When people hear the word ‘twitter’ they usually respond with one of two reactions. 1) They tell you how silly the idea of twitter is. I mean, who wants to be informed that I’m currently getting up from my desk and heading to the little boys room? Or 2) they tell you how much they love twitter and can’t see life without it.
I first learned of twitter while working for the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee in 2008. I was the Web Content Manager and was working closely with i-ology (an awesome Internet strategy company who built the Host Committee website) when my buddy Aaron told me I should be on it. I signed up and when I first got on I didn’t get it. I was definitely a category 1 type of person and quickly cut ties with the site.
I returned to the site a little less than a year later when I began writing for Bright Side of the Sun and was asked to have a presence on twitter. When I was asked, I reluctantly cleared the dust off of the account I had once set up, and fired away. I am now firmly entrenched as a category 2 type of person. I love twitter. I tweet like crazy. I love it as a promotional tool, as a news source (having it during the days leading up to the NBA trade deadline was FANTASTIC), as a tool for inspiration and as a place to keep in touch with old friends. For the remainder of this post I will focus on how I’ve used it as a promotional tool.
Now, let me say that I have in NO WAY mastered the art of promotion through twitter. My efforts pale in comparison to many companies/individuals out there. The Phoenix Suns (@PhoenixSuns) for example, have used it as a new way to connect with fans, promote events and really get in touch with their audience and they are one of many, MANY examples out there.
Now back to me (those of you familiar with the Old Spice commercials just chuckled a bit, admit it). Once I got back on the bandwagon pulled by that little blue bird, I found myself wanting to find ways to utilize twitter to get myself out there. It started with my blog posts and comic strip and moved towards my overall design efforts. Whether I was posting new illustration work or just getting my work out there in front of the masses I was going to give it a solid try. Since I’ve gotten on twitter I’ve had Amare Stoudemire, Molly Qerim and Larry Fitzgerald all see the illustrations that I did of them. I’ve found work with the Phoenix Suns with whom I now have regular interaction. I have also got my stuff to several other companies that I am currently collaborating with. I have gone to being an absolute nobody to a relative nobody with some good connections.
Now, not everything I’ve tried was successful. I’ve run several contests that had no entries, and posted several illustration pieces that nobody has looked at. However, my overall experience has been awesome. I’ve come a long ways from the dude who just gave up on it the first time around because I didn’t care who was about to brush their teeth and go to bed. Twitter has become my number 1 source for news and self-promotion. For all those who are still stuck in category 1, I would urge you to give it a shot because you never know. For me it works, for you it might not. No matter how stupid the idea of twitter may be…I’m Dustin and I’m a twitterer (or something like that).
Bonus note (because I couldn’t fit it in above):
The one thing that I really don’t like about twitter is it’s customization. Twitter offers users the ability to use a background image but no control over the design. The image is placed in the top left and can either be tiled or not and that’s it. However, with these restrictions comes the opportunity to really try to be creative. Lately I have been working with some different tile effects (below) to try to take advantage of what twitter offers me. As always, feel free to let me know what you think.