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#tweetsmart by Jesse S. McDougall

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Chapter 14. A Picture is Worth 7.14 Tweets

If you’ve been shopping at any major retail site in the last year, you’ve probably noticed the “Share your Photos” links that sites have now integrated into product pages. Companies and merchants have taken a cue from the social media world and begun soliciting user-generated content for the sake of product promotion. The most popular form of which is the user-generated product shot.

Product shots take many forms: a laptop on a clean desk, a t-shirt in a bar, a stuffed bear on a ski lift, and so on. They can be funny or illustrative or exciting. But no matter style or tone of the photo, they all show products being used by happy customers out in the real world. This is a valuable community-building and marketing asset, and therefore, companies mine their customer communities for this photographic gold all the time.

You, however, can go a few steps beyond simply putting a request for product shots on your product pages. You have an active and engaged Twitter audience at your disposal, and having fun with product shots is a great way to build enthusiasm and community.

You may be asking, “Twitter for photos?! Isn’t that Flickr?” And yes, sorta. Flickr is a great photo sharing site. But Twitter is the right place for this project, and I’ll tell you why below. But before I get to that, it’s useful to explain the process through which we came to have ...

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