Another wonderful thing about twitter is that it allows you to really interact with and engage your audience- a very important component of effective promotion that translates into real sales and networking/publicity opportunities.
Follow Me Twitter Tattoo Tights by post
Build Up Your Numbers
One of the challenges most people face with twitter is not knowing how to build up their follower base. If you’re stuck at around 200-500 followers, it’s likely twitter isn’t working nearly as well as it could be for you. I’d suggest setting a goal of reaching at least around 2000 followers to really get a feel for the effectiveness of twitter as a promotional strategy.
A basic strategy you can use to build up your follower numbers is : Follow, Reciprocate and Flush (defined below). I use Tweepi.com to manage most of this easily all from the one place (it will save you a lot of time! I love Tweepi!).
Follow- If you seek out and follow a lot of other people on twitter, many will follow you back, thus increasing your follower number.
Reciprocate- Some people will find you on their own and follow you- keep your followers by following them back.
Flush- To really build your follower numbers, you can follow as many people as you are able to (up to your limit) then wait for a period before ‘flushing’ (unfollowing) the users who did not follow you back. This allows you to then repeat the process and start finding more people to follow.
Additional Info & Tips:
Make sure you don’t follow or flush too many people in one go or you might get suspended. I avoid following more than about 60-80 in one go, then I leave it for at least an hour. I wait about a week in between unfollowing sessions to allow time for people to follow me back.
You can keep an eye on changes in your follower number by using a twitter stats site such as TwitterCounter (although I’m not sure if it’s always accurate).
Bunny and the Bird Coinpurse Hand Illustrated by PocketCarnival
As well as building up a good quantity of followers, it really is critical to make sure you seek out the right kind of audience for your products. If all of your followers are fellow sellers, it’s unlikely that your twitter activity is going to translate into sales very often (unless you’re a supply seller etc), or it might mean that you have to put in a huge amount of effort to get any results because your approach is not optimal.
This part requires thinking outside the box a bit and working out your target market (you may have a very broad or very specific target market, both of which have advantages and disadvantages). Once you have some ideas about who your target market is, there are two main strategies I’d recommend for finding people to follow (in the hope that they will follow you back):
Following Followers- find people based on the publications, companies etc that they follow. For example, if you sell children’s clothing, you could find a parenting magazine on twitter and follow their followers- perfect target market just waiting for you! You can do this easily by using the ‘geeky follow’ feature on tweepi (or directly on twitter).
Search Using Keywords- you can use the advanced search function on twitter to find appropriate people to follow by using keywords they might tweet about, keywords in their profile, and based on location. So you could search for people in your city, people tweeting about crying (if you sell baby clothes!), people tweeting about a craft show or market that might mean they’re interested in handmade etc etc. Maybe try people who tweet about shopping and see if you can grab some shopaholics ;)
(Note- it can be good to have some fellow sellers to chat to on twitter to help you get the conversation moving and help you with retweets etc, I just wouldn’t recommend seeking out other etsians as your only strategy)
Cables Across the Sky Beanie by Zwilling
One of my lovely Twitter followers!
Keep Your Followers and Establish a Connection
Traditional advertising is no longer as effective as it used to be (according to the experts!), and the challenge is to really engage and interact with your audience. Keeping this in mind can be very helpful in translating twitter follows into actual sales. I think this is particularly relevant for selling on etsy, where ‘the story’ and the person behind the shop are important aspects of the product.
So try and interact with your followers as much as you can (efficiently- you don’t want to spend hours on there!).
Some things you could try:
- Ask for feedback and ideas
- Ask other kinds of questions (Qs are likely to encourage a response)
- Re-tweet other people and thank people for RTs
- Respond to comments from your followers and comment on other people’s tweets
- FormSpring is a site that allows people to ask you questions and you can answer them and arrange it so that the answers are tweeted out to your followers- it’s like a mini interview!
A very important thing to avoid doing on twitter is spamming- including meaningful interactive content in your tweets and only posting links about your shop sometimes will help keep this balance and prevent loss of followers.
Robot Watch Necklace by lovespelljewels
Efficiency (or ‘Twitter for Lazy People’)
I’m very busy, as are many of you, so I am always looking for ways to streamline my promotion. Twitterfeed is a site that allows you to set up automatic tweets whenever you post a new blog post, facebook update, list a new etsy item etc. I have all of those things set up for my twitter account and it does a lot of the work for me! Just a couple of things to keep in mind using automated tools like this:
- Think about the settings you use. TwitterFeed allows you to set the frequency and the number of automatic tweets to be sent out. For example, if you list 10 etsy items at once, do you really want to send out 10 shop link tweets in a row?
- Some ‘live’ chat is good as well as using these kinds of services.
- You can set a tweet prefix in twitterfeed. I used to have ‘Just listed’ for my new etsy listings, but when I thought about it more carefully, I realised that many of my followers would not be familiar with etsy and might not know what that meant! I have now changed it to ‘now in store’.
Ocean and Sky Graphite Pencils by Missisaau
You can easily manage your twitter accounts and facebook etc all from one place by using HootSuite! This is another way I find targeted followers- you can add a column that will show tweets from people containing keywords that you've set.
Check out my post about scheduling tweets - particularly relevant for international sellers or sellers who want to promote while asleep (and reach international buyers)! This can also help you be more efficient with your normal twitter activities.
I've also put together information on where to find free buttons for your blog, including 'Follow Me' twitter buttons for your blog or website- this can help build your twitter following too!
Happy twittery tweeting!
Purple Recycled Bird Earrings in Titanium by polkadotmagpie
You can find me on twitter here - I follow back :)
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How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time - amazon.com