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Author Topic: Twitter - how the heck is it supposed to work?  (Read 5676 times)

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« on: August 23, 2010, 08:36 »
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Please hear me out:
I'm on Twitter for a year now and have a lousy 100+ followers. I'm following 160+ who mostly don't follow me because they are big film actors or other VIPs that don't care that I follow them.

I have no idea who the people are that follow me. Never met them before, never had any conversation with them online.

I'm constantly pimping my images and Zazzle products, which actually appear to lead to sales. Can't say for sure if it's because of my tweets but it happens often very close to each other.

Anyway, how is Twitter "supposed" to work? Anyone just follows everybody who re-follows them?

Who has actually the time to read the tweets of other people? Don't other people have a life as well?

Why would anyone take the time to read my tweets instead of reading Paris Hilton's?

How is business supposed to be promoted through Twitter?

I can see the viral thing of tweeting something extremely hilarious or news breaking. Being faster than the news is a big plus of Twitter I suppose.

Is it only for bloggers to let their readers now that they just posted a new article? Why wouldn't those readers sign up for updates directly with the blog that allows more information than the 100 hundred something characters on Twitter?

Please don't post any links that explain Twitter.

I want to hear who of you is using Twitter in a meaningful way. How are you using it. Are you reading other people's tweets for hours? Do you follow more than 100 people and are really interested in what they have to say?

I just can't get my head around it.


« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 09:32 »
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If you figure it out, let me know I'm not a Twitter girl, I am an FB girl tho. I still cant figure out the allure of the whole tweet thing.

youralleffingnuts

    This user is banned.
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 09:58 »
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The twitterati and those who follow you won't be reading your tweets just like you don't read theirs.  The only real benefit of using twitter is for the backlinks and because it indexes your items almost immediately allowing google bots to pick it up quicker.

I can't help frown upon the average twits on twitter that use it in their personal lives but it makes sense for business and for driving traffic to your website.  I feed my RSS feeds automatically using either RSS2twitter or twitterfeed but I also manually tweet a few items to make them look less spammy.

youralleffingnuts

    This user is banned.
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2010, 10:10 »
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I forgot to mention that I don't tweet my microstock items individually on twitter because the high views to downloads ratio may effects my search rankings.  I reckon it's best to allow buyers to search for microstock images directly via the agent site.  You're more likely to get browsers clicking on an image or link on google just out of curiosity rather than people looking to buy it.  I do on occassion tweet my portfolio wording it in a way that targets designers.

« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2010, 10:49 »
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Ok thanks for that info. Keep it coming.

« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2010, 11:54 »
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Click_click, how did you get people to follow you? I have I think 2 or 3 followers (and I don't post anything there in the end....) who are from here, from one thread months ago in which we gave our tweet IDs.

Twitter also doesn't make much sense to me....

PS: I remember before the World Cup, our great players used Twitter for important enthusiastic information like "We arrived in Africa" or "The championship is going to begin".
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 11:57 by madelaide »

« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2010, 11:59 »
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Well I did try out some auto-following scripts and tools and accumulated a bunch of followers that way. In the end they probably just followed me because I followed them. That's why I don't get this system.

I'm perhaps destroying my whole reputation on twitter because I don't know how to use it "properly". But I really don't need follow people who tweet about their eating or digestion habits which is something I see very common on Facebook as well. No clue why (grown up) people do that...

youralleffingnuts

    This user is banned.
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2010, 12:37 »
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Chuck the word "designs" or "photography" at the end of your username, keep tweeting and people will follow.  Then follow them and you'll appear on more lists as you tweet.  I have never followed anyone that hasn't followed me first and on one of my accounts I've accumulated over 3000 followers over two years.   

You need to have something in common with others to appear on their "who to follow" list or the "more like so and so" list. 

« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2010, 12:48 »
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Chuck the word "designs" or "photography" at the end of your username, keep tweeting and people will follow.  Then follow them and you'll appear on more lists as you tweet.  I have never followed anyone that hasn't followed me first and on one of my accounts I've accumulated over 3000 followers over two years.    

You need to have something in common with others to appear on their "who to follow" list or the "more like so and so" list.  

Will do. Makes sense and I hope I'll also get lots of followers that I can spam my stuff to  :P

youralleffingnuts

    This user is banned.
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2010, 12:54 »
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Click, another good way to promote your work if you haven't already is to set up a facebook page and some squidoo lenses because they're high on the SEO charts.  

Cheers


Edit:  your work on zazzle I meant.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2010, 13:13 »
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My SEO was built around my blog.  Interesting articles with useful information.  It has worked very well, actually.  I don't know that I have seen any positive results from Twitter or Facebook.  I must say, however, there have been occasional queries from Flickr.

I just cannot not bring myself to believe that Twitter is anymore than a social network.  However, Youtube (as well as Flickr)  certainly found a place in commercial society. 

« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2010, 13:20 »
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Will do. Makes sense and I hope I'll also get lots of followers that I can spam my stuff to  :P
Don't do that. I just unfollowed hlenerer because he uses that idiot Shutterstock Twitter plugin. Hi, I just sold 4 images today on SS, Hi, I just got 5 new images approved on SS... grrrrrrr. Every one-two weeks a tweet about something important is enough. No need to promote your stuff with other contributors since they aren't your market.

« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2010, 13:29 »
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Will do. Makes sense and I hope I'll also get lots of followers that I can spam my stuff to  :P
Don't do that. I just unfollowed hlenerer because he uses that idiot Shutterstock Twitter plugin. Hi, I just sold 4 images today on SS, Hi, I just got 5 new images approved on SS... grrrrrrr. Every one-two weeks a tweet about something important is enough. No need to promote your stuff with other contributors since they aren't your market.

See, this is one of the problems. Some people are working in the same industry and others may be your clients.

You can't make both happy. Do I have to set up several accounts with Twitter then?

« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2010, 16:47 »
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No need to promote your stuff with other contributors since they aren't your market.

That's one important aspect, how do you promote to your clients, existing or potential? Put a "follow me" in your website?

I have many photography colleagues at Facebook, when I post something there it is they, not clients, who see this. And yes, I find it annoying those "I sold N images at DT today", therefore I don't use such tools - actually I don't want to promote anything from micros. 

« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2010, 17:59 »
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See, this is one of the problems. Some people are working in the same industry and others may be your clients.
There might be a small overlap, but in general, it's two different worlds. When I have to buy my 3 daily shots, I never look at Twitter, FB or whatever. I just do the search on site (DT) and I don't care who made the shot. There is no time for that since I have a 1hr deadline for daily media.
You can't make both happy. Do I have to set up several accounts with Twitter then?
Never thought of that, but again, what's the use of targeting other photographers, that will (a) never buy your stuff and (b) get an early preview of your newest shots so they can copy them faster. You can use Twitter that way though, follow your (naive) competitors and get an early preview of what they are up to.  :P

Aaaa... I already said too much.  ;D
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 18:01 by FD-regular »

« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2010, 18:04 »
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I have many photography colleagues at Facebook, when I post something there it is they, not clients, who see this. And yes, I find it annoying those "I sold N images at DT today", therefore I don't use such tools - actually I don't want to promote anything from micros. 
Well, basically it's a social tool then. Nothing wrong with that.

« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2010, 19:37 »
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Twitter isn't really about what Twitter can do for you, but more what you can do for others. Doing only self-promotion or marketing won't take you very far. I would recommend to stay away from using these microstock plugins that send messages about sales (I also find it annoying) as it will only drive people away. Especially people that are interested in you, rather than your photography. But that goes to almost any automated service that spams updates.

From a business point of view, Twitter has helped us connect and sign with local photographers (Malaysia) and overseas photographers we would otherwise not have been in contact with. We've also found distributors and agencies that wanted to be represented in Malaysia. While Twitter does drive traffic to our website, I doubt it's any potential clients. To have clients follow you on Twitter, you would need to offer them something of value, like an incentive, previews of recent shoots etc.

click_click, when you're following more than 100 people on Twitter, you should create different lists of people you are genuinely interested in reading tweets from. For example, I have lists of people that are photographers, creatives (designers, artists etc.) and so on. We have about 780 followers in total; there's no away I could reasonably be able to keep track of that many followers in a meaningful way. You really need to cut down that number to have time to do other things. Otherwise you would have to spend hours per day reading tweets!

« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2010, 19:51 »
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...click_click, when you're following more than 100 people on Twitter, you should create different lists of people you are genuinely interested in reading tweets from. For example, I have lists of people that are photographers, creatives (designers, artists etc.) and so on. We have about 780 followers in total; there's no away I could reasonably be able to keep track of that many followers in a meaningful way. You really need to cut down that number to have time to do other things. Otherwise you would have to spend hours per day reading tweets!

Thanks for that information. That was what I was looking for.

I wonder how individuals do it that have 10,000 or more follower. That's just crazy.

youralleffingnuts

    This user is banned.
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2010, 20:15 »
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It really depends how you're set up.  Do you have a website? Blog?

I absolutely have more than one account.  I have a personal one, where friends convinced me to open up.  I don't even look at it because I find twitter a tad idiotic for personal use.  I have one for my artwork (paintings and prints) that drives traffic to my site and blog.  I don't do any spammy type automated tweeting on that one.  They're all meaningful, thoughtful posts, not just a title and link.  Then I have my sunnymars one that I use for my PODs like zazzle.  That one is spammy and it probably pisses off anyone that reads it (I doubt anyone does) but I only use that to index my products quicker.  It must be working because I've made more money from zazzle in one month than from all the microstock agents combined in four months.

As I said early, I don't promote my microstock on twitter at all.  Twitter is useless for that but definitely use it for zazzle.




Will do. Makes sense and I hope I'll also get lots of followers that I can spam my stuff to  :P
Don't do that. I just unhallowed lingerer because he uses that idiot Shutterstock Twitter plug in. Hi, I just sold 4 images today on SS, Hi, I just got 5 new images approved on SS... Greer. Every onto weeks a tweet about something important is enough. No need to promote your stuff with other contributors since they aren't your market.

See, this is one of the problems. Some people are working in the same industry and others may be your clients.

You can't make both happy. Do I have to set up several accounts with Twitter then?

« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2010, 20:21 »
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As I said early, I don't promote my microstock on twitter at all.  Twitter is useless for that but definitely use it for zazzle.

Huh.  I wonder how I start getting blog views immediately after bit.ly->twitter ing about a new post.

Mostly, I think twitter is useless.  I post maybe once a day.  But I get several new people following me each day, so I must be posting something they want to see.

youralleffingnuts

    This user is banned.
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2010, 20:28 »
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Using lists are useful for yourself but again, if you're going to have any automated tweets you're probably still going to put off a number of people who read it.  This is why it's better to create different accounts for different products and purposes.  I don't want my followers who read about my artwork (paintings) to be twittered about the latest mug I've created on zazzle.  That would look unprofessional and would annoy them.



...click_click, when you're following more than 100 people on Twitter, you should create different lists of people you are genuinely interested in reading tweets from. For example, I have lists of people that are photographers, creatives (designers, artists etc.) and so on. We have about 780 followers in total; there's no away I could reasonably be able to keep track of that many followers in a meaningful way. You really need to cut down that number to have time to do other things. Otherwise you would have to spend hours per day reading tweets!

Thanks for that information. That was what I was looking for.

I wonder how individuals do it that have 10,000 or more follower. That's just crazy.

youralleffingnuts

    This user is banned.
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2010, 20:46 »
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Posting once a day to drive traffic to a blog is fine.  I was really talking more about automated tweets that tweet each time you upload a new product. Whether you use a feed or click on a 'twitter this' link yourself.

Also, you're sjlocke.  I don't think your views to downloads ratio is going to have that much effect on your search ranking on IS.  I don't really know how IS is set up but I do know that on a site like DT, if your views to download ratio is too high, it's going to push back your item on search results.  I experimented when I first started and a lot of the items with high views due to twitter, haven't been sold on DT because they're simply not found in search results on the actual site.  I'm talking of popular images that do well elsewhere.  As I mentioned earlier, for microstock, you're not going to get as many buyers searching for images on google than you would from buyers searching images directly on a microstock agent. 

...so your tweets might be directing traffic to your blog but are they converting to sales?  Microstock is very specific.  It's not like a zazzle t-shirt where it's easy to get interest from anyone who may end up buying it.  No average person who's not a designer is going to read a random microstock tweet and think to themselves "oh, an image of a office lady working on her laptop, I could use one of those!"


As I said early, I don't promote my microstock on twitter at all.  Twitter is useless for that but definitely use it for zazzle.

Huh.  I wonder how I start getting blog views immediately after bit.ly->twitter ing about a new post.

Mostly, I think twitter is useless.  I post maybe once a day.  But I get several new people following me each day, so I must be posting something they want to see.

« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2010, 20:55 »
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I don't want to spam. I'm trying to make people aware of new products like Zazzle let's say.

Sure it looks like spam but it is my Twitter account so what else am I supposed to do.

Like Sean I have the same experience. I keep tweeting and people keep following.

I don't use auto tweeters - I can see that this is annoying and puts people off.

Have to look into the list thing though.

Thanks for all your posts! Keep it coming if possible!

« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2010, 01:11 »
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If it's hard to understand twitter, what about this one that only lets you post one word?  I really don't get it.
http://wordr.org/

« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2010, 05:39 »
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As far as I know, people with 10,000+ followers (of those I know and converse with) are definately using lists and avoid reading their public timeline. There's just too much noise. Also, using Twitter applications like Hootsuite, CoTweet and Tweetdeck make it easier to keep track of lists, mentions and direct messages.

I have noticed that a lot of microstock (and traditional stock libraries) tend to tweet lightboxes or flash galleries on specific subjects. Most libraries also do this through emailers as well, so it should work pretty well on Twitter too. It could be a really good way to promote your images and still bring value to your followers. But I guess it would depend on how large your portfolio is for this to work. Heck, start promoting other photographers and people will definitely take notice! Remember to use hashtags like #photos and #photography so people can find your tweets on the public timeline.

Thanks for that information. That was what I was looking for.

I wonder how individuals do it that have 10,000 or more follower. That's just crazy.

« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2010, 05:46 »
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I don't want to spam. I'm trying to make people aware of new products like Zazzle let's say.
Can we put a link to people subscribe to our Twitter account in Zazzle? In our main page, I mean. I wonder if visitors would subscribe, but it is an interesting idea.


 

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