Thursday, July 14, 2016

Twitter Basics for Coin Collectors, Sellers, and Numismatists

I think of it this way; if Facebook is the world's biggest online family reunion, then Twitter is the world's biggest online party.

There are precious few coin collectors, dealers, and numismatists who maintain a strong presence on Twitter. It's really too bad, because Twitter offers opportunities that can not be found on other social media platforms.

Things that are frowned upon on Facebook, like sending friend requests to strangers or posting and sharing a lot of unrelated content, are common practices on Twitter. For instance, it is not uncommon to Follow (the Twitter equivalent of a Facebook friend request) 20-40 people or organizations in a day, especially when you get are first getting started. So, let's dig in.

Getting Started

When you first sign up, you will be asked to follow 10 or so accounts - mostly celebrities. Follow anyone that tickles your fancy, or just follow the first 10 and move on. Once you have satisfied the Twitter gods by following their most popular users you will land on your Twitter homepage. You can search for users who genuinely pique your interest from here.

There are three ways to search for users to follow.

1. Regular Text - try searching "coins" and see what pops up.
2. Hashtag - # is a hashtag. To search the hashtag for coins you would type #coins.
3. User - all Twitter usernames begin with the @ symbol. If you are looking for a specific user (like The Coin Blog), just enter @thecoinblog

The point of Twitter, especially at first, is to make connections with people or organizations with whom you share an interest. When you find such a person or organization, you follow them. Tweets from the users you follow will show up in your Twitter feed, much like posts do on Facebook except Twitter will not decide which posts are most relevant; you will get everything.

The Shouting Match that is Twitter
Because all Tweets (that's what you call a post on Twitter) show up on your feed, as you build the list of users to follow, it can quickly become overwhelming. Luckily, there are ways to mitigate the influx of information.

Twitter allows you to build lists and add specific users. Example: I have a list called Numismatic Influencers that contains only reputable coin resources like Coin World, Coin Week, PCGS, the ANA, etc. Group the users your follow into lists by topic, that way you can filter out the noise and see only relevant Tweets.

(I also have a list called Tech for users who Tweet about - what else? - technology.)

I recommend setting up multiple lists, even within a single topic. For instance, if you are into coins, having a solitary list for coin news, coin collectors, coin dealers, and related topics (like metals prices and metals investing), will result in chaos, especially from the dealers who like to post items for sale all day long. Better to break these into a few lists like, Coin News (for numismatic and metals news), Coin Friends (for fellow collectors), and Coin Dealers (for those who Tweet coins for sale).

"Followback" is a term unique to Twitter. A followback is when you follow someone and they follow you in return. Makes sense, right? There is a subtle psychosis in the realm of Twitter; it is better to have more followers than people you are following. Because of this, many people will follow users en masse, wait for those users to followback, and then unfollow everyone. Insane, right? My advice is to not worry about it. The goal of using Twitter shouldn't be to build a following, but to connect with genuinely interesting people and organizations.

All that being said, if you are followed by a user who looks interesting, follow them back.

This is a term used (overused, really) by digital marketing types. Engagement means talking to people and reacting to their posts, that's it. Twitter is great place to "engage" with new people. There are three ways to engage with content (posts/Tweets) on Twitter.

Like - It appears as a little heart or star under every Tweet. Click it and you have liked the Tweet.
Retweet - It looks like a web browser Refresh Arrow and the Recycling Logo had a baby (it's two arrows that form a circle). Click this and the Tweet will be reposted for all of your followers to see.
Reply - This is an arrow pointing left. It allows you to Tweet back - it is akin to commenting on Facebook.

I think that's enough for now. You will learn so much more by getting on Twitter and poking around. It is not a difficult site to figure out, I promise.


Numismatic Twitter Users worth Following

@thecoinblog - Sorry, I had to!

I'm sure there are more, but those listed above are my current favorites.

1 comment:

Tom (Blind Coin Collector) said...

Thanks for including me in the worth following list.