So let me just say that Twitter is a pretty amazing tool. I know, I know, a lot of people don’t “get it”, but for those that do, isn’t it awesome?
While I don’t consider myself a Twitter expert, I started out as someone who didn’t understand the point, to someone who checks in frequently. I mean, how else would I know what’s going on everywhere else?
So how has Twitter worked for me? Well, from Twitter, I’ve found out about photo shoot opportunities, get-togethers, spur of the moment lunches, and most recently, met a wedding planner, collaborated an Etsy seller, and planned a girls night out. Seriously. And I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have been privy to that information or those opportunities without being on Twitter.
Ok, so if you’re new to Twitter and trying to figure it out and be like all the cool kids, here are some tips:
- On Twitter, you “follow” people and get “followed”. My general recommendation for this is to follow people who:
- are your friends (in real life)
- people in your industry (so for me it’s people in the wedding industry)
- those who have interesting things to share (for me it’s some crafters and cooks).
- Anyone can follow you on Twitter if you have an unlocked account. This means anyone can see your tweets. It also means potential for spam. However, you can protect your account and people have to request to follow you. This prevents spam, but it may deter people from following you.
- The “@” in front of the name, means that you are mentioning or replying to someone on Twitter.
- When I tweet “I went to the Dallas @photogshootout today and it was so fun,” that is called a mention of Photog Shootout, and a tweet that anyone can see.
- So when I tweet “@celinagomez That was so AWESOME,” that is a reply directed at my friend, Celina, and if my followers follow her as well, they can see it too.
- In order for Twitter to “work” for you and it not just be about reading tweets from people talking about their lunch or trip to the bookstore, you need to engage in a conversation.
- If someone tweets something interesting, reply back with a comment or question. This gives the other person the opportunity to reply to you.
- If someone replies to something you tweet, consider replying back to them. You never know what kind of opportunity is there.
- I’ve used Twitter to ask a question, get local information, and to get instant feedback.
- If you want to send a message to someone privately, it’s called Direct Message and you can only send those to people who follow you. Sometimes it can be tricky if you follow someone and they don’t follow you back because they can direct message (DM) you but you can’t DM them.
- You can mark tweets with the hashtag (#) in order to facilitate learning. I’ve used this recently for #TheSimplePlan and #MTH2010. Anyone can search to find all the tweets with the particular hashtag.
- If you like something that someone tweets, there’s a thing called a “ReTweet” and is marked in a tweet with “RT” and who tweeted. For example, it would look like this: “RT @EmilyLey: So proud to introduce :: EMILY LEY PAPER :: http://tinyurl.com/ygmhhby” And then you can add your own comment to the end.
And that’s a basic rundown. Twitter can be used to announced new blog posts, promotions, questions, anything, really. But to really get the most out of the Twitter, you need to engage in conversation with other “tweeps”. It’s not meant to be one-sided. For me, I met a ton of other photographers through Twitter, and then had the chance to meet them in person either at WPPI (a HUGE photographer’s convention in Las Vegas) or in California or here in Dallas. It’s been great!
And if you want to follow me on Twitter, I’m @CatieRonquillo.
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