Social media and blogging go hand in hand. Each platform has its pros and cons and can be used in unique ways to drive traffic to your blog and help you connect with other bloggers. For the next few weeks of Blogging Basics, Lindsay and I will be sharing how each social media platform can be used by bloggers. Today we are kicking off with Twitter.
How to Use Twitter as a Blogger
Twitter, in my opinion, is the fastest paced social media platform. I will fully admit that I don’t use it to the extent that I should. Having said that, in my defense (and many others as well I would imagine) I have a job. During the working hours I can not be on Twitter engaging with the people. I wish I could but I can’t. Therefore I often feel like I am a day late and a dollar short and showing up late to the Twitter party. I comment and reply when I can but Twitter is the most in-the-moment platform. Oftentimes a conversation is over by the time I get to jump in hours later.
I don’t let that stop me though and neither should you.
Twitter has lots to offer you as a blogger and you should take advantage of those things and build on them.
Twitter is great for creating a sense of community in my opinion. Because it is so in the moment, it is like having conversations. Take advantage of this and jump in and start interacting. If someone tweets you be sure to respond, even if it isn’t right away. As in life, nobody likes to be ignored!
Twitter chats are an amazing way to expand on community. A Twitter chat is created by a person or a small group of people and it is often based on one topic where a mediator may ask questions or give topics for discussion. There usually is a chat specific hashtag to be used as well. People tweet their replies. Chats are fast paced and often involve tons of people at once. You can learn so much and make great connections in Twitter chats. I recommend trying some and marking your calendar for those chats that you don’t want to miss. I highly recommend using TweetDeck for Twitter chats. It makes managing chats so much easier. Twitter chats can be a blog post all on their own and one that will be coming soon!
Sharing your latest posts on Twitter is a great way to get your blog noticed. You can set it up so that your latest blog posts are automatically shared on Twitter. Schedule some promotions throughout the day, worded differently of course, and increase your reach. Do you have bloggers sponsoring you as well? Share their posts on Twitter too.
I do find some great blogs to find based on other bloggers’ tweets. If you find something you relate to or find worthy of sharing by all means do. If you are promoting someone’s work try to remember to add a period before the @ sign. Why? If you just tweet @ it goes to that person and your mutual followers. By simply tweeting “[email protected]” all of those people’s followers can see the tweet as well, even if they aren’t following you. It extends the reach of the tweet.
Setting up promotions is easy to do and can be done using any scheduling tool. Hootsuite is my go to for Twitter scheduling. I recently added Hootlet to my browser toolbar and it has made sharing any post I find on the Internet simple and easy to do. Buffer works just as well. If you use WordPress be sure to check out CoSchedule. Don’t just use your scheduling tool for promotions….use it to schedule your own tweets. Ask questions to engage your followers. Post pictures. Schedule items throughout the day to maintain some form of presence.
Connect with Brands
Twitter allows you the opportunity to connect with brands and companies. Have a great experience? Share it! The opposite is true too. I have found that when I have had a bad experience and shared it, the company often will jump in and try rectify the situation.
If you share a photo of your outfit of the day be sure to add the brands you are wearing. Sharing a photo of your home decor? Add the stores you purchased the items from. Simply search for the brand/store. Just about every company has a Twitter account.
You may have tons of people that you follow and more often than not, may never see their tweets unless you go directly to their profile. There are so many Twitter accounts that you can begin to feel like you are lost in the shuffle. To avoid this feeling create lists and you will feel like your feed is much more manageable and you won’t run the risk of missing something important.
How to Create a List
Log into your Twitter account and find your profile page. Click on your small profile picture on the Twitter navigation bar. A drop down menu will appear. Click on “Lists”.
Click on Create New List.
Name your list and decide if you want it private or public. Then add those you want included on that specific list. Now each time you go to Lists (just under your header photo) you will see your lists. Click on any one of them and you will be able to see those people’s tweets, retweets etc. It’s a great way to quickly cut through some of the clutter that can easily clog up a Twitter feed in my opinion.
Here’s another thing that I don’t do often enough. Using hashtags allows you and others to find people with similar interests or tweets on similar topics. There’s a fine line with hashtags though. Keep them relevant and keep them limited. Too many and you run the risk of looking spammy.
Tie in Your Branding
Twitter is a great place to carry over your branding. It allows you to upload your own profile photo and header and lets you customize colors as well.
Try to choose a Twitter handle that resembles your other social media names. You want people to be able to recognize you and your blog. As you can see, my Twitter is a direct reflection of my blog.
When creating your Twitter bio try to let readers know what you like and what they can expect from you. Provide a link to your blog so your followers have easy access. Listing your general location can come in handy as well. You get limited space to sell yourself so use it wisely.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Twitter limits the amount of characters you can use so keep it short and to the point. many of the aforementioned scheduling tools will shorten the URLs which is key.
- Be yourself! Let your personality shine through.
- Try using IFFT. Simply put, IFFT allows you to create “recipes” that make your workload so much easier. For example, let’s say you want to create a recipe that simply states that each time you post a photo to Instagram, you want that photo to be posted to Twitter at the same time. You can use a recipe that allows that. If you check out this site be prepared to be amazed at all of the possibilities and options available to you. IFFT can help you increase your presence on Twitter in a multitude of ways.
- As is the case with any social media platform, getting your blog out there and read is so much easier when you have great content.
- Be sure you make it easy for others to share your work by using social media share buttons at the end of each post.
- Be polite! If someone goes out of their way to share your work show some gratitude and acknowledge their efforts. Everyone likes to feel appreciated and it helps to build a relationship.
- Follow bloggers in your niche (if you have one!).
- Use Twitter to your advantage. Out of ideas as to what to write about? Take a look at your Twitter feed. You’re sure to find some hot topics there. Many people ask for help on Twitter which may lead to a great tutorial for you.
Be sure to check out how Lindsay recommends using Twitter as a blogger!