Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that’s fast becoming the “news” source for everyday people, by everyday people. While it can be used to stay in touch with friends and family, many small businesses, including artists, have used Twitter to help increase sales, build brand recognition, and drive traffic to online stores
When used correctly, Twitter can promote your art business by networking with art collectors interested in knowing when your next gallery opening is going to be, when you’ve listed a new piece of art, or when something exciting happens in your art business. It can also be used to schmooze companies you want to take notice of your art. . . in hopes of becoming a licensed partner.
Below are eight ways companies are making a difference in their bottom line, thanks to Twitter.
1. Twitter can expand your publicity campaign
In today’s world, it is not enough to send a press release to the media announcing your new art store, licensed line of art products, or even your desire to go “green”. You need to provide a reason for the media to visit with you.
One way of doing that is to show the media how you implement Twitter in your everyday marketing efforts. Below is an excerpt from a press release that does just that. . .
A Donkey and Goat Winery, a wife and husband-owned winery producing sustainably crafted artisanal wines, is using Twitter to give people a chance to follow the winemakers as they embark on the fall harvest.
Now for the first time, Twitter users can become virtual winemakers by following everything from the picking of grapes, to the crush, fermentation, pressing, and finally barreling down the wine.
Anyone who follows A Donkey and Goat Winery, via their Twitter Feed will also have the chance to be invited to the winery in Berkeley, CA to help stomp grapes.
How fun does that sound?
As someone who lived in Southern California for all of my childhood and part of my adult life, I have been on many winery tours and to many wine tasting events and I can tell you that I’ve never had the opportunity to “STOMP” grapes. Yet, every time I watched the episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy is in the vineyard stomping grapes and becomes purple, I couldn’t help but think how fun it would be to have the opportunity to do the same. As a journalist, this would’ve definitely caught my attention and cause me to follow up.
2. Twitter can become your news reel
Besides commenting back and forth amongst twitter users, Twitter is fast becoming an up-to-the minute news source for professionals. Thanks to TwitterFeed, users can have posts from various blogs, article directories, and forums instantly announced in their twitter feeds.
You can use your Twitter account to share art industry news, to let your fans know about upcoming events or last minute changes, to share links to sites that have mentioned you, or to announce Twitter-only sales.
3. Twitter can increase awareness through daily tips
Lorie Marrero, creator of The Clutter Diet, uses Tweet Later to share daily tips with her fans via the “ClutterTweetTip.” Each day, at the same time, a new tip is delivered straight to her Twitter account. Not only does this give Lorie’s followers something useful to implement in their daily lives, but she’s made some wonderful contacts along the way—great for business and personal use!
You can do the same thing with your art business. . . you can share daily tips on storing, shipping, and hanging art or if you’re an art workshop instructor, you can share daily creation tips.
(Here’s how Tweet Later works: Just log in, enter your Open ID address, your twitter account information, and your time zone. Set up a welcome message for new followers, then start adding your tips! It’s truly that simple.)
4. Twitter can help during disasters
When disaster hits, the Internet may be the only way to get through to loved ones and colleagues. That’s when micro-blogging tools, such as Twitter, can come in real handy. With a quick click of a button and a few typed words, you can let everyone in your group know that you’re okay. And through a little direct messaging, you can also tell them where to contact you.
Dr. Ramirez, Founder of High Alert, LLC and Founding Chairperson of the American Board of Disaster Medicine, began micro-blogging on Twitter when disaster hit his homebase—thanks to Tropical Storm Fay. Immediately he went into action by providing disaster preparedness tips and was inundated with messages from his followers that their “Go Pak’s” were packed and they were all doing okay.
As an artist, you can use Twitter to communicate with your fans, too. You can offer tips during disasters or to simply keep them up-to-date when you’re running late due to traffic, weather conditions, or personal emergencies.
5. Twitter can bring in new business
Those who use Twitter effectively know that in order to keep readers, they have to give more than updates on the latest happenings within their company—they must offer a personal side and be willing to share outside sources that complement their overall publicity and marketing campaign.
Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer uses his Twitter account to schmooze with anyone interested in learning how social media works while sharing their success stories. “The key,” says Jason, “is to be approachable. Don’t just talk about ‘you’ but talk about the industry as a whole—even if it means sharing links and pointing to other people in the industry.”
Jason also says that you shouldn’t ignore those private messages because you never know when they’ll lead to bigger and better things.
When Jason was approached, through a private message, asking about social media press releases, he immediately struck up a conversation. As the conversation grew, he was asked to present a marketing plan to the questioner’s company—which ultimately resulted in a new client for his company, Doe-Anderson. His conversations, on Twitter, have also landed him speaking engagements, leads, and colleagues in the industry.
6. Twitter can compartmentalize
According to Raymond Ray, of Small Biz Technology, business relations may not care about the small, personal details of your life and may even be turned off by them—so consider opening up two Twitter accounts. One for family and friends, and one for business. . . especially if those personal details include one liners about being stranded in the airport, heading to the mall for a little shopping, off to pay a few bills, eating lunch, watching a television show, or reading your favorite book.
When it comes to your art business account, consider how your message (or tweets) ties into your business model. Is it really beneficial? If not, you may want to reconsider twittering about it or move it over to your personal account.
7. Twitter can hold you accountable
Whether you are an artist working from the comforts of your home office or a member of the staff at a big corporation, accountability is vital to the success of your business. Yet, with so many different projects going on at once, it can be difficult to find an accountability partner. . . that’s when Twitter can come in handy.
Jeanna Gabellini of MasterPeace Coaching & Training, believes that it is important to “walk the talk” and one way of doing that is to have an accountability partner. But when an accountability partner isn’t available, an open-public source, like Twitter, can do the trick.
According to Jeanna, the key to using Twitter as an accountability tool is to make sure you have followers you don’t want to “lose face with” and then post regular, daily updates on your progress.
8. Twitter can be used incorrectly
Balancing Twitter’s ability to condense several activities across the web, with its unique ability to engage in conversations that are precise and to the point, can cause confusion amongst new Tweets.
Brennan White of Pandemic Labs, a viral and social media marketing agency, makes a great point when she says, “Everyone self-promotes on Twitter, to some extent” the problem occurs when they “use Twitter as their personal web traffic generator because it makes you feel used.”
The key to balancing promotion with socialization is to find a purpose and a direction for your Twitter account and then stick to it. Don’t let your Twitter account become a catch-all.
Sue Painter, of The Confident Marketer brings the point home when she says, “I’ve had to quit following a few people simply because they seem to think that Twitter-folks need to know EVERYTHING they do in a day. From picking up their kids to going to the pool to the fact that their plane was late or that the cat threw up—sometimes 20 or more entries in a day. It’s really quite self-involved and entirely of no value.”
Always try to use Twitter or any micro-blogging tool to provide real value for your followers. It’s not enough to just promote. You must also interact, socialize, and become a part of a community.
And of course, don’t be afraid to switch directions with your Twitter account if you find it’s not working for you. You may lose a few followers in the beginning but you’ll gain a whole lot more in the long-run.
At the end of the day, you want Twitter followers who you can build mutual business partnerships with. Using a few of the suggestions above would be a fantastic way to get started, but the best advice of all is to simply start today. After all, it only takes 140 characters!