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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Giving Twitter another go...

Anyone who sells items online will, at some point, have heard that Twitter is an amazing way to market your items for free. Chances are they've also been told that it's a complete waste of time.

As soon as I opened my handmade shop I heard about the benefits of Twitter. Until then I had never seen the point in it but I decided to give it a go, after all there is a difference beween using it for social reasons and using it for marketing purposes.

Setting up the account was easy enough, though choosing my background did take several hours! Quickly realising that tweeting with no followers was a complete waste of time I went on a mission to get followers. The obvious thing to do was to find other people tweeting about jewelry or handmade, follow them and hope they followed me back. This was surprisingly successful - there is almost an unwritten code amongst the handmade community that you follow people who follow you - and it got me over 300 followers.

So.... now I've got followers... I tweet about the stuff I make... and...people buy it?
Wrong! Everyone in the handmade community, everyone in the follow-me-and-i'll-follow-you-back mentality is purely interested in marketing themselves. Some will include the occasional tweet about their kids or their dog, an alarming number tweet about their surgeries but don't be fooled... they're only tweeting about that stuff so they look less spammy.

I got bored of Twitter very quickly. I stopped tweeting completely, the only tweets I make now are the automated tweets when I write new blog posts.

Then the other day I read this post on the Etsy forums which inspired me to give Twitter another go.

I'm slowly making the changes I need to make Twitter useful to me and meaningful for my followers. Look out for future posts explaining the steps I'm taking to do that, starting with spring cleaning my list of people I follow.

How do you find Twitter? Have you found a good community of people who are interested in what you tweet? Do you just spam your items all day? Does that work for you? Did you give up on Twitter like I did? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it and maybe incorporate some of your ideas into my cleanup process :)

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