Twitter's social networking lets people post 140 character messages answering the simple question: What Are You Doing Right Now? Called micro blogging on steroids, it's just going to get bigger and bigger. As it grows, Twitter is becoming an important way for filmmakers and film lovers to connect.
Getting a Twitter account is easy and FREE. If you really want to see how it works, start following some Twitters. You can follow me at www.Twitter.com/Raindance
Here are my top ten tips when getting started with Twitter, and some other peoples’ thoughts on the newest networking craze:
1. Twitter is fun.
Remember that first and foremost, Twitter is about having a good time.
2. Twitter is sharing.
Share links, post ideas, ask questions, answer questions. Simply opine about what YOU think!
“Even more so than a blog, your tweets need to be personal. *I* and *WE* Never *Company Name*. Don’t be self aggrandizing. Ask for feedback. Ask for action. Give rewards (and don’t think these have to be physical things either).”
--Jon Bonnell of Infinite Spectrum Productions
3. Twitter is listening.
It's not about shouting or pushing stuff. So, get an account, and start listening to Tweets. Seeing peoples’ thoughts is a great way to get inspired; why not do some market research on that new clever, idea for a movie?
4. Twitter isn't selling.
But it is a great way to build up a network which you can use when you are looking for crew, looking for extras or trying to promote a festival screening or your new DVD release.
“While filming, we tweet from the set throughout production, uploading no more than one production still a day. Just to keep fans talking and in anticipation. During post is the hardest time to keep the audience alive as there are just long passages of nothing to talk about, but we try to keep at least one tweet a day.”
5. Twitter is about updates.
Keep your profile updated with interesting Tweets and you will attract followers.
6. Twitter is about value.
Always give value to your Tweets. Whatever you say, don't be coy or precious with information.
“I think the fundamental key to Twitter is authenticity.”
7. Twitter is a breath of fresh air.
Because it’s about brevity. Many Twitter-ers have taken to URL-shortening services like bit.ly and tr.im to compact the links they share. Treat your Tweets like headlines.
8. Twitter is hip.
Joining the network shows that you’re a forward-thinking individual who is open to new things and willing to become fluent in the latest technologies — key characteristics in the filmmaking world.
“My documentary has distribution in the US via NETA on PBS, but I have a lot of legwork to do to get the programmers to program it and the audience to watch. I think Twitter might be the newest and best answer to helping distribute my work.”
--Charlotte Buchen of Frontline World
9. Twitter is about PMA (positive mental attitude}.
Tweets should be friendly and helpful. If you want to be negative, or heaven forbid, flame someone - Twitter isn't the tool for you.
10. Twitter is about instant feedback.
This is probably the best thing about Twitter.
“When our last film was completed, we organized online screenings for our Twitter followers. Not only did that triple out followers in a week, but we got some great online written reviews and comments. Fans are wonderful.”
Here are a few great articles to help you get started: 10 Tools For Breaking Into Twitter
Its true: Yellow Pages for Twitter
Social networking sites like Twitter are what you make of them. So play with them, and get a feel for how they work. If you figure out how to use them, you’ll soon learn all the benefits they can bring.
Got another suggestion? Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add them here.