teaching-twitterLast week I completed the first class of my “Basic Marketing for Artists”… it was a class that was specifically related to how an artist can use Twitter as a tool for research, networking, promoting their work, and even finding deals on equipment and gear. As I drove back home, I was reflecting on the class; did I cover all of the important bases? I thought up a quick list of things that I stressed when I was teaching the class, and thought I’d throw them up here. If you’re looking for a “how to get a bajillion followers on Twitter” article here, turn back now. This list is a few common sense ideas and techniques to keep Twitter engaged as what it should be…. an effective tool.

  1. Security– Yeah, it’s important. Choose a password that is safe, sound, and secure. Don’t share it with anyone. Ever.  The damage that can be incurred by a stolen Twitter account username and password can add up quick, with the added danger of RT multipliers. Be careful. Use at least 8 characters, uppercase and lowercase, and numbers. Mix it up, and make it hard.
  2. Follow users with similar interests, or at least those that interest you – take a minute to validate the person you’re about to follow.  What is the ratio of interesting vs. uninteresting Tweets? Is this a person you want filling up your Twitter page with tweets? Yeah, you can always cull your list and adjust, but you can save time by paying a bit better attention to who you’re actually following.
  3. Thank followers – let them know that you are happy that they’re interested in you and your work. It’s a little courtesy, why not. Better than no response at all. Don’t immediately Direct Message them or auto DM them as soon as they follow you.  That’s bad form, no doubt. Keep DM’s as a special tool.
  4. NEVER use a “get a ton of followers” pay service– it’s spammy non-engaged crap, and has proven to mean squat in the real world.
  5. Be polite… – Just because it’s the internet doesn’t mean that there aren’t penalties for acting like a jerk, being rude, or offensive. Humor is one thing. Being a snarky jackass is completely different. Be nice. You’ll get much further. Think about the fact that your Tweets really do have reach, and what you’re saying.
  6. RT – Make sure to reference the original author when you RT, and make sure that you say something on your own as opposed to simply RT’ing everyone else all the time.
  7. Offer value, provide your own insight –  Is what you’re saying valuable? Engage your followers, and reap the benefits. When you have insight into a certain topic that has been Tweeted, make sure to “@” the author, let them what you think, and make sure to hashtag (#) your post so that you get better reach. Stay on topic.

Overall, these are just a few examples that help make your Twitter account more valuable, and more effective.

Stay honest, offer value, give credit where credit is due, stay engaged; Twitter rocks.

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