I recently introduced the concepts of attraction and network building as two key elements in your 2009 marketing strategy. Both rely on being able to build, grow and maintain networks that can help you bring buyers to your shows. As I have already discussed on-line social networking is going to play a major role in your success or failure not just for 2009 but from here on out. So for the fore seeable future we will be focusing regularly on setting up and using your networks effectively.
Besides having a blog, Facebook, Twitter and Friendfeed are the three most important tools you will need to build and nurture your networks in order for the attraction and networking strategies to work. Starting today, I’ll be covering in specific terms how to get set up with and use these three tools.
So let’s get started… The first thing you need to do is go to Twitter.com, you will see the following page, Click on the big green button to start.
Clicking will take you to this page where you will need to enter your user name and password.
Select a user name that fits you and your business, since you are your own brand try to find a username that will be easy for you and your followers to remember and that will reflect your work. For example mine is bwphoto it is both easy to remember and it associates my name with my work. Your user name will be appended to Twitter’s to form your unique URL which is another reason to keep it simple and memorable. You will need that full URL later depending on the sites you join. My unique URL is:
After you have clicked the “Create my account” button you will be take to your home page which look very bare, but this is where the fun begins! Your home page is where you will be able to…
- see your followers,
- see those you are following,
- read direct messages and replies addressed to you
- Favorite people you want to really pay attention to
- see the entire public feed, which is like listening to everyone in a stadium
The first thing I recommend people do at this point is to complete your profile by clicking on the “Settings” tab in the menu in the top right of the page. The page shown above also points out the “Settings” tab which we we’ll cover after we get your profile set up.
The “Settings” Page
- Account– set your time zone, your blog or web site address, and a one line bio here.
Make sure you enter your blog address as a full URL so followers can click on it. Lack of viable and related web site or blog is one thing that may lead me as well as others to block you or decide not to follow you.
Also make sure your bio really describes what you do and what you represent, your bio combined with your site link are the only things a stranger will have to determine if they want to follow you…at least in the beginning.
- Devices – If you have a smart phone and want to receive instant messages (SMS) from Twitter notifying you of new activity then enter your mobile number. Make sure you read the sidebar “Twitter with SMS” any messages you receive via this method will count against your SMS account on your mobile account.
- Notices – Lets you determine how twitter responds when someone follows, or direct messages you.
I find that having Twitter e-mail me whenever I have a new follower helps respond to them on a timely and personal manner. Remember this is all about building relationships.
- Picture – This is pretty self explanatory, it is where you get to upload a photo or graphic that will serve as your graphic identity.
While you can easily change your picture I have found that using something that reflects your brand, which in your case is YOU is the best for attracting the best followers. Make sure the image is readable and DO upload an image. Absence of an image is often a sign of someone you may not want to follow or have follow you. It can be an indication that they don’t take the network seriously or they are not familiar with the internet. Either way I use it as one of the criteria for not following or even blocking someone.
- Design– Here is were you can really express yourself. Twitter offers several choices for both background and design, to start out select something that best suits you and your work.
It is very easy to make your own custom background or you can have one made from a variety of web sites that now provide the service. Mine is shown below.
There are many ways to find people and many different strategies people use to make connections. You can use the “Find People” tab in the menu bar which will display four tabbed choices
- Find on Twitter – Use this to search for subjects,keywords, etc. To find potential connections or friends you might think are on Twitter.
- Find on other Networks– this tab lets you search web based e-mail services.
- Invite by e-mail – Use this to invite friends whose e-mail you know and you would like to join you on Twitter.
- Suggest Users – Twitter will suggest potential matches based on your profile, location and who knows what else.
Before the rise of Twitter based sites like Twellow, or others this was the best way to get started. Now I recommend using Twellow which we will talk about later.
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