As a blogger, you have something to say. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could easily drive more traffic to your blog, and share your posts with a bigger audience? Welcome to the wonderful world of Twitter.
As of March 2014, Twitter reported a staggering average monthly user figure of a cool 255 million people. Are you one of them? If not, you should be. But how can you use Twitter to benefit your blogging strategy? It’s just a question of signing up for an account and tweeting away isn’t it? Well – no.
One of the key appeals of Twitter is that it is fast and accessible, offering easily digestible little nuggets which take only a second or two to read. But there is a right way and a wrong way to use Twitter as a blogger – do it wrong, and you’ll be talking to yourself. Do it right, and you could see excellent returns on your time.
1. Don’t just post links to your blog. That’s a big no-no. In order to stand out from the Twitter crowed (all 255 million of them, remember) you need to be interesting and original, offering content that other people actually want to read.
2. Share insightful glimpses into your niche. Tell your followers about that latest juicy bit of research. Tease them with a glimpse of your new book or product cover. Be controversial, opinionated and passionate. Develop a voice that is uniquely yours.
3. Ask questions. No one wants to listen indefinitely – they want to interact. Asking questions can be a great way to come up with new blog topics, and you may just learn something new. Seek your follower’s opinions on the niche topics of the day, or ask them to share their own personal insights into your subject matter.
4. Retweet or link to the best written, most interesting features in your niche. Yes, that means retweeting or linking to the competition, sometimes. In order to become known as an authority in your industry, you need to acknowledge and interact with others in your area.
5. Remain true to your voice. Don’t post when you’re over tired, drunk or angry. If your voice is controversial, be controversial; if your voice is sarcastic, be sarcastic – but don’t be rude, aggressive or hostile. It’s just a turn-off that nobody wants to read.
6. Get your reply ratio right. As other people start to interact with you, you’ll want to reply to their tweets, or to their replies to your tweets. Good, but do so in moderation. Twitter conversations can be hard to follow, because you’re effectively only seeing half of the conversation – so don’t turn your feed into nothing but replies.
7. Carve out time to tweet at least 3-4 times a day, but aim for quality over quantity. It’s not always easy to get into the Twitter habit, but you need to appear on people’s radar reasonably regularly if you’re going to make an impact. Schedule Twitter time just as you would schedule any other marketing activity.
8. Start simple. Be sure to add Twitter buttons to your blog, and add your Twitter account to your email signature.
9. Integrate your social media accounts. These days, there are numerous tools you can use to ensure that your various accounts are all singing from the same hymn sheet – I recommend Hootsuite. At the most basic level, investigate the settings which allow your blog posts to be automatically tweeted, your tweets to be automagically Facebooked and so on.
10. Try a Twitter contest. This is where your followers can be in with a chance of winning (your latest book? a half hour phone consultation with you?) by retweeting one of your tweets. This is a well worn tactic, but it still works. Ensure, however, that the prize is worth winning and that the tweet itself is interesting.
These simple tips and strategies are easy to implement, even if you’re a Twitter novice. Just as with blogging, the underlying key is to ensure that you have something interesting, relevant or useful to share with your audience – with Twitter, you just have to say it (very) concisely.
Have you seen an increase in blog traffic thanks to your Twitter efforts? What tips and strategies would you recommend? I’d love to know…
Loz James is a professional content marketer and copywriter with over 17 years' industry experience. A former broadcast journalist for BBC local radio, he founded Content Champion in 2012 to deliver best practice content marketing training & services.
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