Sunday, March 20, 2011

Twitter 103 with Slash Coleman

Q: How can I improve my chances of being seen on Twitter?
A: Like most on-line tools that are meant to build your professional community, you’ll need to participate in conversations on a regular basis. If it helps, think of Twitter as a virtual telephone.

Q: What do you mean “participate in conversations”?
A: Twitter is more than just a Billboard for advertising your latest projects. Sure, your next tweet has the potential to be seen by thousands, but if you only Tweet “Look at me! Look at me!” your followers will eventually look the other way. 

Q: What’s a good Twitter Strategy?
A: I recommend sending out 5 tweets per week minimum, divided up in the following ways:
  • 1 Re-Tweet.
  • 1 Follow Friday.
  • 1 Random Thought.
  • 1 Direct Message.
  • 1 Conversation Starter.
Q:  What is a Re-tweet?
A:  I covered this in the previous article, but it bears repeating. When you copy and paste someone else’s message into your tweet bar and re-send it, you have re-tweeted their message.  

Q: What is Follow Friday?
A: It’s a Twitter holiday that happens every Friday and is also known as #followfriday or #ff. When you want all your followers to know about your favorite people, tweet “@kindramhall @storyLornaMac, @pdxstorytheater #ff.” This results in friends of friends finding out who they are and in turn who you are. 

Q: What is a Random Thought?
A: It’s a quote you like, it’s a reference to your current trip to Starbucks, or it’s a link to your recent blog entry. For example, “It’s always darkest when it’s really dark out,” or “The #traffic on I-95 is horrific!”

Q:  What the best way to use a Direct Message?
A:  A day or two after you start following someone send them a Direct Message that shows them you’ve visited their website or read their twitter bio. When I found out that @kindramhallhad also performed on the Exchange Place stage I wrote, “Hey Exchange Placer. Your blog is awesome.” An on-line twitter friendship soon blossomed.

Q:  What is a Conversation Starter?
A:  Find someone you’d like to start a conversation with, read their tweets for a week and once you’re familiar with them, find a way to include yourself in their conversations. This is a good example, “@thecheckoutgirl do you know about the @PBS program about 2 #VA boys? Since you write about #comedy I thought you'd like it too!” This is a bad example. A performer was trying to get on the Ellen show and wrote, “Hey @theellenshow I know a great performer you should check out!”

Slash Coleman is a professional storyteller best known for his award-winning PBS special "The Neon Man and Me." His twitter campaign helped him win over PBS stations nationwide and land a two year distribution deal with NETA His recent column in Storytelling Magazine concentrates on social media and marketing strategies for artists and he was most recently featured on the NPR series "How Artists Make Money." For more information about Slash Coleman - please visit

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