10 Super Useful Twitter tips
… to bring traffic to your shop
We’ve compiled our top 10 Twitter tips for you. If you follow these tips, then not only will your online network grow but more importantly so will quality traffic to your shop. Please add a comment with your own tactics for succeeding on Twitter and don’t forget to leave your Twitter link.
I don’t know how to use Twitter and why would I want to? It’s full of celebrities sharing pointless updates about their lives in 144 characters or less.
This is often what people who haven’t tried Twitter say. But if you take a little time to get used to it, then you’ll find that Twitter is not only a great marketing tool that can increase traffic to your shop, but it’s also a place to find out the latest tips, news and make some good online friends. Your timeline will only contain the tweets from people you have chosen to follow, so you don’t have to get those celebrity updates (unless you want to!)
How do I make twitter work for me?
1. Follow Folksy!
We tweet links to seller tips on a regular basis, so you’ll never miss out. Did you see what we just did there? It sounds obvious but remember let people know you have a Twitter account. Tell them what you tweet about and why you think they’ll find it useful/interesting/funny and use it as a sign-off in emails or on forum threads.
2. Learn the basics
Twitter can be daunting and confusing when you’re new to it, so if you feel like Sianuska, take a look at the wealth of information that Twitter offers in their help section – it’s free!
— sian kellaway (@sianuska) June 7, 2016
Understanding how to tweet and the layout and customisation of the Twitter page will help you feel at home and let you get on with actually tweeting, networking and promoting. Practise adding links, @ replying to tweets, retweeting and sending direct messages – just type in @folksy I’m new to twitter into the empty tweet box after you open your account and we’ll be your first follower!
3. Find some familiar faces
Tell your existing networks about your Twitter account, especially if it’s brand new. Occasionally reminding friends from Facebook, forums and social networking sites that you have a Twitter account is a great way to build on existing relationships. Being able to chat with a few familiar names (if not faces!) will also help you to settle in on Twitter and enjoy the experience rather than finding it to be yet another marketing chore.
— David Andrews (@andatwhatcost) June 7, 2016
You can also connect your social media networks so they automatically tweet your posts. For example, if you tweet out your posts from Instagram, your Twitter followers will see you also have an Instagram account and then they can follow you on there. You can also press the ‘tweet’ button when you list a new product in your shop and that will automatically share it on Twitter using the #newonfolksy hashtag.
Join in with Twitter chats where you can talk to other like-minded souls. We run #folksyhour every Tuesday night between 8-9pm, where we set a topic, ask questions and share tips. It’s a brilliant way to meet other makers (and us!) and is lovely friendly space. It has even been said by some that it’s their favourite thing about Twitter – which makes us extraordinarily happy :) You can find out how to join in and see the list of future #folksyhour topics here.
— Angie B (@Angiebstudio) June 7, 2016
There are other Twitter chats that are great for makers too. Two of our favourites are #blogtacular which takes place every Wednesday night at 9pm and focuses on blogging, social media and online life, and #handmadehour which happens on Wednesdays at 7.30pm & Sundays at 8pm and is a chance to share your latest listings.
4. Add your twitter link to your shop profile
It’s the speed of interaction and informality of Twitter that makes it such an appealing form of contact. It’s a little like when you text someone instead of picking up the phone. Many companies use Twitter accounts as a kind of quickie customer support area and you can do that too. Remember to check your @ replies and your direct messages!
If you add your Twitter account to your Folksy shop (you can do this in the shop dashboard), then your customers will know where to find you. Remember to also add your Folksy shop URL to your Twitter profile too, so your followers can get to your shop in one click.
5. Become a regular
Try to log in to Twitter every day, or as often as you can, see who’s online, share your news, join in with a few conversations or ask some questions. Building a rapport and live chatting to other Twitter users who are online at the same time as you is a good way of building your network. It also increases the likelihood of people retweeting your tweets and links, so all of their followers see your links too. If it’s a particularly interesting tweet it may even go viral and reach hundreds or thousands of people, but you have to start with your own followers first!
— Suzzie Godfrey (@thistledownHOPE) June 7, 2016
6. Tweet and retweet
The best way to grow your network and build a fanbase on Twitter and and is to tweet interesting content you find or have created, and retweet other people’s tweets that you genuinely want to share. These could be useful tweets with seller tips, inspirational quotes from other makers about craft, funny tweets, gifs, news tweets, competitions, Pinterest boards you’ve created, Folksy gift guides you’re featured in, or other products you’ve found on Folksy and love. Be interesting and be yourself – don’t just tweet links to your own products or shop because this feel spammy and people will soon unfollow you.
— folksy (@folksy) June 7, 2016
People will thank you for retweeting their links and your followers may even retweet your links to return the favour (although you can’t expect this). Having your tweets retweeted will help to build your network of followers and bring new traffic to your own shop. Be aware, though, that while retweeting helps to add interest to your stream of tweets and can encourage reciprocal retweets, you need to be a bit selective about how many things you retweet, so don’t retweet loads in quick succession as it will become tiresome for followers, it dilutes their value and you could even be marked by Twitter as a spam account and blocked. Instead, mix up your retweets with your own 144-character observations and finds.
7. Schedule your posts
You can use social scheduling tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite or Buffer to write your tweets in advance, for when you are away from your computer or don’t have the time. This can save time and help to spread your tweets throughout the day and night (think of timezones).
Use your shop analytics to discover when tweets with links to your shop or products are successful for you. Try to vary the content because otherwise your timeline will look like a great long list of promotional tweets and may put off potential followers.
See which type of tweets work best for you too. Is it your off-the-cuff comments on life, work-in-progress pictures without any links, links to new products without a picture, tweets with more than one picture embedded (you can now embed up to four pictures in one tweet), gifs, videos? You can see all of this information at a glance on Twitter Analytics https://analytics.twitter.com/. You can use these stats to work out what kind of tweets you should be posting more of.
8. Create and follow lists
Lists are really useful for finding niche groups. A Twitter list is a way of organising Twitter users into different groups. For example, if you make children’s clothes you might want to connect with parenting bloggers (we have a great list of UK parenting bloggers you should follow here), if you make wedding stationery you might want to connect with wedding bloggers (here’s our list of top UK wedding bloggers), or if you want to get your work out there you might want to connect with journalists who work for lifestyle magazines (here’s our list of must-read lifestyle magazines).
— Ali Millard (@millyandpip) June 7, 2016
Once you have created a list, you can click on that list and then you will only see tweets by people on that list. You can see all our Twitter lists, including #folksyhour regulars and top interior designer bloggers here.
This useful page on Twitter tells you more about lists and how to create them.
9. Use the Twitter search
You can search Twitter for keywords (tips on searching Twitter here) to find people who might like your products.
— Frilly Industries (@frillyind) June 7, 2016
Be friendly but don’t be a spammer. People happily hold conversations with complete strangers via Twitter, but ask yourself ‘Am I a spammer’ before you paste a link directly aimed at them. If someone outside of your list of followers tweets the word “grandaughter” and you immediately send them a link to your cute gifts for girls, they may be feel uncomfortable and spammed. Interact with people and hold a conversation. Just because they follow you back that does not make them customers who have walked into your shop, they are just looking through the window!
— Nicky (@Catkin_Boutique) June 7, 2016
10. Complete your profile
Get people into your shop! Many people will not follow someone without a profile. So write a bit about yourself and include a link to your shop or blog. This way when you follow someone they can choose to take a look at who you are and what you make based on more than just 140 words.
Blogs are a good way of letting people find out more about you and what you make, so rather than linking directly to your shop you could try linking your Twitter page to your blog. Then, if they have look at your recent blog post and think it’s interesting, they might be more inclined to follow you than if they think you’re just trying to sell them something. Once they’ve followed you, any tweets you send out about your new products or work in progress etc will appear in their timeline, and you now have a quality follower that has a genuine interest in your handmade products and has a really easy way to contact you if they want to ask a quick question.
And one for good luck!
We’ve said this before, but we’ll say it again. BE INTERESTING. Vary your tweets – don’t just link to your shop or blog. This is not just to get retweets and to ensure new followers, but to keep your existing followers. Remember there is a link under every one of your tweets that says ‘unfollow’ :(
Baffling, time consuming or the best marketing tool you’ve ever tried? We’d love to hear your tips or queries about using twitter to promote your shop.
This post was first published in 2010 but has been updated to included the latest relevant information.