The last couple of weeks of our Social Media for Photographers series discussed Facebook, a social media platform that supports a variety of post types and deep engagement with followers. Today we’ll be discussing a fast-paced platform with a very different function! With 288 million active monthly users, Twitter undoubtedly has a place in the professional photographer’s marketing scheme. We have listed below 10 valuable tips that we believe will help you utilize Twitter effectively for your business:
One mistake many Twitter users make is posting from Facebook or Instagram directly rather than modifying content particularly for Twitter. This causes the post to appear only in part on Twitter, with a link leading to the remainder of the original post. This is visually unappealing and a bit lazy; take a few moments to optimize your posts to Twitter and you’ll see a much higher rate of engagement.
Allowing only 140 characters per post, Twitter requires users to be short and sweet. With many Twitter users following hundreds or thousands of accounts, their feeds are constantly refreshing—don’t attempt to split a large amount of text into multiple posts and hope they appear consecutively in your followers’ feeds. Express yourself in as few characters as possible and post a link to where followers can read more if necessary.
There is a way to abbreviate your words without using unprofessional language! Commonly used acronyms are acceptable, as are abbreviations such as “pro” for professional or “biz” for business. But don’t be fooled into thinking a character limit means you can get away with “U” in place of “you”—just don’t go there! It’s a fine line, but err on the side of professionalism. Remember that every post represents the brand you’re cultivating and should maintain the voice you decided upon when creating your social media plan.
Scrolling down a Twitter feed can be a bit overwhelming—it often appears as a wall of text, hashtags, and hyperlinks that can make your eyes glaze over. We have found it’s easier to read tweets when they’re as clear and concise as possible; this is where short links come in. Save space for your commentary and use a service like bitly to convert any hyperlinks you’d like to share into a shorter form. You can even use a custom domain (for example, ours is sticky.al) to further brand your posts—read more about that here.
Typically, followers are not visiting your Twitter page to read your most recent posts—they’re seeing the posts as they appear on their feed. If they’re following a typical number of users, their feed likely refreshes each time they check it; it’s very unlikely that they will see every one of your tweets. For this reason, Twitter is one platform where it’s acceptable to post as often as you’d like! Even tweeting the same content multiple times isn’t off limits; we’d just recommend you scatter identical or very similar posts throughout the day. A good goal would be to start with 3-5 tweets throughout each day to try to reach as many of your followers as possible.
While hashtags on some platforms aren’t particularly effective at increasing your reach and gaining new followers, they are crucial to strong Twitter marketing. Most if not all of your tweets should include at least one hashtag (but no more than two, as tweets with three or more hashtags actually see less engagement).
Twitter is not the place to create your own hashtag or to attempt to begin a trend; you can jump in on trending topics (found on the left of your Twitter feed when you visit the site) and gain visibility in that way. Have something to say about a current hot topic? Share it! Your followers will see you as being relevant (remember, that’s one of the 6 qualities we mentioned for strong content a few weeks back–leveraging pop culture) and you might gain a few new ones from users following the hashtag. Our only advice would be to stay neutral on very controversial topics and to chime in when the trends are not as polarizing.
“Learning to jab with trends gives you tremendous power. You can tailor content to any situation or demographic, you can spark interest in your product or service among people outside your core group of followers, and you can scale your caring.” -Gary Vaynerchuk, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
As a photographer, it might make sense to regularly post your own work to your Twitter feed—resist the urge! Sharing your work is more of a right hook than a jab. Your followers have likely seen your work and are following you because they admire it—Twitter is the perfect place to add an extra element to your business and show them your relevance, humor, and interest in their lives. Post a funny quote in image form, a photograph of a local wedding venue your potential clients might be interested in, or a holiday card from your business. Give, give, give—when it’s time for that right hook, your followers will feel connected enough to you to respond!
There is a time and a space for retweeting! If you read a tweet that you feel would be valuable and interesting to your followers, by all means, share it! However, you should refrain from retweeting every positive tweet you read about your business, as tempting as it might be. Gary Vaynerchuk refers to this as a “birdiebrag” and considers it a right hook—it shouldn’t be the primary way you’re using Twitter.
This does not mean to advertise that you’ll follow just anyone who follows you as well; that’s a cheap way to earn follows and those aren’t the sort of followers who will be profitable to your business. But if someone local to you starts following your page, or if you have clients who follow you, be sure you’re following them as well and engaging with their posts. If they tweet a question to all of their follower, shoot a quick reply back! Any time a business engages so personally with someone (in a positive manner), they’re building rapport and humanizing their brand.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful! We’d love if you’d follow StickyAlbums on Twitter and engage with us there. Follow for follow? (We kid.)
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