Posted by Berry Productions
Who would have thought, ten years ago, that the word tweet would mean any
thing more than the noise a bird makes. These days we’re all like Varys from Game of Thrones, no, not castrated, but that we all have our little birds throughout the world that go tweet, tweet. Tweeting from the world of Twitter.
Who would have thought that Twitter would become the beast it has? Short, precise status updates, no more than 140 characters. Why would anyone be interested in what you have to say? Well, actually, quite a lot. As long as you have something worth saying.
As an independent filmmaker, social media is the key to growing interest in my films and building a fan base. The trick is knowing how to use it. I don’t consider myself an expert (is there such a thing?) but I have managed to build quite a bit of a following over the last couple of years. Here’s the things I’ve learned in the Twittershpere. And these should work for everyone, not just us film geeks…
This is a must. We’ve all done it – followed someone only to discover that they are really boring and have nothing interesting to say. Unfollow. No, your photos of last night’s meat and two veg are not enough to keep us amused.
We want content that makes us think, makes us laugh, distracts us for a moment. Be it links to interesting articles, how-to tips, videos and even the odd amusing meme. Keep your followers interested in what you have to tell them or show them and they’ll want to stick around for more!
You’ve got amazing content – you’re one of these cute cat lovers and everything you share is cute cat related. Great. Except you’re selling yourself as a filmmaker, or an artist, or a cake maker. Not really anything to do with cute cats (unless you only make films about cats, draw cats, or make your cakes out of cats).
Sure it’s ok to post things that are about something other than what you’re trying to sell, but not all the time. People follow Berry Productions, probably because they like movies and/or are interested in indie film. If I suddenly started sharing links to carpet cleaning solutions I’d quickly find myself tweeting to an empty audience.
As important it is to have great and appropriate content, if you only post one great thing every couple of weeks, how will anyone remember who you are? People have very busy lifestyles these days and, especially online, there is so much information coming at them that it’s easy to fall into obscurity. So, once you know what it is you want to use Twitter for, you have to stick at it. A couple of posts a day is a great way to keep in touch with people and keep you in their memories. It only take seconds to write a tweet and or share a link. It doesn’t have to take up much of your time – on the toilet or in the bath are perfect opportunities! (yes, you now know exactly what I’m doing next time you read one of my tweets!)
WARNING: do not over-tweet. Especially in bulk. This will have the opposite effect and people will get sick of seeing your name pop up over and over and over again.
TO GAIN FOLLOWERS, GET FOLLOWING
Do you want lots of followers to spread your message to? How are you going to get these followers? Friends will follow you, but you’ve got Facebook for that. Sure, some people will randomly stumble across you whilst searching for things or from a tweet of yours that someone else has retweeted. But gaining a following is tricky.
I discovered that getting past that first 1000 followers is a challenge. Once you’ve hit the 1k mark, things seem to get a bit easier. But how do you even get to that?
I’d suggest following as many people as possible that are interested in the subjects that you have to talk about. In my case, I followed fellow filmmakers, or people who followed filmmakers. The more you follow, the more people will follow you back, the more you appear in people’s searches. The moment you realise that more people follow you than you follow is a great one! (ah the simple things in life!)
CONNECT WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS
You’re building up your following. You’ve got great, regular content for them. Yet still that’s not enough. You don’t want to become this faceless profile on Twitter that may just be a robot spewing out tweets. Take the time to get to know your followers. If they send you a tweet, send a response. Strike up a conversation with them. Retweet some of their tweets.
It shows that; a) you’re a real person, b) you don’t just care about yourself but are actually interested in what other people do. Obviously, if you’ve got thousands and thousands of followers, it won’t be possible to connect with them all. But as long as you’re seen to be taking the time to talk to people, followers will appreciate that.
GOOD MANNERS GO A LONG WAY
You’re connecting with your followers. Yet someone disagrees with you on something. You feel like spitting out the dummy and screaming all number of profanities at them. Don’t. The last thing you want to do is become one of those people that gets into stupid online arguments or resorts to name calling. Not everyone will agree with you, or like you, all the time. Accept that. Move on.
If someone tells me they think one of my short films is crap, I’m fine with that. It’s their opinion. They’re wrong of course, but I’m fine with them thinking they’re right.
Good manners all the way. People will like and respect you, and those that don’t… are they really worth your time on them anyway?
And don’t become a troll. No one likes a troll.
OCCASIONALLY, HAVE A CLEAN OUT
Twitter is cluttered. Your Twitter feed is cluttered. Just like in the real world, every now and then it’s good to have a bit of a clean out. There are lots of websites and apps out there that will help you to clean up your Twitter. I use Crowdfire. They let you know which of your followers don’t follow you back, who has recently followed or unfollowed you etc. It’s good to sift through these once in a while and get rid of anyone who you don’t want on there.
I mostly use it to find inactive followers. I usually find that any accounts that have been inactive for over three months are probably now nothing more than dead space. These people have seen the light and left Twitter, hopefully to enjoy the sunshine. They aren’t following what you’re doing any more and are doing nothing themselves. Clean up, clear out.
There are also lots of fake or scam accounts on Twitter that you need to get rid of. I’ve found these usually have a profile picture of some young, scantily clad lady, with the tag line of ‘Get more followers today, click this link’ or ‘I’m single and sexy, check me out’. Clean up, clear out.
DON’T BECOME TOO OBSESSED
At the end of the day, it’s only Twitter. Yes, it’s great to get your word out, share your work, gain followers, even possible friends. But don’t spend all of your life sitting on the toilet waiting for a notification of a new follower to say hello to. Look up once in a while. There’s a big wide world out there to explore. If you’re a filmmaker, get making films. If you’re an artist, get painting. If you’re that cake maker that makes cakes out of cats… get a new hobby.
You can’t take your Twitter feed with you when you’re gone.
Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions
Download Joe’s comedy sci-fi book, Intergalactic Terrorist.