Okay, so you read our post about why you should be on Twitter. Now what?
Hopefully you’ve started following a few other photographers and photo-related websites and blogs – all great places where you can get good information and inspiration. Today we follow up with some tips about how you should conduct yourself on Twitter and how you can get the most out of it.
1. Don’t Be Selfish
In the photo community, just about everyone has roughly the same goal on Twitter, which is to promote themselves and their photography. Same as you. However, you can’t just go around tweeting “Look at me” type messages all the time, or else everyone will start to ignore you.
Believe me, we know you want us to look at your work. I want everyone to look at mine, too, but you have to be couth about it. Good Twitter manners dictate that you don’t just shower everyone with your own links all the time. Like in real life, you can’t just take. You have to give something back. Recently, Atlanta-based photographer Zack Arias pointed out that if more than 50% of your tweets are about yourself, then you’re not using Twitter right.
2. Content Rules
Content is what makes Twitter roll: good content, worthwhile content, content that informs, intrigues, educates, makes jaws drop, or just makes people laugh. This is what people want to see, and if you’re the one who gives it to them, then they have a reason to follow you. Plain and simple. Provide the goods, and you’ll get the audience.
3. Talk to Others
Like I said in my previous post, start getting to know some people. Give props and comment on other people’s links and imagery. Ask questions. Answer questions. Engage in friendly banter and do it in a way that lets your own personality and identity come through. I know that’s not always easy to do in only 140 characters, but if you can manage it successfully, your own Twitter identity will begin to emerge, which is something else that gains followers.
4. Be Yourself
Twitter is all about networking and being social. Be a person, not just a re-tweeter or a shameless self-promoter. People can tell the difference. People like you in the real world for who you are, and they’ll like you on Twitter for the same reasons. You don’t have to get too personal, just be yourself. Think warm, yet professional, just as if you were conversing in person.
5. Don’t Be a Big Mouth
Don’t overtweet (especially for the self-promotion stuff). Tweeting every minute of the day is like having your mouth open constantly. Give people a chance to read, digest and respond to what you say before you blurt out something else. That’s just shouting. No one likes shouting. Besides, it just floods your follower’s timelines, which is annoying.
6. Be Grateful
One thing that you definitely want to do is to respond to those who mention you. Thank others for tweeting your links and give a shout to those who mention you in their tweets. It’s not just good manners, it gets you into the conversation and potentially brings you new followers.
7. Make it Easy to Get Retweeted
Finally, you’ll want to install some kind of retweet button on your website or blog so that others can easily tweet your photos and blog posts. Buttons like this make it that much easier to get your content into the Twitter world, and that’s what you really want anyway, right?
Dan Bailey is a professional adventure, outdoor and travel photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska. He just published his latest eBook, Making The Image- A Conceptual Guide to Creating Stronger Photographs. Follow his own blog at danbaileyphoto.com/blog, see his daily updates at facebook.com/danbaileyphoto and follow him on Twitter @Danbaileyphoto.
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