Twitter can be a great social media platform for helping bloggers expand their reach. With the use of hashtags, huge audiences from your industry or niche can be found easily. You can also grow your blog following by having your current readers share your posts through Twitter, or retweet your tweets. Here are a few instructions to help any blogger get started on Twitter.
Your Twitter profile
Before you start tweeting to broadcast your messages, take a look at your profile. Do you have a profile picture? Twitter profiles without a picture look shady and untrustworthy. So do profiles without full bios. Unfortunately, your bio has to be short, so only include the most pertinent information. Twitter allows you to put a website in your Twitter profile, so stick the URL to your blog there.
Having a cover photo and background picture makes your profile look so much more professional than the default ones provided by Twitter. You can copy a common marketing strategy many businesses use and create a background image with your blog URL, social media contact information, or a CTA.
What should you tweet?
Before you send out your first tweet, sit down and think about your goals. This should partly tie into a social media strategy you’ve already made for your blog (or are in the process of making). Each social media platform is different, so while your tone or style for Twitter might already be set out in your strategy, think about what you can accomplish with Twitter. Are you mainly trying to show your readers a social side? Are you working on gaining more traffic? Are you trying to establish yourself as an expert in your niche? Or are you networking? It’s important to pick one of those objectives and diligently stick to it in your tweeting ventures.
Once you pick your objective, it should be easier to develop a content strategy for your tweets. Many bloggers find success in sharing the title of their individual blog posts – which means you’ll have to keep Twitter in mind when you create your titles. You can also share excerpts from the text of your post, especially if it’s a pithy quote or juicy tidbit. Asking your followers questions that you would genuinely want an answer to is also a good strategy.
While you’re learning Twitter, explore hashtags that are relevant to your industry or niche. Many of them will be similar to Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram hashtags. Follow accounts that are similar to yours or interesting to you or your readers. Retweet tweets from others as well as posting your own original messages. Once you’ve learned the hashtags that you need, include them in some of your tweets, but limit it to 2-3 hashtags per tweet.
The more you use Twitter and follow accounts that are similar to yours, the more comfortable you will be with your tweeting. You’ll learn the best strategies either through example or through trial and error.
Quick tip: Use a URL shortening service if you are sharing links in your tweets. The long URLs will take up too much of your 140 characters. Websites like Bitly offer the service for free.
How often should you tweet?
Twitter is kind of like Pinterest when it comes to posting frequency. You should post multiple times a day, but it is possible to get carried away and annoy your followers. However, that would take many, many annoying tweets to get that far. Tweeting daily is the best policy, but every couple of days is adequate.
Twitter, your blog, and other social media platforms
You can use embedded posts, apps, and plugins to connect your Twitter account to your blog and other social media platforms. Use a Twitter social media button on your “About Me” page and on blog posts. You can embed a tweet to encourage users to follow you or respond to you via Twitter.
Twitter can also be connected to your Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine accounts. Use an app to show your latest tweets on your Facebook page.
Measuring your Twitter success
Just as Facebook and Pinterest have an in-house analytics program, so does Twitter. Use ads.twitter.com to access statistics on your tweets and followers. This program mainly exists to keep track of paid campaigns on Twitter, but is accessible for free. Analytics will tell you how many people clicked your link to go to your website, as well as favorites, retweets, and replies. This can help you see not only how much of your traffic comes through Twitter, but also which tweets attract the most clicks or shares.
Use Twitter analytics in conjunction with Google analytics. Twitter analytics can tell you which of your tweets were the most effective, but Google analytics can tell you if your website lived up to its Twitter promises. If traffic that comes through Twitter has a high bounce rate or doesn’t stay very long, you can use that information to work on user interface techniques.
For more information on how to use Pinterest as a blogger, check out our blog post “8 Tips to Help Bloggers Get Started on Pinterest.”