Teaching Thursday: Twitter

So now you have your Etsy shop all set up, and you want to start promoting it. Great! Twitter and Facebook are both great ways to promote your shop. Let’s start with Twitter, and Facebook will be coming soon.

How To Promote Your Etsy Shop on Twitter

  1. What is Twitter?

    Twitter is a microblogging platform. Microblogging is the posting of short thoughts or sentences, often with links. Twitter limits posts to 140 characters.

  2. Why would I want to promote my shop on Twitter?

    • Increased shop & listing views
    • Shop backlinks
    • More people talking about your shop
    • Increased sales
  3. How do I use Twitter?

    First, you need to understand that Twitter is like a conversation. People want to talk to you, and they want you to listen and respond. They also want you to talk, so they can listen and respond. If you only talk about your listings, or your shop, or only post links, you will quickly become very, very boring, like the person at the party who just won’t shut up about their hobby.

    So you need to post on Twitter, it’s true, but not all those posts should be about you. A good rule of thumb I have heard, and use myself, is that out of every 10 tweets, one or two should be about your shop or listings.

    The rest should be about what you are doing, links to interesting news articles, other things you find interesting, or promoting other people. But again, go easy on the Etsy links — you don’t want your feed to be just one thing.

    Twitter moves fast, so it’s good if you are on there every day, and scheduling tweets is your friend. At the same time, Twitter moves fast, so don’t schedule too many tweets. If Twitter is suddenly taken over by some major news event, you don’t want your feed to continue tossing out irrelevant tweets. It looks bad.

  4. Okay, so now I’m tweeting regularly, and scheduling tweets on a reasonable basis. How do I promote my shop?

    Post a link to a listing in your shop once or twice a day. Use the Tweet button on the listing, but don’t always use the basic tweet that Etsy sets up for you. Say something about your item to catch people’s attention.

    Get other people to do the promoting for you. Join a team that does reciprocal promotion (you promote the other teammates, they promote you). This way, you tweet things other than yourself, and you get promoted on Twitter. The DTeam does this in some of our daily promo threads.

  5. What about hashtags? What are they, and how do I use them?

    A hashtag is a word in a tweet preceded by #. Think of hashtags as search terms. Hashtags are the way Twitter is organized, and searched. So use hashtags that people might use to search for your tweet or its topic. Hashtags are also used on Twitter to signify trending topics, ones that lots of people are writing about. There is a lot of debate about whether or not using trending hashtags helps Tweeters get found. I ignore it, and just use relevant hashtags.

    Hashtags can go anywhere in a tweet. If you put them in the body of a tweet, make sure they make sense. Hashtags at the end don’t have to fit in.

    Tweets with 2 hashtags are more likely to be read and generate clicks on links in the tweets than tweets with more or less hashtags.

  6. Anything else I should know?

    Twitter is busiest during the day on weekdays, so tweets during the day will be seen by more people. Scheduling tweets around the clock doesn’t increase views and can make you lose followers if they feel you are spamming. That said, tweets during the evening or weekends or holidays will attract more attention because there are fewer tweets going around.

    You gain followers best by following people you are interested in and by being interesting. Don’t follow everyone who follows you, there are a lot of bots and undesirable people spamming on Twitter. You want a good set of people you follow, so people who want to follow you feel secure doing so.

    Twitter feels intimidating, but once you spend a little time in it and watching your feed, it starts feeling a lot simpler and easier. It’s kind of like a giant cocktail party. It gets easier to be there once you start talking to people and mingling.

  7. Don’t forget to say thank you!

    Thank your new followers and people who retweet you. Don’t use direct message to do so, direct messages are often considered spam on Twitter. Thank people in public tweets with @ mentions.

  8. Common abbreviations on Twitter

    RT — retweet — used in manual retweets with comments added, also used to thank people who’ve retweeted you (as in Thanks for the RTs!)
    DM — direct message
    MT — mention tweet (a tweet where someone mentions someone else), often used in thanks, as in Thanks for the MTs!
    @ mention — referring in a tweet to another Twitter user, using their Twitter handle with the @ symbol

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