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Twitter How-Tos in the Fashion Industry

My first day at #SXSW, I had the distinct pleasure of bumping into Chris Brogan, one of my favorite social media experts and all round marketing “good guy.” We were discussing fashion marketing and Twitter and he reminded me of his post, "50 Ways To Use Twitter For Business". Brogan’s article is a great starting point for any fashion blogger, brand or retailer who wants to get a better grasp on Twitter, I’ve also added a few of my own:

Twitter Basics

* Open a twitter account and use Twitter Search to see what people are saying about your name, your competitor’s names and key words that relate to your industry.
* Make sure you have a photo, no one wants to follow a faceless person, it shows LAZINESS.
* Dialog and interact, engage in meaningful discussions and funny comments. Don’t just spam your followers.
* Talk about things in your industry; talk about trends, link to interesting stories and share your experience with new media outlets, etc. Also comment on industries that might be complimentary to what you are doing.
* No pushing and shoving. Again, don’t blast your content, photos and videos all the time. You will lose followers.
* Be Human and talk about YOU. People like knowing about people.

What to Tweet About

* Write about what you are currently involved in, reading or find engaging. Again, people like humanity and personality.
* Share the human side of your company. If you’re bothering to tweet, it means you believe social media has value for human connections.
* Ask questions about direction, marketing or content. Twitter is GREAT for getting opinions.
* Follow interesting people. If you find someone who tweets interesting things, see who she follows, and follow her.

Tweeting Etiquette

* You don’t have to reply to every @ tweet directed to you (try to reply to some, but don’t feel guilty), but you must acknowledge those talking to you.
* Use direct messages for 1-to-1 conversations if you feel there’s no value to Twitter at large to hear the conversation. No one cares about your latest credit card bill from a sample sale.
* Use Tweetdeck and Twhirl to manage Twitter.
* Shorten URLS with TinyURL .
* If someone doesn’t like what you say, they can unfollow you. Let them go, they are replaced by three who love you.
* Commenting on others’ tweets, and retweeting what others have posted is a great way to build community.

Twitter Pros & Cons

* Twitter takes up time. You can engage in twitter as much, or not as much, as you like.
* Twitter takes you away from other productive work. I have made some of my best business deals and been able to connect with other bloggers, brands and retailers that I never would have had the opportunity to with.
* There are other ways to do this. Please show me some.
* Twitter doesn’t apply to the fashion industry. Twitter’s only a few million people (only). The fashion industry’s been rooted in traditional marketing and publicity for too long. Fashion bloggers and online fashion sites deliver news more quickly and in a more relevant fashion thank newspapers or magazines.
* Twitter doesn’t replace direct email marketing. Twitter is real time. If your deliver a concise message in link to a file or video, it could be retweeted, viewed or downloaded by hundreds or thousands of people in ONE DAY.
* Twitter opens you up to more criticism and griping. If you hear what is wrong, you can avoid making those mistakes! Or you can discover how wrong your critics are and realize what you are doing is right.
* Twitter breaks news faster than other sources, it’s a viral as viral can get.
* Twitter brings great minds together, and gives you daily opportunities to learn (if you look for it, and/or if you follow the right folks). My twitter is a mix of fashion, social media marketers, news services, mixed in with people I just like. I get all kinds of info and ideas from comparing opinions and trends. Twitter is instant market research.
* Twitter helps with business development…if your prospects are online (I know mine are). I use Twitter to share online marketing techniques I believe that the fashion industry needs and I’ve used it to connect with other business ventures. Twitter is worth the my time investment.

See FashionablyMarketing.Me for more about Twitter and online branding.

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