Why do bloggers need a Twitter account?
Let’s talk Twitter. When I first started blogging, I was clueless when it came to Twitter. I knew I needed an account and that it helped with promotion but that was it. Social media is the easiest way to promote our great content or your product/service and drive traffic to your site, and Twitter is up there with the best of them. It helps you create your brand identity and develop a relationship with your followers. It also provides an instant way for customers to get in touch with you. The more followers you get on social media, the more likely a brand is to work with you, because you are then seen as a social media or digital influencer. You can then take part in paid tweet campaigns and twitter parties (more on those later!).
When I first got going, I was thrilled when anyone replied, mentioned or retweeted me. I spent ages interacting and sharing content, but found there was little return. I’ve now learned some tips and it’s become a source of traffic for me. More importantly, it’s somewhere to network, find opportunites and to chat and connect with friends. Here are my tips that I’ve found useful for twitter.
Tips for sharing content on twitter
It is possible, if you’re organised, to spend a short time sorting out the content you want to share (it should be a mix of your own and other relevant, quality content) and scheduling it to go out at intervals. Here’s how:
- Use a scheduler – I use Buffer, which is great. It links to your twitter account and you can use it in different ways: As a straight scheduler, it allows you to compose up to 10 tweets on the free plan and either set specific times for them or add them to your ‘Buffer’ and they’ll be tweeted out at set intervals during the next 12 or 24 hours, whichever suits you best. You can also set it to cross post on your other social media accounts, but I like to treat mine separately because what works on twitter won’t always work on Facebook. If you want to schedule more than 10 at a time you can always upgrade, or use other schedulers like hootsuite, social oomph or twuffer. I personally find Buffer more user friendly. You can also use Buffer when you’re actually on twitter – like all social media, we tend to look at it in bursts, when we have a few minutes here and there, rather than in a regular pattern. If you retweet and tweet for 20 minutes, then nothing for a few hours, then do the same later in the day, this can seem inconsistent or spammy. If you’re scrolling through looking at what you want to retweet, click on the share icon (see pictures below), then you have the choice whether to add it to your buffer queue, add a quote to the retweet, or schedule it for a set time. This gives you lots of options. I can’t tell you what joy I had when I discovered this! It also helps when you’re participating in sharing threads on Facebook (where everyone retweets each others tweets in the comments; I buffer some of them so I’m not tweeting them all out at once.)
- If you don’t want to scroll through Twitter for content to share, use Right Relevance, they let you pick topics for content or you can use the search function. The best part? You can add them to Buffer!
- You can also get content to tweet from Klout, I often share direct from the Klout app, which you can also schedule at a time to suit. Sharing from Klout also impacts your score.
How to get more followers on twitter
So you’ve got great content, but nobody is following you! Here’s what to do:
- Follow people in your niche – find other bloggers in your field that you admire and are successful, preferably ones with loads more followers than you. If you follow them, they may follow back, but don’t be offended if they don’t. Re-tweet their content, engage with them. Many of my ‘competitors,’ I now class as friends, even though we’ve never met. I’ve also learnt loads from them. If you’re also a small business, target people who are potential customers too and follow them, interact with them. One of the main reasons people don’t follow back is they don’t know who you are, so interacting takes away the mystery. There are apps which let you see who isn’t following you back, who has unfollowed you and also lets you target and copy your competitor’s followers. Be careful using these as you can annoy people, but they do work. Crowdfire is the most popular. Crowdfire also gives you the option to send an automatic direct message to your new followers. If you use this, please don’t set it to something like ‘Hey, if you like me on twitter you’ll love my blog!’ Make it thankful with no links. Again, experiment and see what works.
- Twitter moves pretty fast, but if you see someone asking a question, chip in, have a little conversation, it’s the type of medium where you can have snippets of conversations and dip in and out, or you can spend ages talking to someone. Remember it’s all public, unless you’re direct messaging.
- Celebrities – if there are relevant celebrities to your niche, follow them, join in with their conversations – they may never follow you back, but one retweet or mention could make all the difference. As I’m in parenting, it’s pretty easy as there are loads of celebrity mums and dads, I follow a few.
- DON’T be tempted to buy followers – sure they’ll boost your numbers but what you want are followers who will engage with you and read your content or buy your products.
- Hashtags – good use of hashtags can get you noticed, as you can search by hashtag for topics that interest you. Experiment with different tags to see what works best for you. There are general topics, like #pregnancy, #parenting, #beauty or you can say #pblogger (parentingblogger) #bblogger (beautyblogger) etc. Along with the trending hashtags, there are industry specific ones, like when a brand wants you to enter a competition or join in with a theme, they set a specific hashtag. If you join in with any linkies, they have their own hashtags. Take a look at the trending hashtags, join in with what interests you, but don’t forget to be professional. Favourite TV programme? Join in the chat about it.
- Mentions – when you mention someone on twitter, you use their @ sign and name and they get a notification that you’ve done it. It’s not like a direct message, it can be seen by everyone, it’s a way of starting a conversation, or letting someone know about what you’re talking about. If you want someone to see your content specifically, mention them by name. If you want someone to retweet you, you can say pls RT, don’t do this too often or only ask people to retweet and nothing else, this will get you nowhere. I have a reciprocal unspoken arrangement with several people where we retweet each other’s tweets.
- #FF – this stands for Follow Friday, and if you do it well, can get you lots of followers in one day. You tag your favourite people and/or companies with the hashtag #FF. Each person gets a notification and they usually all retweet it, and follow everyone you’ve tagged. They may then include you on another #FF and you get followed through that, plus their followers have also become aware of you, as have any others they’ve tagged.
- Twitter parties and twitter chats – if you get asked to join in, or know of any, give it a go. They’re usually in the form of a question gets asked by the host, then people answer using the designated hashtag, and you can see what others wrote by searching that hashtag. They generally last 1-2 hours, they can be hard to keep up with, but it gets your name out there. They can also be useful ways of gathering information.
Tip: copy the hashtag to your clipboard, so when you’re answering the questions and interacting, just paste the hashtag in.
- Make sure your website has twitter cards enabled, this makes the tweet have it’s image and the summary attached with that little box around it.
Get more traffic from Twitter using Apps and plug-ins
- Tweetily or Evergreen on WordPress – I use Tweetily to tweet out my old content to twitter. You can set it as often as hourly, I used to have it at 2 hourly, but got worried it was too spammy, so I dropped it to 3 hourly. You can also exclude certain posts or categories, such as seasonal posts, competitions that have closed etc. Another handy feature is that it even adds those good old hashtags for you! You can choose the hashtags or let it use the category hashtags, which I use (although remember to add your posts to at least one category, I have embarrassingly tweeted #uncategorized!). Since I made those changes, I get regular traffic from the tweets that Tweetily post for me, and I don’t have to worry about re-sharing old content anymore, if I’ve repurposed or feel like one needs extra love I can manually do it as an extra. It pulls your old posts at random. You can also edit the text at the front of the post or have it at the end. People use things like ‘From the archives,’ ‘In case you missed it,’ etc.
- Click to Tweet plug-in – does what it says, it creates a clickable box on your blog with a link that takes the user to their twitter account, and tweets whatever you choose and links back to the post. Clever, huh! Here it is in action:
- You can also embed a tweet into your blog post, just select the tweet you want to embed, then click on the three dots on the right hand side, select copy link to tweet, then put it in it’s own line on the blog post, like this:
Did you know I'm on Youtube? I'd love to see you there https://t.co/FgiaClgKrA
— Jenny (@midwifeandlife) November 19, 2016
It gives readers the chance to follow you if they don’t already, like, reply or retweet as if on twitter (hint, hint!).
I’ve given this one it’s own heading because I love it! It’s fairly new, I was beta testing it and now it’s fully functional. It’s cheaper than Buffer at $5 a month instead of $9.99 a month, and it lets you have a never ending Buffer queue. Once you’ve scheduled a tweet in Buffer, it will appear in Hiplayapp, then you can either archive it or evergreen it. I can have up to 100 tweets set to go to my Buffer queue once it’s empty. It gives me more control than the tweetily plugin, and I can put things in there like quotes, reminders about my other channels. It means I look like I’m never off twitter, when in fact I don’t look at it that much.
Well, that’s all I can think of for now, I hope it’s helped you in some way, I read some similar posts when I was struggling, so I’m hoping to do the same for others. If you found it helpful, please share, it makes me happy. Have you got any twitter tips I’ve missed? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
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