Monday, January 19, 2009

Longfellow in Twitterspace

I have been on Twitter for a couple months now. I heard about it from sellers on the Etsy forums as a great way to get the word out about your online craft shop and promote your business and blogs. I was looking at various tools to increase my visibility as a jewelry maker. Desperate to improve views at my Etsy shop I immediately signed up for Twitter, using my shop name, and plunged in, adding hundreds of other Etsy users over the course of a couple weeks as we all posted wildly about the new ‘get rich’ tool at the Etsy forums.

That’s now I started: tweeting away about my treasuries (collections of items from various Etsy sellers), my new jewelry listings, and then I read the feed. I dutifully clicked away at new treasuries, new items, and so forth, feeling a little more desperate each day as no sales resulted and the subsequent views from each tweet dropped lower in lower. No instant sales were generated, no instant success for my blog. I quickly decided to look at it from a different POV.

Did I really enjoy spending half my day clicking to everyone’s latest pair of earrings or soap set? Did I even need more soap? (I love soap and can recommend my favorite Etsy soap sellers but that’s another topic for another day) I am already swimming in handmade jewelry because I make it myself. In fact the more I thought about the more totally reasonable it was that no one was buying my jewelry from my Twitter contacts. The fact is they were ALL in the same boat as me, all trying to sell their stuff on Etsy, and consequently we were just tweeting desperately to each other: “please won’t you buy my stuff?”

I found that not only was I not that interested in blogging about each and every treasury I appeared in or every little beading session, but I wasn’t interested in reading about other people doing it either. I had already shared the magic of Twitter with other friends of mine, those with different interests and I was already seeing that there were other ways to use it, and in fact the best way to use Twitter didn’t involved endless adverts. I started studying why my second Twitter account was more fun, and more useful to me. It had diverse content from a diverse bunch of people that were genuinely interested in sharing, talking, and learning from each other. I was there when the terrible news in Mumbai hit and it spread over Twitter with everyone sharing, making it a personal event even if it was on the other side of the world.

I still love to hear about what my fellow Etsians are doing, but I urge you all – if you are reading this to expand what you are doing on Twitter, to reach out to all sorts of different people, and to really fully explore the potential of Twitter.

And please don’t put Magpie in my Twitter feed. :)


virtuallori said...

Amen! Nothing worse than endless promo. I've been cleaning up the list of those who I'm following and deleting those who do nothing but promo or post dozens of promos each day. (The latter is sometimes a little sad, because they do occasionally say something interesting, but it's so buried in the promo I don't have the patience to weed it out.)

Longfellow said...

It is sad because some of them I know are lovely people. I don't want to stop following people, I love crafters and artists, but I don't want endless promo. Thanks for commenting!

smilemonsters said...

LOL, twitter is one endless promo for sure. I have found some really great items, links, blogs, and artists there. So I'll continue to skim through when I have time and promote myself, of course. :)
A more diverse group of followers would be awesome but I wouldn't know where to begin.
Oh, and those peeps that follow you so they will get a follow in return then kick you to the curb. Not nice. I weed those out quickly. Hey I'm not listening to your crap if your not going to listen to mine! LOL!


Blog Artists said... do all of us newbies get out there if we don't start promoting ourselves??? Especially in these hard your Avatar by the way Longfellow!