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Social Media for Young Cartoonists Project: Week 3: Twitter

This is part three of an ongoing project by the DW-WP interns Hilary Allison and JP Kim.  This summer, we’re pulling out all the “social media” stops to get our work seen and our names out.  It’s an experiment, and we’re documenting every step… so YOU can learn from our successes and failures.  Read Week 1 here.

JP writes in plain text today.  Hilary chimes in with italics.

Rewind to 2006.

Twitter comes out.  It is a tedious, irritating exercise in micro-narcissism.  Upon its initial release I am absolutely baffled as to the rationale behind its creation. Who needs this?  Why are people compelled to share with the world every bit of meaningless minutia that befalls them? Do they find some sort of bizarre satisfaction knowing that thousands of people who don’t really care will know about the pancake they just made that looks like a butt, zomg pancake butt, lol?  I would have never thought that such a purveyor of irrelevance would become so important and essential to the development of my artistic career.

Fast Forward to the Present.

I use Twitter daily.  It’s simply one of the easiest and most effective ways to gain exposure and connects you to an infinite community of fellow artists.

Tips for Maximum Twitter Effectiveness…

What to Post:

  • Post sketches. Twitter is as informal as you’re going to get.  Take an extra 2 or 3 seconds to snap a low-res photo of a funky doodle you just did and throw it up on Twitter.
  • Be funny. If you’re consistently funny, people will follow to see what, new, wacky quips you can make.
  • Link to your other blogs, sites, etc. Again, Twitter=easy.  Twitter=exposure.  (My imaginary math doesn’t make much sense, but Twitter is easy exposure.)  If you’ve got a new comic, new illustrations, anything of note on any other site, post it on your Twitter.
  • Make multiple posts about things you want to get noticed.
    • Isn’t that spamming? No.  Not everyone is looking at your twitter at the same time.
    • So Twitter is more like a chat-room than a message-board. Precisely.  The chance that someone missed your initial post is very high.
    • Yeah, the more people I follow, the less I catch. So if you want everybody to see something, repost it.  
    • What’s the appropriate amount to repost?  2, 3 times? As many times as you want.  A lot of people seem to think that their integrity as a tweeter, of all things, will be in question…it won’t…nobody really cares if you post something more than once…
  • Post any and all standout thoughts. Even though most of them wont be significant or poignant by any means, people will relate to even the most benign comments. ….. Seriously? Sure.  If someone relates to you, chances are they’ll follow you and what not.  It also shows non-artists that…GASP…we are people too!

There isn’t really anymore to be said about it.  It’s common sense.

Twitter is just one of the many parts of the social media monster that has become essential these days.

You get one, you post things, people read them.  It’s really not that much more complicated than that.  You follow other people, and hope they follow you.

Wait, JP, let’s talk about following!

Okay, take it.

 

 

About Following

“Following” is subscribing to other users’ tweets.  So far, I’ve learned that…

  • People you know don’t know will follow you. Usually they’re friends of friends who catch “retweets” (quotes / re-postings) of your tweets.  Also, a real estate agent started following me… completely out of the blue, as far as I can tell.  Why?  Was it a means of advertising?  That might make sense, becaaaause…
  • People you follow tend to follow you back. Jessica recommended that I wait a while to add people who don’t know me… so that when they check out who I am, there will be something to read.

Also!

Twitter Clients

“Clients” are applications you can use to access your Twitter account (an alternative to logging in via Twitter.com).

  • We use coTweet to unite @DWandWP with our personal accounts.
  • Clients can allow you to see how many people clicked on the links you post.
  • Clients can display overall online influence scores.  There are a few different measurement systems.  coTweet displays every Tweeter’s Klout score.  (Those are my stats and score at the right.  28 is out of 100.)
  • And my FAVORITE thing about clients is that they allow you to schedule posts for later times!  That means I can spend five minutes posting links in the morning and engineer them to pop up throughout the day.
    • Schedule important posts for high-traffic times.  Jessica and Matt let us in on the fact that more people visit Twitter in the morning, at lunch time, at almost-time-to-go-home-from-work-time, and around nine o’clock at night. [we learned that from Dan Zarrella and TweetWhen–Matt]

 

Follow us, and we’ll follow you back!

Post funny / interesting / informative stuff, and we’ll retweet you!

JP Kim = @whurf

Hilary Allison = @Haha_Hilary

DWWP  = @DWandWP

Jessica Abel = @jccabel

Matt Maden = @mmaddencomics

Lior Zaltzman = @Liorca

Twitter Aside…

Hilary’s Goals for This Week were…

[X] Test out Tumblr.  (After so many trials, this was the best!)

[X] Pick my website hosting poison. (Tumblr is the winner.)

[X] Build the website.  (It’s totally bare bones right now, but it exists!)

[X] Link it to domain.  (HilaryAllison.net)

[X] Join Twitter  (Yep.)

[  ] Customize Twitter.  (Oops.  Still need to do this.)

JP:

[X] Flesh out JP-Kim.com.

[X] Establish update schedule. (Every Monday!)

[X] Start updating.

 

Goals for Next Week:

Hilary:

[  ] Flesh out HilaryAllison.net with actual content/art.

[  ] Customize Twitter.

JP:

[  ] Create promotional art for JP-Kim.com.

[  ] Stick to the update schedule.

Till next week!

HA & JP (the Interns)

Past Installments:

Week 1  (Getting Started)

Week 2 (Setting Up Websites)

Comments

6 Comments to Social Media for Young Cartoonists Project: Week 3: Twitter

  • by Jahhdog

    On May 24, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Enjoying and learning from following your guys experiences!

    And I’m an old(er) cartoonist…

    ArrOOoo!

  • by Jose Molestina

    On May 25, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Ok, so I have a few pointers on how to use Twitter, based merely on my humble experience:

    1.- I’ll say this first because I think it could be considered as cheating! Maybe it is but I don’t care as long as more people (with the same interests as me) follow me. I use TweetBig (www.tweetbig.com) It will cost you around $20 per month but it is totally worth it! There are tons of features but the most interesting one is that you pick 15 tweeter accounts that you already follow, who share the same interest as you, in this case, art or comics to be specific. Then, TweetBig chooses their followers and make you follow them. They will also give you a % of chance of being followed back by them. I had at first 130 followers, now I have 1800 in 2 months, and I can confirm through my webpage statistics that my blog is being visited a lot more. You ask me those are $20 well spent!

    2.- Try to be consistent with at least one tweet a day. I, for instance, upload every day a Garbage Pail Kid sticker (from the 80s haha) and named it “garbage of the day”. I know it doesn’t sound that exciting but a lot of people respond to those posts.

    3.- Do a contest! I recently did a “#freeportraitdrawing” contest in twitter for just a #FF (Follow Friday) to me (@bielero). To tell you the truth I haven’t drawn the portrait nor announce who the winner is, but still, it works! I had like 40 more followers by the end of the day.

    4.- DO NOT SPEAK IN TWO LANGUAGES! Ok, that is my problem and I’m trying to deal with that, but I know for sure that when I tweet in spanish I may have some unfollows!

    I would really appreciate if you #ff me :)

    Godspeed,

    Jose Luis

  • by Jose Molestina

    On May 25, 2011 at 1:34 am

    Oh I forgot to tell you that when you follow around 2000 people, then your tweet account timeline is just too chaotic, so start making lists so you can enjoy the tweets of who you really want to follow :)

  • by Hilary Allison

    On May 26, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Thanks for sharing your secrets, Jose!

    1. That TweetBig thing blows my mind. It’s so… engineered. But really, it’s no more engineered than what I’m doing, is it? Just more calculated. Most of the features look like strategies that could be carried out manually.

    Some week I’d like to do a post about the implications (and ethics) of social engineering. Because to be very honest this stuff (bringing a high level of calculation and strategy to my social interactions, as digitally removed as they may be), is starting to give me the creeps.

    2. Good tip. (And not hard to carry out, with scheduling.)

    3. Oooooh, contests! We’ll definitely have to try this before the summer is out.

    4. I’d be curious to know often people do unfollow you as a result of seeing tweets in Spanish. This is not a problem that I have, being only fluent in English… and having no friends on Twitter who speak only in another language. But, I have to say, I LOVE it when I see other languages on my feed. When they’re in Spanish, they’re an opportunity for me to practice. When they’re in who-knows-what, they’re a fun reminder that we’re part of a global network.

  • by Jessica

    On May 30, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I think that’s fascinating, José. But was it actually any different than you choosing some of your follows and following their followers? Are there other features that you find useful?

    I love the giveaways idea. It’s a great way to get your handle passed around. You’d have to design it to get the response you want, though: #ff, or comments on your blog, or RTs…which is most valuable, or does that change depending on what you’re working on?

  • by Jose Molestina

    On June 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Sorry to answer so late, but I had a week from hell moving to Italy. I was from place to place but at the end I rented a very nice loft with High speed Internet (required!!!!!!). Anyways, yes! there is a difference. I will point out next what it comes into my mind:

    1.- Ok, so there is no difference in following the followers of who you follow (there should be a word for this because it gets confusing), but by doing this it creates some complications.

    a. You can follow all of them, but you have no idea of the percentage ratio of the chance for them to follow you back. Not everybody goes by the golden rule of thumb “follow me to follow you back”. So this website do the work for you, statistically, and probably through some kind of software. This way you follow exactly your target, but have a higher chance of being followed back!

    b. You cannot follow all of them at once! Tweeter can detect if you are doing this (adding too many at once) and it knows you are trying to get one million followers. There is a risk of Twitter closing your account. TweetBig does it periodically so Tweeter thinks is done by a regular Joe. Yes, you could do the same, but you would have to spend the day doing it.

    c. There is actually a maximun of people you could follow! Twitter sets a ratio in order to avoid what we are trying to do ;) For instance, I could not add more than 2000 followers if only 1700 have been following me. That is why the “Follow Timebomb” is so cool, because it lets you know who to unfollow. In this case, you’d just have to unfollow the people who decided NOT to follow you back. So if you unfollow 50 people, you have a chance of following 50 more, which in this case maybe 20 will follow you back. So you’ll have more followers, and your ratio increases. :)

    2.- In order to avoid having a huge TIMELINE, do lists! When you follow 2000 people your twitter no longer works for you! Of course your tweets are read by more people, which is the idea, but what about the tweets you;re interested. Well, make lists! I have a list from people from Ecuador, another for my comics, and another for my SVA teachers and classmates ;)

    Well, this was very confusing, even for me! I hope it’s clear!

    José Molestina

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