There are lots of uses for Twitter.
You can announce your lunch, complain about the heat or say goodnight to the moon.
Here are seven Twitter tips to building blog traffic:
1. Make Sure Your Account is Public
Choosing a public or private account is a very important aspect when it comes to setting up your account. If your account is private your visibility will be limited. Only the people that you personally approve will be able to follow you and see your updates. If your account is public it will have the potential of being visible to all twitter users interested in seeing what you have to share.
When setting up your account it is automatically created as a public account. If you want lots of traffic be careful not to click the tweet privacy, “protect my tweets” box when setting up your account.
2. Choose a Good Handle
Your handle is what people will use to find and connect with you on twitter. So its important to choose your handle carefully if you have a company or product that you are trying to promote. Choosing an appropriate handle (one that is very similar to your company/product name) will make it much easier for people to find you in search, locate your updates and interact with you.
3. Tweet Regularly
By sending out regular updates your information is going to show up more often and more people will want to follow you.
It is important to have your potential followers in mind when you send out tweets. You want to make sure that you are offering helpful and interesting information, not just promoting your product. Twitter is a tool but the people that use it are not. Just like in the “real world” responding to what others have to offer will help strengthen relationships.
Sending out a few tweets a couple of times a day will keep people engaged. If you send out too many tweets you risk annoying people and losing followers.
For more on regular tweeting, see tip #7.
4. Send Picture Tweets
People love pictures! Including a picture in your tweet will add a lot of interest and your followers will most likely click on it out of curiosity. When someone only has a few minutes to breeze through their twitter stream they may be more likely to check out a photo than read a blog post.
When you include pictures in your updates you add variety to the information you are sharing which means that people will be more engaged and more likely to follow you.
5. Use Hashtags
Using a hashtag (this symbol #) when communicating in twitter will help your information show up in search results. Hashtags help bring all related tweets into one place, organizing the information and making it easier to find.
By adding a hashtag to your tweet it will show up in the stream with all other tweets using that same hashtag. This means that anyone searching for updates on that topic will see your tweet and will become a potential follower. You can add hashtags in the body of your tweet or at the end. A tweet with hashtags would look something like this
“Can’t wait to #travel today, heading to #Peru” or “It’s 6am, can’t wait to start this day! #traveling #Peru.”
6. Use Mentions
A mention is a way to send a specific message to another twitter user. It is kind of like a public email message. A tweet using a mention would look something like this:
“@BryanMHaines loved these Ecuador travel tips.”
A mention is a great way to share content with other users. If you review a product, you can mention the creator in a tweet and let them know about the review. Maybe you want to let an industry influencer about a new post? A mention is a great way to get their attention.
A retweet (RT) is similar to a mention, because it will also get their attention. Retweets are a good way to strengthen relationships because it shows that person or company that you like their information and you want to share it with your followers. This builds appreciation and they may then begin to follow you, mention you and interact with you in other ways.
7. Use Tweet Old Post
While actual interaction is important, sometime schedules don’t work. We use a free plugin called Tweet Old Post to help. The concept is simple:
We connect the WordPress plugin to our Twitter account for the site. After adjusting the settings, the plugin automatically shares posts from the blog archive.
Isn’t this spam? No, not at all. The plugin actually shares relevant content that your Twitter followers are looking for.
Settings include: custom hashtags (see tip #5), tweet frequency and quantity, link shorter (like bit.ly or tinyurl), posts and/or pages and categories to use. This is a valuable tool for sharing your content with readers. Be sure to include a hashtag on each tweet to broaden the reach.
Bonus Tip: How We Manage Twitter (Hootsuite)
We manage a number of Twitter accounts – generally one per site, and our personal accounts. We also manage a few client accounts. To keep avoid continually logging in / logging-out of Twitter, we use Hootsuite. It comes with both free and pro options. Instead of viewing each account separately, they are all available on one dashboard.
In addition to Twitter, Hootsuite also manages Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, foursquare, WordPress and MySpace. You can signup for a free account (not a trial) or the pro version (unlimited social profiles and RSS feeds).
What’s you Twitter tip? How do you use Twitter to get traffic?