Twitter is about the dumbest thing I have ever seen. It took me over a year to figure out what it really was. I would go fiddle with it for a while, throw my hand up in frustration and walk away, only to return a month later to try again to understand it. It’s basically the Internet version of a CB radio. It’s funny how we have come full circle from the 70s. I can’t understand how people can sit there making short comments all day long, but many do.
It may be stupid, but Twitter is too popular and carries too much traffic (read: potential customers) to ignore if you sell online. I’m not proud. I will go quack, quack, quack, behind the mama duck if it generates revenue. The good thing about twitter is that you don’t have to do anything with it other than log on every month and select other users to follow based on Twitter’s suggestions. Starting from scratch, I would do this every day for the first month. Once you start following other users, Twitter will start suggesting more users in similar categories. When someone follows you, and you post a tweet, it appears on their page, so it stands to reason that you want to get a lot of followers. The more followers you have will translate into more people who will see your tweets. If you are targeting a certain category of user, just search on the subject and start following what pops up. Many users will reciprocate by following you. Twitter will make suggestions on who to follow based on your follow trend. You can also have an email notification when someone follows you so you can immediate reciprocate. For example, while writing this article, I jumped over to my Twitter account and check marked about 30 suggested people to follow. The next morning I had about 18 emails where these people had reciprocated by following me. My next listing on Etsy will appear on these 18 sites and be viewed by all their followers, which could be thousands. This is not bad for 5 minutes worth of my time.
In the case of Etsy, we want to generate a tweet every time we list or relist an item. We also want to do this automatically in the background. The way I do this is by using my Etsy RSS feed and the Twitterfeed web site. Just set up an account on Twitterfeed and follow the instructions. To get your Etsy feed URL, go to your store and under “Actions” right click on “Subscribe to Feed”, copy the URL, and paste into Twitterfeed. Twitterfeed can feed both Twitter and Facebook accounts. When you list an item on Etsy, the feed will post an abbreviated description, along with a shortened version of the URL. All a user needs to do is click on the tweet and it sends them to your Etsy store. I can tell pretty quickly that the Twitter thing works, because when I list an item, I normally start getting emails where someone is now following me. This is because Twitterfeed sent the listing to Twitter which propagated to all the users who follow me, their followers saw the entry, liked it, and clicked to follow me. It’s the closest thing to perpetual motion that I have ever seen.
I also use Twitterfeed to tweet my blog on another site. You can use any site that has an RSS feed. It’s that simple. The work is in clicking to follow users. I usually do this type of stuff late at night while I am watching TV. You can also do a search in the Etsy forums on “Twitter” and find other Twitter accounts. Some have thousands of users following, so it’s important to scope these sources out.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “Is this really necessary?”. SEO experts agree that the best way to move you up in the page rankings is by having a lot of inbound links from authoritative sources. What this means is that the more Google and Yahoo see your URLs on other sites, the higher you appear in the rankings. The best place to have a lot of link references is on social networking sites. It also helps to be seen on subject matter sites. For example, it you make wine racks, and you work your way into a listing or two on popular wine sites, this will help your page ranking significantly.
Next up, Facebook….
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