and to those of you who are twitter impaired, we suggest you give it a go. yes, it can be a random grab bag of useless trivia "i'm making pasta for dinner- you?" but it is also a tremendous resource for disseminating information and resources. we can't tell you of the number of interesting sources for interior design products we've bookmarked since we started tweeting this summer. we are hooked, and you should be too! now we know, we know- who has time for one more thing? FB, blogs, twitter- too much, too much! but why not give up one hour of reality TV a day, and tweet instead? trust moi- it's better for your brain- you won't find pretty new fabrics while watching RHONJ...
m21 recently sent this quick primer to fellow blogger, grant k. gibson, when he was starting to tweet, but by the time we sent it, he'd pretty much figured out everything on his own. so waste not, want not and voila! an upcycled blog post!
m21's quick twitter primer
- sign up at twitter.com and then pick one person you know- perhaps @maison21- and go though the list of who they follow, selecting anyone that sounds interesting. you can always unfollow your selections if they turn out to be a bore, or an over-twitterer. once you start following people, they will often in turn follow you back, but it's not automatic; if they don't, no biggie- it's not an insult or anything. (same thing if a tweet goes unanswered- there is a lot of stuff out there).
- start sending tweets- they can be just like what you'd post as FB status updates, or they can be related to design or whatever you want them to be, just under 140 characters. RT or retweeting is a great way to establish a presence- if someone tweets something you found interesting, simply copy the whole thing with their handle (@maison21 for example) and add RT in front. it's like linking to other blogs, and a perfectly acceptable way to spread info while making your twitter presence known. in fact, retweeting is what makes twitter really work. (btw, hootsuite does this automatically for you, see #4)
- another way for people to find your tweets is by use of #hashtags, ie putting #decor or #dogs or #foodie at the end of your tweets. people searching for those topics then find your posts. it sounds complicated, but it's not- swear.
- m21 strongly recommends registering with a 3rd party interface to organize and schedule your tweets- the interface at twitter.com just isn't very user friendly. we use hootsuite and give it two big thumbs up (it's FREE). you can set hootsuite up to automatically tweet your latest blog posts, use it to shorten any links you might want to post (the 140 character thing means most links are too long) and also organize the people you follow into groups, then view everything all at once, all on one page- an impossibility on the real twitter site, and perhaps a reason people don't "get" twitter at 1st signup (we didn't for sure, and took us months to figure out the appeal)
- watch as the numbers of people who follow you grow! m21 started tweeting in may, and now 6 months later we have over 300 followers (some of whom are admittedly spam/marketing followers- a fact of life on the twitter, but we try to weed them out). we aren't very aggressive about collecting followers either, so 300 peeps is pretty impressive in our book. you'll gain followers too, if you tweet- simple fact. but you have to interact if you want them to start following... we find tweeting is a great way to interact with people who we might not otherwise have any contact with- there is no invite system like facebook, so you can tweet with a surprising number of people you never would speak to in real life. they probably won't answer (for example, anderson cooper has yet to respond to our declarations of love), but hey- if andy ignores you, who cares! plenty of other people won't.
- for you bloggers, we find tweeting more of a conversation then a blog post is, so it's an awesome way to speak with your blog community; plus the 140 character thing keeps interactions short, sweet and to the point! m21 now finds he gets a lot his news and entertainment from twitter too, so in a way, it's not a waste of time at all, since we don't have to visit a bunch of different websites- just click when we see something interesting! it's one stop web info shopping!