Twitter has grabbed a lot of attention recently and many of you may have tried it out. Some may just roll their eyes when someone even mentions the word Twitter or some may just be overwhelmed with such a means of communication that requires 140 characters or less. I admit that I was bit hesitant at first but after an investment of time and learning the lingo it has become a great way to exchange ideas and bring attention to my own work.
Before going into this more I should point something out. I hear people saying they really don’t want to know about who had what for lunch or about some random everyday task. Yes we have people who use Twitter for that purpose and it’s your choice to follow them or not. Twitter is what you make of it. Some people use it for personal reasons and some use it for professional. I like to use it for directing people to my work but I also like to show my personal side within limits. Just as anything else put out there for the public to see, you want to be careful about the message you’re sending and have a purpose.
So how can you promote your work and share ideas? As mentioned in other posts, don’t be a salesperson or sound like a spammer because you will be treated as such. Actually don’t sell at all. My experience with Twitter has been to share information and post links of educational materials and images related to my profession. Every time I have a new blog post or project to share it gets mentioned. Within a short while I’ll get responses not only on Twitter but also comments on my blog. This is an interaction so I also try to comment to people who have something to share. I find that when you show an interest in certain people, they will pay more attention to you too and often spread the word about you.
Where do you find followers? Start by following interesting people and hope they follow you back. This is my criteria for people I follow. Either they are someone who may be interested in my work and/or they are someone who has something interesting to offer.
My advice is to check out people who do this well and learn from them. I see a lot of great photographers on Twitter and they all have something in common – they all have something interesting to share and they are all very active.