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Empire Avenue: Social Networking or Game or Both?

March 23rd, 2011 No comments

Empire Avenue is a social networking game where you buy and sell other members as well as any Twitter profile. I joined about a month ago, and it’s been a great way to find others who share my interests, or who are located in Vancouver, and to connect with them on their various social networks.

When you sign-up (it’s free) you get 10,000 eaves, the virtual currency for buying and selling on the site. You register your social networking sites – Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, as well as your RSS feeds and Empire Avenue will start to assess your activity on these sites. After about a week, you will get scores for each site. You also get a score for your activity on Empire Avenue itself. The more you participate on a given site, the higher your score, up to a maximum of 100 per site. Your share price will reflect your level of social networking activity, as well as the investments that other Empire Avenue members have made in you. You will see your share price and portfolio value grow as you engage in your social networks.

If you already participate in social media, Empire Avenue is a really cool way to see at a glance how you are doing on your different accounts. You will receive many different achievement badges as you increase your activity. It’s a fun way to gauge your influence and see where you could be doing a better job.

You can find others who share similar interests or live in the same city and see their social networking profiles. There’s a community section where you can browse and join communities according to your interests or city.  It’s very useful for finding contacts to follow on Twitter, Flickr or LinkedIn, and you can promote your own website, blog or recent posts too.

Empire Avenue is loaded with features and different ways to find and connect with people, and is a little overwhelming at first. To help, here’s a great tutorial on getting started with Empire Avenue.

If you sign-up with this link you will get 2,000e bonus eaves to help you make your first buy!

 

 


7 Twitter Tips for Photographers

March 19th, 2011 No comments

Twitter Bird
Twitter is continuing to grow in popularity with about 460K new users joining each day compared to about 300K last year.

My goal with Twitter is to find followers who are interested in my work, and to provide them with news and information related to photography, fashion, social media, design, art, science and music.

Finding Followers

You need to have followers to read your tweets, retweet and mention you.

  • Post your Twitter link wherever you can. My Twitter link is on my blog, website, and all of my social networking sites.
  • Look for people to follow by checking out who is following other Twitter users with similar interests, and start following them. Some of these contacts will start following you back. I give them a couple days to follow me back, but if they don’t, I will unfollow them to make sure that the number of people who I follow is not too much more than the number of people who are following me. There are tools and websites to help you to find and manage followers.

Follow back

It’s a good idea to follow back new followers. I check my new followers at least once per day and usually follow them back. This will help to encourage them to continue to follow you. You can check their bio, tweets and website to see if they share similar interests. Occasionally the follower is a spam bot or someone else who you don’t want to follow, so you can find out first before following back.

Add value

Find information that you think will be interesting and of value to your followers and tweet about it and share the link. Add a few words of your own to show what you found interesting about it, and consider adding appropriate hashtags to help others find it by searching Twitter.

Make your tweets interesting

Think of your tweets as headlines. You have 140 characters to catch someone’s attention, or they won’t check out the link or retweet.

Don’t spam

Don’t repeatedly send tweets about your sales and services. A rule of thumb is one self-promotional tweet per 10 tweets. If your tweet stream has too much hard sell content, people will probably not follow you.

Link to your photos

I post my photography to Flickr and send it to Twitter using the “Share This” menu above the photo and going to “Blog It”. I have set up Twitter as one of my blogs in the “Sharing & Extending” tab under the “Your Account”. You can also send photos to Twitter photo sharing sites such as TwitPic and yfrog and others.

Schedule your tweets

I like to spread my tweets throughout the day by scheduling them using Hootsuite. Right now I’m sending about one tweet per hour, usually starting around 6 a.m. Pacific Time and ending around midnight. I then add random tweets during the day whenever something interesting comes up. More people check Twitter during their lunch breaks, evenings, or weekends, so you might want to schedule your more important tweets to maximize the audience.

I’m currently reading The Linked Photographers’ Guide to Online Marketing and Social Media by Lindsay Adler and Rosh Sillars, which has an entire chapter of information on using Twitter, as well as chapters on other social media such as Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook and blogs. It’s a great resource for photographers just starting out, but has many ideas and tips for the more savvy social media users too.

Do you have some more tips for using Twitter? Share them in the comments section and don’t forget to tweet about this post!

 

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