From a personal and professional point of view I am a huge believer in the importance of using Twitter to compliment your blog. I use Twitter to find great articles and posts each day about my interests. Although time often doesn’t permit me to read through the posts straightaway if I see an appealing Tweet that attracts my attention I will click on the link, bookmark the page and read through it when I get time.
Attract More Traffic to Your Blog Posts
If you blog then a Twitter account is essential for driving more traffic to your posts and getting your content read. Many of my friends don’t get on with Twitter, but if you have your own website or enjoy reading online there is no better site as far as I’m concerned. This isn’t really the place for socialising with friends (although many do) Facebook is ideal for that, instead Twitter’s where you can promote your work and find interesting people to follow, learn from or be entertained.
Opening a Twitter account takes seconds, customising your profile takes a little longer, especially if you wish to customise your background, but it is possible to get going in minutes. Once you have your account up and running it is time to add people of interest to you. You can do this by searching for their name, visiting their website and clicking the Twitter button or by searching for keywords based on your interests.
The Hashtag and Shortened URL
Each time you create new content go ahead and share the link on your page. This is a great way of helping people find you both on Twitter and on your blog or website. You have 140 characters to type in something that will draw the attention of the right people, and you can use hash tags to highlight the keywords relating to the topic. The purpose of the hash tag is so that people have an easy way of searching for Tweets that may be of interest to them, and they are well worth adding when you have the spare characters available.
If I was going to be posting this very blog post I could Tweet ‘Does Twitter really help your blog? #blogging #socialmedia #writing http://ow.ly/afoGx’. The link has been shrunk in order to fit into the 140 characters. This is easy to do, just visit one of the URL shortners online, paste in your link and the URL is made shorter for you to copy and paste into Twitter.
Delving Deeper into the World of Twitter
Once you are comfortable with the basics of Twitter you can start to really make the most out of all the features such as:
RT stands for Retweet. This is how you can share other peoples Tweets that you have found interesting and people also have the choice to share your Tweets too. Retweeting is great so start retweeting straight away. This is good for SEO too but I’ll talk about that in another post.
You may have people who are talking to you on Twitter, they do this by writing a Tweet and including your Twitter handle. When you want to see if anyone has spoken to your or replied to you just click on the @connect tab and see your interactions. Thank people for their mentions and retweets to show gratitude, and with any luck people will interact with you more freely.
See what people are talking about all over the world, this can help you to write about topics that are being searched for and discussed online. This can help drive in more traffic to your site, but don’t just write any old rubbish, still create original content relating to the trend, and add it to your site and Twitter quickly to gain the most exposure.
Sifting through all the Tweets of the people you are following can take ages, especially if you are following a lot of people. Creating lists is a great feature that allows you to organise the people you are interested in. I have Twitter lists titled: authors, gaming, style and fashion, technology, SEO, bloggers and many more.
You can add people to your lists, make them private or public and click on them to see what is being Tweeted by the members of your list only. People can subscribe to public lists too so if you don’t want to make your own find lists other people have created and follow those instead.
Direct Messages (DM)
If you are being followed by someone you have the ability to send direct messages. Often you may see messages that say ‘OMG someone has written something horrible about you’ with a link, just ignore these, it’s just nonsense spam and highly frustrating. You can use messages to say thanks to new followers, privately make contact with your follower and make enquiries.
If you want to set up automatic messaging it is possible with the help of sites like Social Oomph. Although Twitter etiquette dictates not to send a link in your first message I don’t think it’s such a bad thing if you say thanks for following and add a link to your blog, others disagree with me there.
This section is broken down into five sections that speak for themselves:
- Who to Follow
- Find Friends
- Browse Categories
Hopefully this quick insight into Twitter will encourage you to start using the social networking platform as a way of promoting your work and finding the work of others. It can take a while to get used to it, but for me blogging and twitter make the perfect marriage and is well worth spending some time on.
If you get stuck feel free to contact me and ask about my affordable social media marketing services.