Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Grow Your Business with Social Media: The Ins and Outs of Twitter

I knew I'd love hearing what our next featured guest blogger had to say when I first read the announcement for Platipuses, her Etsy shop: -Curvy hoes ♥ killer clothes.- Plats graciously took a little time off from sewing to share what she's learned about building her social network on Twitter. We asked her to talk about how she got started on twitter, ways to gain new followers and tips for those just venturing into the "Twitterverse".

To sell anything on Etsy, I feel like you have to be pretty well known in the crafting world, or you have to really know how to market yourself, and get the word out about who you are and what you do. One of the more popular places to do this is Twitter- of course!

I first started on Twitter just to keep in contact with some of my DIY friends, but it didn’t take long before I had a couple hundred followers. When you first start with it, it’s easy to get discouraged and not know what to tweet about, but that goes away. Reading other people’s tweets, you get the hang of how to word things to keep it within 140 characters. You can post about anything, too! It’s nice as a follower of other sellers, to read their tweets about life, not just about what they sold that day, or an upcoming sale. I try to vary my tweets, some about my items, and then lots of other, funny things.

A lot of sellers like to help others out by doing “Follow Fridays” with all of their Etsy friends. I’ve gotten a lot of followers from that, maybe even most of my followers. To really get featured in #ff’s [as they are tagged on Twitter] you also have to #ff others. Start following your favorite Etsians, and on Fridays do some #FF @SellersTwitterName and give them a shout-out. They may do the same for you! Give a little, get a little. Another good way to get followers, is to search for similar interests. For example, I make plus size clothing, so I search “Plus Size” in the search bar, to get other people tweeting about the same thing. No, not all the people are saying the same things about it as me, but it’s worth it to add the ones that are. Sometimes I just go to a random Twitter page, and click through the people they follow and add people I find interesting. Just go for it!

You don’t have to only follow people that sell on Etsy, either. Some of my favorite people to follow are famous people. Conan O’Brien and Michael Ian Black have some of the funniest Tweets out there. I retweet a lot of their posts. Retweeting is a really neat way to share people’s posts too. Even if your friends aren’t following the person you retweet, they can see what they are saying. Sometimes, I find myself wishing Facebook had that option.

Twitter can only get you so far, however. Some other great networking sites for Etsy sellers are Facebook, Tumblr, LiveJournal… MySpace used to be a good one, now it’s just the internet’s abandoned amusement park. I like Facebook the best because you can make a fan page for just your Etsy business. I don’t muck that up with the personal stuff on my main page. Twitter is fast and easy though, you don’t have to worry about uploading pictures, videos, and all that. You can just say what you want and have it out there. The easiest way to get followers is to follow a lot of people that like what you like, and do what you do. And after that, it’s easy-peasy.

My name is Christi, but most everyone knows me as Plats. “I supply curvy hoes with killer clothes!” It’s important to me that us bigger girls can look and feel just as hot as the skinny ladies. It’s annoying to me that all the “Plus Size” sections in the stores are full of clothing only eighty year-olds would find fashionable. I started selling my items after I graduated from high-school, it seemed like an easy way to make money… But it took a lot more work and effort that I thought it would. Totally worth it in the end though. Some of the most fun things to make are the hoodies. Especially the He-Man hoodies, I love them. Actually, anything nerdy is my favorite. He-he. I am a huge super-hero fan. Super heroes and Elliott smith are my favorite things ever. I also adore kitties and photography. Annnd sewing. :]"

You can connect with Plats here:
Etsy: Facebook: Twitter:

Join us next week for a double feature!! Chelsea Ling, of Papercakesfinds fame, and the highly sought after DIY culture expert and editor at Scoutie Girl, Tara Gentile, for their unique perspective on using social media to build your business.