I’m busting out of the Twitter 10 format to bring you my top ten reasons for why Twitter is one of the most powerful tools in your social media toolkit. Like any social networking site Twitter can be distracting depending on how you choose to use it & who you follow. I have personally found that not only is Twitter NOT distracting for me it helps my workflow & makes my job easier. Here’s how:
1. Goodbye Loneliness, Hello Happiness Working at home, especially with small children can be very isolating and lonely. Pre-Twitter I remember days where I searched job listings and thought about just going back to the grind so I could have real human interaction on a daily basis. Twitter completely eliminated that feeling of alienation. Any time I need to talk with someone who speaks in complete sentences and can relate to my ideas I hop on Twitter and get instant feedback. It’s very much like working with a huge team where everyone supports and respects each other. How amazing is that?!
2. Build Your Community If you are using Twitter mainly for self-promotion then you are missing the whole point. I have read articles that suggest your tweeting should be 20-40% promotion and the rest interaction. Don’t think of it as wasting time, think of it as building a community of people who support who you are and what you do. You wouldn’t go to a networking event and talk about yourself the whole time right? Same thing on Twitter.
3. Make Amazing Connections Seeking out people who inspire and challenge you on Twitter is a recipe for fueling your passion. I won’t deny there have been times I have jumped up and down or sat grinning at the computer because Twitter had connected me to people I have admired for YEARS, or in one case since childhood. It’s brilliant when someone you have been influenced by sees value in what you do & chooses to connect with you. It is like a massive pat on the back and that feeling of affirmation makes you more confident and able to push past any fears or insecurities.
4. Be More Efficient with your Networking I did marketing well before I started with OMHG-I used to send bazillions of emails, spend hours and hours on the phone and loose a lot of time seeking out people to connect with. Twitter has not eliminated that work but it has definitely more then halved it. Making initial connections via Twitter opens the door for when it’s time to send a personal email or see if someone is up for collaborating. You can lay the foundation for taking a business relationship to the next step.
5. Just Be Yourself Twitter is all about personal connections-it’s basically one big conversation. So it is the perfect opportunity to build your business and yourself by offering just one thing-YOU. People want to connect with your true self-whether you’re cheerful and bubbly or hilariously sarcastic. So much of the new marketing is based on building brands that people can really connect and identify with-but being yourself can be scary for a business owner. Twitter is the perfect place to build your confidence speaking in your own voice and that will transfer over to everything else you do-blogging, writing product descriptions, email pitches, you name it!
6. Find New Opportunities If you are a jumper, when you see tweets about job openings, calls for submissions, gallery openings, new stores, whatever relates to you, you can take the opportunity and dive right in. I am totally a both feet, heart in my hand kind of person so I always jump when I see something that is just SO right for me. It might lead nowhere but it could also be just the chance needed to open doors to brand new possibilities. So don’t hesitate when you see a tweet that speaks to you-speak up!
7. Meet Your Market If you are trying to market a product or service the most important thing is to know exactly who your market is. Nothing gives you the ability to see inside the lives of your customers and clients in a totally non-voyeuristic way like Twitter. It’s like an invitation into someone’s daily life. You can find out what your market values, how they talk and want to be talked to, what excites them, what upsets them, all the things that you need to know in order to really understand how to share what you’re offering. Then you can take all that knowledge and use it to help you define what your business needs.
8. Talk to People Who Are Really Listening By following and connecting with people who will appreciate what you do you can zero in on contacts that can further you and your work. Building relationships with magazine and blog editors, shop owners, trendsetters and also customers is so beneficial. It can help cut through all the preliminary “getting to know you” jitters and when you have a pitch or are ready to share a product the person you are emailing already knows you and is far more likely to respond. A large number of people who have been featured on OMHG or who are now contributing contacted me first through Twitter and built a friendship before ever asking for anything or I approached them after seeing how they interacted on Twitter. I love that!
9. Get Unstuck I am sure there are many people who use Twitter as a distraction or a way to avoid doing work. For me it’s the total opposite, I hop on Twitter when I am feeling stuck or frustrated and in a few minutes I am feeling ready to go back and focus again. I know this has a lot to do with who you follow, if your feed is full of incredible, talented and articulate people then every time you head over to Twitter you are going to be inspired!
10. Let Your Hair Down Twitter can be a place to party and just have fun too! I love our monthly #omhg Twitter parties and have been thinking of making them a weekly thing. There is nothing like having a big chat-fest with people you know and admire while also getting to make new friends and learn some tips & tricks. The ideas generated from our parties have also fueled a lot of my ideas and posts while helping me understand who my followers are (& why they are so totally awesome). So if you haven’t hosted or participated in a Twitter party please do, it’s SO much fun! We’re meeting today from 12-2 EST using the hashtag #omhg and I would love to see you there. I also found this fabulous new program for Twitter parties-Tweetchat, I’ll be giving it a try today but it seems like a great way to make meeting even easier.
How do you feel about Twitter? Share in the comments below or join us today for our party!
Thanks for including me in your list! I feel honored and it made my day 🙂
I’ve made connections on Twitter that have led to in-person relationships, amazing friendships, business collaborations, and the all-important sales. I looooooove me some Twitter.
You are so welcome April! I have been really enjoying getting to know you via Twitter & seeing all the amazing things you are up to, very inspiring! Twitter is such an incredible resource for finding and building community, both online & off-line. I love watching relationships develop & seeing people connect, it’s powerful/beautiful stuff.
I loooove Twitter! One other great thing about Twitter is that you don’t miss great blog post because there’s always someone to remind you about them!!!! That’s how I ended up on your blog, because of April!
Hi Marie! So glad you visited: ) That is a totally great point-I don’t use a reader anymore I just keep a close eye on Twitter. I like it better because it’s more personal & I get to head right to the site to leave a comment. Thanks for pointing that out!
Thank you so much! I’m new to Twitter…trying to figure it all out between running a business and running kids to soccer! Glad I found you! 🙂
I’m glad you found us too! If you have any questions about Twitter don’t be shy, I love helping: )
Jessika-What a nice surprise. I’ll admit, I was wondering why so many new people were following me on twitter today. I thought I was just having a really, really good hair day. Turns out, it was all you, baby. I’m not so sure I deserve the love, but I’ll take it without thinking twice.
Now that that’s out of the way, this is one of the best “Why Tweet” posts I’ve ever read. You’re spot on with all your points. Especially number one. I wish I had twitter when my monkeys were home with home with me…but I’m just as grateful to have it now.
Ha! That made me laugh out loud, let’s give the hair the credit it deserves; ) But seriously more people need to follow you, your promises always make me stop & take a step back, which is so valuable. You totally deserve the love-take it!
Thank you also for you kind words on my post, I think if I worked from home without kids around I would almost need it more. I crave that connection to others & feeling like I am part of a community. It’s what I live for really & am grateful that I now can work from home without sacrificing that love.
Awesome post!! I am new to twitter and this was very helpful. You have great posts – thank you!
Thank you so much Megan! I hope you dive right into Twitter & make tons of new friends: )
Eep! I blush at the good company I’m in. Thanks for including me. I do love The Tweeters, as I call it, because of all the great folks and ideas boppin’ about.
You are totally an inspiring new Twitter friend Laura-I love your site & what you are building! It was also really lovely to see you on the #sysoul call especially after writing this post. It’s a small beautiful community to be a part of!
Thanks so much Jessika! I feel so honoured to be included amongst this group. I had such a fun time following the #omhg chat today I realized at about 1:40 that I had forgotten to eat lunch. 🙂
I really resonate with #5 on your list. I like the micro blogging aspect of Twitter and as you said it’s been a great place to find and develop my own voice.
You are so welcome Lisa! I’ve really enjoyed connecting with you on Twitter & am so happy you’ve participated in our chats you always have something really valuable to share. It’s amazing how quickly those two hours go! I think we’re going to start doing shorter weekly chats in addition to our parties since there is such an interest & people seem to really be enjoying them (I know I am!).
Incredible post. I am so much better at one on one conversations that I definitely hesitate with twitter but I am becoming more comfortable with it.
And I can’t help but think I am making good decisions since I follow most of those fabulous ladies on your list!
Thanks Erika! Twitter is all about one-on-one conversations as well as having the group chats-DM is a great way to have direct conversations too & indeed you have good taste; )
another great post jessika!!! you’ve inspired me again ~ gotta take the leap “with both feet” i’ve only dipped a toe so far but with your encouragement + suggestions i know “the water’s fine.” see you there!!!
Thank you Roseann! Nothing makes me happier then seeing people build their community& make the connections they need to move forward. Get those feet wet lady!
I was really hesitant to join Twitter at first – I thought it was all about self-promotion and spam. After joining though, I realized that there’s much more to it and now I can’t imagine NOT using it for myself and my business. You’re right that you really can have meaningful interactions with people you may never have met otherwise – it’s exciting! This post does a great job of capturing all the positive experiences I’ve had (and reasons why I’m now hooked).
I’m so glad I got the chance to join the last part of the OMHG chat today! I’ve been really inspired by the 2 I’ve participated in and would be a willing weekly participant as well if you move to that schedule 🙂
I totally had the same first impression of Twitter-a steady stream of FB status updates, no thanks! But when I actually started participating & having conversations everything changed for me. I know that some people have a negative experience with Twitter but mine has been overwhelmingly positive/affirming, which I think has so much to do with who you follow & how you engage with them.
It was lovely having you at our Twitter parties & I am really looking forward to having it be a more regular thing & meeting up more often!
Hey Jessika , you took the words right outta my mouth . Very very well thought out post . Twitter sure is a powerful tool. The only handicap for me when u have the OMHG parties , I’m snoozing on the other side of the world !
Thank you Lakshmi! I wish I could have a party that you could come to also-maybe one day we’ll do one earlier? Time zones are tricky but I would love if you could participate!
I totally get what you are saying about using twitter this way. i do sometimes distract myself from work with it, but it also helps me when I am at a creative standstill. i have made some great connections with people I would have never met otherwise. Of course, that was after i stopped promoting EVERY new listing that went up in my shop 🙂
It’s incredible isn’t it Tracey-once you stop pushing/overly promoting MORE promotion happens through actually connecting with people on a deeper level. I am happy to hear that Twitter has helped shift how you are marketing your work & helping you build relationships to support your business!
This is a great post! Thank you Jessika. I’ve still lots to learn about using twitter the right way. But I must say that I love it and I prefer it to facebook.
Thanks Andreia! It’s funny, OMHG gets way more traffic from Facebook but I get way more joy via Twitter. I think both are excellent tools but I think connecting via Facebook can be more difficult sometimes because it is more static/passive & less of a conversation.
excellent article! I was so opposed to Twitter when it first came out, it seemed so silly- but now I see it as such a valuable asset.
Your post really highlights this for small businesses! 🙂
Hi Allisa, thanks! Me too-I totally thought twitter was for twits, turned out I was the one being silly by being so slow to embrace it’s potential. I’m a convert now!
Is there a book about twitter you can recommend? I still don’t get how it works. How do you chat with people? To me it feels like sending out messages into dark space. Once in a while I get something back…Please, I need help. Not sure where to find your chatparty.
Hi Ulla, I don’t know if there is an actual book that lays out how Twitter works but I love this post from Jessica Hische: http://momthisishowtwitterworks.com/ which is so not just for moms. You chat with people by typing @ and then the persons username eg. @ohmyhandmade. You follow chats by searching hashtags, a hashtag is a word/letters with the # sign in front of them. So you would search #omhg to see our chat and then if you wanted to participate you would include #omhg in your tweet and then everyone else will see it too. It’s important to also retweet or RT tweets from people you follow, send them a message or just say hi. You can also chat with your followers in the same way. If you want to talk with someone who is following you directly you can direct message or DM them by typing D and then their username, eg. Dohmyhandmade. Give it a try, I’ll say hello back: )
thanks for this post. I have been considering, but haven’t taken the plunge. This post has made me realize that I just might need to make Twitter a bigger consideration – still nervous and a little fearful, though. I feel like so much of my time is taken up with social media and sometimes I wonder if it is really getting me any where. 🙂
Hi Alison! Try setting aside just 7-10 minutes 3-4 times a day for social media, set a timer if that helps! Then you can work on making the most of your networking time instead of feeling like it is taking away from other work that needs to be done: ) Take the plunge, amazing things might happen!
Thanks so much for including me here, Jessika! I’m honored to be part of such good company, and totally agree with all of your pro-Twitter points. I love twitter so much I like to call it “my boyfriend” – thankfully, it doesn’t make my husband _too_ jealous 🙂
I’ve avoided Twitter for a long time. I think you just talked me into it!
Hey I learned a lot here! Thank you so much for posting this!
Love Twitter! So many creative and inspiring ideas being shared. Thanks for this informative post! ~Dee
i’ve used twitter now for several years, and i just started an etsy shop recently… is it okay to merge the two, now? or should i start a whole new twitter account just for the shop? i don’t want to break social network etiquette or anything 🙂 what do you think?
This post gives me some hope. I haven’t been on Twitter that long, maybe a few months. I am still trying to understand it all and to learn how to make connections. I guess this all takes time.
Thank you for the great tips and insight. I have been on Twitter for a bit, but can’t seem to figure out how to make it work for me. I feel inspired to get in there and make it work!
You inspired me to sign up for Twitter now. Watch this space ;-). Thanks a lot for this great post!
Great information. Thanks for sharing all your insight. I also wonder if it’s okay to use the same twitter account for multiple things?
Jessika – I salute you! Thankyou for opeining my eyes about how this really works – I am so enthused and realise its all about showing who you are, what you can offer and show of your skills, personality and loves etc – Alison
Still having trouble connecting with the idea of Twitter. I feel it’s mainly for stay at home people who don’t have to ‘be at work’ during the day, although I appreciate that they are working away at their businesses.
Tell me again…how does this improve your business ???
I can see the advantage in chatting with other people if you have the time to spare, but otherwise please tell me the advantage
i l o v e y o u !!!!!
this is t h e most ….. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
thanks a lot my sister!!!
How did I not see this when it came out? Thanks SO much, Jessika, I’m honoured! Everyone on that list is awesomesauce!
Just found you via Etsy email. All the above is so true! I will check the above Twitter links too. Thx for sharing!
thanks so much for all these inspiring connections!! and I found you too… so I’m hoping to join in the next omhg party, and kick this whole twitter thing up a notch!!
wow – I’m pretty new to twitter and find it a little bit hard to use, I don’t really know what to write about, but you make it seem so fun! Thank you for great tips, I have read a few more of your posts and I’d love to join for the next twitter-party!
have a great day! Stella.
I missed this post Jessika!
Thank you so so much for including me on your list of People/blogs to follow.
I’m super honored and many new creatives has joined me thanks to this.
And the post is really great!
I completely agree with you about the endless opportunities that Twitter can open.
Here in Italy it’s less used than Facebook but things are going to change and more and more are joining Twitter too.
Wish you a wonderful rest of the week!
I am so lost on Twitter. I just muddle through and don’t really know what I’m doing. I don’t know what to write about either and have used it mainly to promote my etsy shop and related events. I’m ever so grateful for any insight that you give us. Thank you so much!
Thanks so much for this info. I saw it on Etsy. I have just stared a little Etsy shop and am trying to figure things out. I use Tweetdeck to follow some but I have never really tweeted to anyone. I just listen to others like CNN, Mountain Rose Herbs, Daily Coyote, stuff like that. I am anxious to learn how to use it to promote my little shop and to network. I am now following the folks you recommended and hope to become more involved!
Thank you for this great post. I have so much to learn and sometimes it feels a little overwhelming when you don’t even know where to start. This was a great list and I’ve “followed” all your suggestions.
I don’t agree competely, however, with your first point. People on Twitter DO NOT speak in complete sentences. They speak in a language that I have yet to figure out but slowly I’m making progress.
Thank you again!
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