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Explaining Twitter, If I Can

Explaining Twitter, If I Can 3161-daily-golden-nugget-952Are you a jeweler or jewelry designer that feels completely overwhelmed by Twitter and why you would use it? If so, this Daily Golden Nugget is for you.

At a recent jewelry trade show, I had a few people ask me if I could explain Twitter to them and why they should use it. My immediate inner reaction was, "ACK! Explain Twitter?! Can anyone really explain Twitter?"

But I did my best...

It's a social network that is renowned for fast information, news at the speed of light, quippy commentary, feedback, rapidfire sharing, and discovery.

Every morning, I quickly browse the Twitter accounts of new channels from the UK and Europe. If something's happening over there, I can find out about it as I'm just getting out of bed. Literally. In case you are wondering, I do sleep with my smartphones and my iPad next to me... They are my alarm clock.

My next check-in on Twitter happens when I first get to my desk in the morning. I use Hootsuite to look for conversations I am having with people who replied to my own previous tweets, and I look for 140 character messages that I might be interested in.

There are several Twitter accounts that I always look for because they always tweet topics I find interesting, or need to know about in my line of work.

Throughout the rest of the day, I let the Twitter app on my smartphone notify me when someone @mentions my name. I pay attention to the people who follow me on Twitter and many times I follow them back.

The Twitter app is one of the social networking apps a thumb swipe through when I take a break from the computer. I favorite tweets and retweet others throughout the day.

Whenever I log into Facebook or Google+, I find myself completely distracted by all the different posts. For me, those 2 social networks take up a lot more of my time. On the other hand, Twitter gives me more sources of information at a much faster rate.

All of my blog posts are shared through Twitter no less than 6 times through multiple accounts every day. I will send the same tweet 2 times, 12 hours apart from each other because my audience is global.

The massive number of tweets shared on Twitter every second makes it very difficult for any single tweet to be seen by my entire audience. Unlike Google+ and Facebook, I don't worry about flooding my Twitter account with 2 identical tweets every 12 hours.

I don't know if I'm a typical user or not, but this daily Twitter routine of mine serves as a news channel, a broadcast channel, and a communication channel.

* I look for the top news accounts for headlines
* I broadcast my own daily blogs
* I listen for people trying to reach me

Jewelry stores and jewelry designers can use the same broadcast tactics. Here are some ideas you can broadcast:

* Photos of your jewelry
* Ask for feedback on your latest jewelry designs
* Give out discount codes that only your Twitter followers will see
* Update store hours, especially for unexpected store closings during bad weather
* Reach new audiences by using different hashtags

One of the ways to reach a new audience is by using a different hashtags relating to the message you are sending out. In a previous nugget I wrote about content curation using the website. People with all types of interests use to organize social media posts on different topics. Using a variety of hashtags over time gives you the best chances of inclusion into someone's curated newsletter.

A person wants to connect to another person. I recently wrote a nugget about the need to have a personal brand on Facebook, that same strategy is needed on Twitter. No one wants to talk to the generic account for a local store. You are personable with them when they come into the store; why not be personable on social media too?

Attracting Followers

I feel that retail jewelers can ramp up the number of people they can follow much faster than a jewelry designer can.

For jewelry designers, you should go to the website and search for your town name. Look for and follow all the other local businesses in town. You can also follow any personal account if they mentioned your own too. Just like I do, it's very possible that everyone you follow will follow you back, especially when they see you are in the same neighborhood.

Jewelry designers will have to search for people using keywords that would describe their own jewelry. Then follow those people in hopes that they will follow you back. As a designer, if you sell through retail jewelry stores then you should follow all the jewelry store Twitter accounts who already carry your line, or that you wish would carry your line.

Using these simple methods explained above, the jewelry designer will probably find a more passionate Twitter following than the retail jeweler would. For further ideas on gaining followers I recommend you do a Google search for "how to gain more followers on Twitter."

In the past, I measured that you need to tweet 6 times per day before the network becomes valuable as a social engagement tool. I have 4 different tweet being broadcast 2 times each, which is 8 times per day. That approach doesn't look like information overload because they are 4 different tweets.

Guy Kawasaki suggests that you use the same tweet 3 times per day, 8 hours apart from one another, but skip the overnight hours when your local audience is mostly asleep. If your website sells globally, you might find my approach is better suited.

Did I really explain what Twitter is and how to use it? It's such a diverse network of people and uses that people much more qualified than I am have written 100+ page books on the topic. There's no way I can expect to explain it in fewer than 1000 words.

As I suggest with many things: just get started. Create an account and follow several people, magazines, newspapers, and news outlets that you would appreciate getting fast updates from. Use your smartphone to read those fast updates. That method might change the way you consume news, and it should help you develop an early understanding of how Twitter can be used.

Your first step is to create an account.

Just one final note as I close out this Nugget: don't connect your Facebook and your Twitter accounts together. You should never auto-share your Facebook posts to Twitter. This is a bad practice. You should post to Facebook and Twitter as 2 different networks because they have 2 different types of audiences.

AT: 03/18/2014 11:48:44 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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