I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say ‘I just don’t GET Twitter’. And as artists and creatives I know Instagram seems to be the logical social media choice for us — it’s highly visual, it’s curated, and it’s oh-so-pretty.
But here’s why you need to be on Twitter too. It’s a great place to:
1. Make deeper connections with your fans
Twitter is a fantastic place to connect more deeply with your audience. Because Twitter can handle a higher volume of posts, you can show more behind-the-scenes pics and videos, fun GIFs of you creating, and links that you find inspirational or think your audience will like. It’s also ok to be a little less curated than you would be on Instagram. I’m not saying to be unprofessional or go on a religious or political rant to your fans, but you can be a little more real on Twitter.
2. Connect with influencers
Twitter is a fantastic place to search for galleries, art collectors, interior decorators, magazine editors, agents, press and the like. You can create a specific list for each group you want to follow (and it can be private if you want to stalk them without them knowing — click here for instructions). It’s also super easy to reach out to people directly, either publicly or in a direct message and say hi. Or shoot them a link you think they’d like, and start building that relationship.
3. Increase your reach
Unlike Instagram, because it’s so easy to share someone else’s post more people do it, so you’re posts will get in front of way more people!
For example, I have 11x the number of followers on Instagram as I do on Twitter, and yet the Tweet below received 2.5x the audience impressions on Twitter than it did on Instagram! Retweets baby, that’s where it’s at!
A great way to increase your reach even further is by using a simple retweet contest every now and again. It’s easy for your fans to enter, easy for you to manage, and will increase the number of people seeing your content by an astronomical amount!
4. Find out first
Twitter is great as a source of up-to-the-minute news and event announcements. You can follow local galleries, art and craft markets etc and find out when they’ve got open calls, events you can participate in, or contests running. Twitter lets you turn on notifications for certain people (similar to Instagram) so you can make sure you never miss anything important.
Twitter is also an excellent search engine. Type in a keyword or a hashtag that’s relevant to your brand and you’re bound to find lots of people talking about it. Engage, ask questions, basically join in the conversation!
5. Participate in live events
I love, love, love Twitter for participating in live events. For example, I sketch my favorite red carpet looks for all the awards shows and tweet about them in real time, joining in with the engaged fans who are talking about it, live, on Twitter.
There are so many creative ways to participate in big live events, including ‘Days of the Year’ or holiday conversations as they are trending. You can set up your preferences to show you trending topics globally, nationally or locally to tap into the conversations that matter most to your brand. Here’s what trending topics look like (mine are currently tailored specifically to me, based on my location and who I’m following):
Twitter Dos and Don’ts
- As with Instagram, DO use your bio tell people what you do and what they can expect from your posts. (Here are some tips on cleaning up your bio if you think yours might not be up to snuff)
- DON’T repost from Instagram straight to Twitter. Your followers will see this….
Instead of your full, pretty post. (And it only takes about two seconds more to copy, paste, and post, directly in the Twitter app).
- DO make the most of photos, GIFs, and video — all three work really well on Twitter and will grab people’s attention. You can use Twitter’s built in GIF-finder or make your own using the ‘Live GIF’ app if you have an iPhone that supports Live Photos, or you can use a service like GIPHY.
- DO let people know if you have new product up on your site, promotions running, or special announcements. But balance sell-promotional tweets with interesting articles, behind-the-scenes content etc.
- DO repost relevant content again later. I use Buffer to easily re-tweet articles or posts from a week or month ago. People are on Twitter at all different times so they may not have seen it the first time around. For more info on streamlining your social media workflow, read this post.
- DO use links in your posts to tell people what to do next ‘see more on the blog www.yourlink.com’ or ‘use this discount code in my Etsy store www.yourlink.com"
- DO retweet other links, articles, and posts that you think your followers will enjoy.
- But DON’T share other people’s content without tagging them and giving them credit. If you simply retweet this is done automatically.
- DO use Twitter to encourage people to follow you on other channels: Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Periscope etc.
- If you’re using Periscope DO share your scopes straight to Twitter so your fans can watch them right in your feed. This is a great way to introduce yourself and your work, and show people behind-the-scenes.
- For maximum impact DO try to tweet during ‘business hours’ during the week. That’s typically when most people are using Twitter. That being said, as with any social network, play around with times and work out when your particular audience is online, it may not be when the majority of users are on Twitter.
- DON’T overdo it with hashtags on Twitter. It’s not like Instagram where you can post a slew of tags in the first comment after you post, with Twitter they have to be in the actual post copy. I usually keep it to a maximum of three, but one is plenty.
Have any questions about Twitter? Leave me a comment below!
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