you may want to choose a short user name!
- You can favorite another user’s Tweet to indicate agreement or approval, or Retweet it to share it with your followers.
- DMs or Direct Messages allow you to send private messages to other users when you follow each other. Although many services allow you to automatically DM users who follow you, many Twitter users dislike this practice and may unfollow or block you if you DM them. Aim to limit DMs to individualized, rather than automated, conversations.
- Hashtags on Twitter are used in multiple ways, including as keywords, to signify participation in memes or challenges, or to shorten or abbreviate language to keep Tweets concise.
If you aren’t comfortable expressing yourself in written form, Twitter can be nerve wracking at first. If you have something longer than 140 characters to say, go ahead! Many users will indicate when a Tweet is part of a series. Even the users with 10s of thousands of followers were new on Twitter once, so don’t be afraid to get started!
Are you already using Twitter? What are your tips for getting started? Comment below and don’t forget to follow @Creative_Income and @ucrafter!
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