Market Yourself: Make the most of Twitter
It is estimated that on average 6000 tweets are sent on Twitter every second, making it one of the world's most powerful social media platforms and a quick and easy way to spread the word of your art! Here are our top tips on how to make the most of Twitter.
Twitter has spawned a language of its own, so to make the most of this article you will need to know the following:
- Tweet - a post on Twitter, limited to 140 characters
- Retweet - reposting somebody else's tweet on your page. This has the effect of spreading a message or acknowledging the message in another person's tweet.
- Hashtag (#) - putting a # in front of any word on Twitter creates a link to live feed of people using the same # as you. This is effectively a way of searching Twitter by topic and generating more visibility on the site.
- Handle (@) - this is your username on Twitter, preceeded by an @ symbo. For instance Artfinder's handle is @artfinder.
Unlike Facebook and some other social networks, there is a 140 character limitation to tweets. That's characters not letters, so any punctuation, links, spaces and images will count towards your total!
- Keep it short - as with most social media, brevity is key, but especially so with Twitter given the limitations mentioned above. And as ever, engaging posts are better than lengthy essays.
- Keep it personal - think about how you speak and how you would like to speak to your fans! The beauty of Twitter is that you are forced to express the first thing that comes to mind and as concisely as possible, so there's less chance to be unnecessarily wordy. Think of the Twitter pages with a large following such as Stephen Fry or Barack Obama - they have great points to get across and get them across succinctly yet still manage to get across their personality.
- Keep it relevant - how do you want your page to reflect your brand? Perhaps you want to share your latest creations? Or maybe you want to express how you feel about the latest developments in the world of art? Either way, bear in mind that your artwork is directly linked to your tweets and your posts on Twitter.
- Keep it frequent - with 6,000 tweets going out every second, it's no surprise that tweeting frequently is key to ensuring that your messages are seen! At times of high traffic, your post won't stay at the top of somebody's Twitter feed for long, so posting frequently will ensure that your voice is heard.
- Engage with your audience - social media is just that: social. If a fan retweets, favourites or responds to your post, be sure to get back to them, like them or acknowledge their comments in some way! Thank them for kind words, or 'Like' their comments. All of this goes to show that you're engaged and attune to them and their interest in your page.
- Share your tweets - have you just sold an artwork on Artfinder? Or perhaps you're running a sale? Or maybe you've been featured in an Artfinder Newsletter? Spread the word! Remember to mention Artfinder (Twitter handle @artfinder) in your post so that we (and our followers!) can see what you're up to as well!
- Use Hashtags - using a hashtag (#) before a word in your post can generate more interest in your post as it adds you to a feed of people talking about the same topic. So perhaps you want somebody to notice your work as a potential Valentine's Day gift - using the hastag #gift or #Valentines will add your tweet to a list of tweets that also mention the same.
- Share your passion - tweet and about what interests you and what you find interesting. Passion is infectious - and the likelihood is that any follower of your page will retweet your passion and engage with your posts.
- Interlink your networks - mention your social media sites on your Artfinder page and show your fans that they can purchase works on Artfinder. The more your social networks work together, the more they’ll work for you!
It's easy to think that it's all about garnering an army of followers - and in many ways this is true. Having an extensive network of fans on Twitter is always a plus and shows the world that your artworks and opinions matter. However there are some things to take into account when commencing and broadening your fan-base:
- Connect with existing fans first... - your existing fans (friends, family and existing collectors) are your biggest and best ambassadors. Encourage them to retweet and comments on your posts.
- ...and network later - engage potential followers by liking Twitter pages of brands and individuals that relate to your own. This can connect you with other artists and potential customers the world over.
- Don't buy followers - it may be tempting to buy followers to give your brand that boost, but this can often have a negative impact since that the levels of engagement of fake followers are low. Rely on your real fans - friends, family and customers - to cast you in your best light. Remember: it's not always a numbers game. And besides, there are sites out there that allow somebody to check whether your followers are genuine or not.
Once you've set up your page, and are comfortable with the ins and outs of tweeting, it's time to get experimenting! The aim of the game is to get the most engagement (retweets and comments) from your burgeoning band of followers to gain even more exposure. This is where page analytics can really come in handy:
- Timing - experiment with posting at different times of day to increase engagement. Perhaps you want to post at times when most of your followers are online? Or maybe you've noticed that you get the most engagement at 9.30am? Either way, knowledge is power: if you know what works, run with it!
- Frequency - how much is too much? And how much is too little? There's no right or wrong answer as to how frequently to post on Twitter, though many suggest around 4-5 times a day. But remember to keep it relevant - if you have nothing to say at a particular time, don't tweet for the sake of tweeting!
- Location - where are the majority of your followers located? Perhaps you'd like to bear this in mind when posting to your page, posting comments that are relevant to particular local interests.
- Replicate your success - if your followers engage with a particular kind of tweet over any other (for instance images) be sure to take note and post more in the future. Success comes of awareness of your followers!