Are you a blogger or brand that still doesn’t use Twitter to connect with your audience? With almost 1 billion registered users, and over 500 million tweets sent out per day, it’s safe to say you’re missing out on a ton of potential traffic and leads.
What’s Stopping You?
So why aren’t you using Twitter? Are you intimidated by the fast pace of Twitter, and wondering how you could possibly use it effectively to drive traffic to your blog ?
Trust me, I get it. It wasn’t long ago that I felt just like you. I had no desire to get to know Twitter.
In fact, I thought Twitter was something for teenagers to keep up with pop-culture. Frankly, I had no desire to have my cellphone blowing up with notifications about what Taylor Swift was seen wearing.
After seeing Twitter follow and share buttons on all of the best blogs, I knew I had to be missing something.
Soon after I started a Twitter account, and I haven’t looked back since. Today, Twitter is responsible for roughly 25% of my website’s traffic!
Of course, that didn’t just happen by signing up for a Twitter account. Like any other social media platform, it takes learning how to use it effectively and developing a strategy.
A Blogger’s Guide To Mastering The Power Of Twitter
This post contains affiliate links and if you use these links to make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. I only recommend products that I would use myself.
My business isn’t the only one that benefits by using Twitter. Check out some of these statistics before counting Twitter out of your social media marketing strategy.
As of May 2017, Twitter reports that 66% of users have discovered a new small to medium sized business on Twitter.
Even more impressive, 94% of users plan to buy from a business they follow, and 69% of users have bought from a business because of something the saw on Twitter.
Those numbers blew my mind, so if those numbers get you excited, too, it’s worth your time to get acquainted with Twitter.
Once you understand how Twitter works and how to maximize it’s potential, you’ll wonder how you ever survived as a blogger without it.
So, what does it take to be successful on Twitter as a blogger or small business?
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Your Twitter Profile
Setting up your Twitter account and profile seems easy enough, and it is, but use your account and profile settings to your advantage.
Your Twitter handle is your username preceded by the @ symbol. Your @handle must be unique, can be any combination of letters, symbols, and numbers, and you have 15 characters to work with. Don’t get too crazy with your @handle, it’s how you’ll be known and found on Twitter.
The right Twitter handle can go a long way. Try to get as close to your brand name as you can, or at least close to the usernames you use on other social media platforms like Instagram & Pinterest, for consistency. For instance, my Twitter handle is @next_levelblog.
Your profile picture should be 400 x 400 pixels and ideally, the same photo you use on your other social media accounts.
This is especially important if you’re new to Twitter, so your Facebook and Pinterest followers will recognize your brand and follow you on Twitter, too.
If you have a logo for your blog that you are using to brand your business, do some A/B testing with using it as your profile photo.
I have tested this myself, and when I used a personal photo, my new-follower rate dropped!
Yes, people do want a personal connection with brands, but apparently some are more comfortable with following a business, when the logo is used.
Your results may be different, but it’s worth testing out if you’re selling a product or service.
Your cover photo is pretty much your personal billboard and should be treated as such.
You can draw attention to anything you want here, and it’s a great place to put your logo if you decide to use a personal photo for your profile picture.
Twitter recommends a cover photo size of 1500 x 500, and Snappa is a great tool for creating a stand-out cover photo. They offer predesigned templates that are ready for your customization. Their templates even account for the “invisible area” of the photo, as seen in gray below. You can read more about this in Snappa‘s blog post The Perfect Twitter Header Size For 2017.
Your Twitter Bio
Your bio consists of only 160 characters so don’t waste them!
What do you want Twitter users to know about you and your brand? Think about your blog or brand, and a few of your hobbies. Don’t bother with hashtags in your bio, but use keywords so your bio is searchable.
Add a link to your website in your bio. Yes, there’s a separate field for your website’s url, but why not drive your new Twitter followers to a cool opt-in and collect their email address? Or what about straight to your About Page, so they can learn more about you and your blog?
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Twitter allows you to customize the color scheme of your profile and feed. You can choose from several colors or enter a hex code to match your branding.
This feature is available on the desktop version of Twitter only, found in your Profile Settings.
Using Your Twitter Account
Now that you’ve set up a great profile that let’s the world know who you are and what your blog’s about, there’s a few things you should know about being engaged on Twitter, and how that engagement will effect your success.
Following on Twitter
Just like any other platform, when you follow a user on Twitter, that user’s tweets will start showing up in your feed. But because Twitter moves so fast, you won’t see everything posted by your followers, especially once you’re following hundreds, or even thousands, of followers.
Thousands? Yes, following thousands of users is not uncommon, depending on the popularity of your account. You can follow up to 1,000 people a day, and up to 5,000 total, until your follower ratio improves.
I suggest following 100 (relevant) people a day for the first 30 days. Don’t worry, many of them will follow you back, and you’ll have a healthy number of people to share your content with.
Finding Twitter Accounts To Follow
Twitter makes it easy for you to find relevant accounts to follow. Follow people and businesses related to your niche, influencers, and, of course, other bloggers.
You can search by keyword, by hashtags, by Twitter handle, by name, and even by phone number. Once you start typing in the search box, Twitter will start making suggestions. Remember the tips I gave you about your profile? This is one of the benefits of those tips – making it easy to find you.
Twitter will also make recommendations on who you should follow, offering suggestions similar to others you already follow. Their suggestions improve over time and become eerily intuitive.
Find a competitor in your niche and go to their profile. Check out who they are following and chances are, many of them will be of interest to you, too.
You can also do the same with their followers, since they’ll probably be your target market. If they’re interested in your competitors content, maybe they’ll be interested in yours, too. You’re welcome 🙂
Getting Followers On Twitter
Providing great content, using hashtags, getting retweets, and including a Twitter follow button on your website will all influence how quickly your number of followers will grow.
What’s great about Twitter is that once you follow someone, they will usually follow you back. Which means, if you follow my earlier advice of following 100 users a day, you’ll have 1,000 followers in no time!
Creating Content For Twitter
Even though it’s fairly easy to gain followers on Twitter, it’s still important to provide great content. If your tweets are spammy or full of You, You, You content, you’ll quickly find those valuable followers dwindling.
Mix up your content! With all of the new accounts you’re following, you should be coming across a ton of content worth sharing.
Most blogs have a Twitter share-button on their posts, so be a team-player and share that awesome article you just read with your Twitter followers.
Of course it’s perfectly fine to share your own content, that’s the point of all this, right? Just mix it up. I suggest no more than a third of your tweets should be your own blog content.
What’s A Tweet?
A tweet, put simply, is any message posted on Twitter, and can contain text, images, gifs, or video.
Twitter allows only 140 characters of text for a tweet. Because you have a very limited number of characters, you’ll have to learn to convey your message with very few words.
In fact, the magic number for a tweet is around 100 characters, which leaves room for retweeters to add their input.
This may take some getting used to, but with a little practice, you’ll be a Tweeter in no time.
Personally, my tweets consist of an image with text overlay, and use my 140 characters to share my link, hashtags, and a call to action. I also include Twitter handles of accounts that retweet (more on that later in this post), for maximum exposure of my content.
Images used in tweets should be rectangular and the recommended size is 440 x 220. Using images in your tweets is essential to getting noticed on Twitter.
In fact, using images will get your tweets shared 150% more often than without an image. Tweets with images also receive 18% more click-throughs, so I definitely recommend using an image of some kind with every tweet.
Using images is a great way for you to save those precious 140 characters, too. Use text over your image to convey your message, so readers know what you’re saying before reading the actual text.
Here again, using a free tool like Snappa can help you create tweet-worthy images. They have a built in library of royalty-free images for your use, and templates to make designing your tweet image a breeze.
Until recently, Twitter would reduce your character count when sharing an image, making it even more difficult to convey your message with text, but they have stopped doing that. Now you can share up to 4 images with every tweet.
Retweet your followers’ content, too, so they know you’re engaging with their tweets. As long as it fits your brand, it’s a great way to fill up your content calendar and help someone else at the same time. That’s always a good thing, plus they’ll probably return the favor.
The almighty hashtag. It’s become almost a standard with all social media posts, but using hashtags actually originated on Twitter.
The hashtag is used to tag topic, so any tweet using the hashtag can be added to the virtual conversation.
Using a hashtag automatically gets Twitter to index your topic, which then makes that hashtag searchable. When you search a particular hashtag, every tweet using that hashtag is listed.
Search a hashtag related to your industry and find new people to follow that post relevant content. Pretty sweet, right?
Which means when used properly, hashtags can get your tweets in front of a much larger audience, extending far outside of just your followers. More eyes on your content means more opportunities to gain even more Twitter followers and drive more traffic back to your website.
This is one of the reasons why having a nicely branded profile is so important. If a new user finds your content through a hashtag, they’ll most likely click on your profile to see if you’re worth following.
They may even click on that awesome opt-in you added to your bio. Cha-ching…another email subscriber, and another fan of your content. Thank you almighty hashtag!
Hashtags are great for joining in a trending conversation but don’t go overboard. Using more than two hashtags in a tweet significantly lowers your chances of having your content retweeted. And remember, hashtags are optional not mandatory, so don’t use them unless they’re truly relevant.
Fun fact: The first hashtag was #barcamp, used on Twitter in August of 2007.
How Often To Post
The average tweet-life is only 18 minutes, so it’s perfectly fine to tweet several times a day. I personally tweet about seven times throughout the day, and I recommend you do the same to stay engaged with your audience.
That doesn’t mean tweeting your latest blog post every hour, but instead, share industry-related information that your audience will enjoy. Quotes are popular on Twitter, and get shared 58% more than any other tweet, so that’s another idea for content.
Since your audience on Twitter is global, your tweets are going out to multiple time zones.
When you publish a new post, tweet it four times throughout the first day, twice the second day, once a day for the next week, then once a week for the next month. This is not overkill. Due to the pace of Twitter, the chances are slim that the same user will see it multiple times.
Being engaged with your audience on Twitter is crucial to your success. Tweeting seven or more times a day sounds like a lot, but you don’t have to spend the day glued to your Twitter notifications to stay engaged. There are apps and tools that can automate this process by allowing you to schedule posts ahead of time.
Buffer and Hootsuite are two options that will make your Twitter life easier. Crowdfire is also a pretty cool resource for scheduling, and has some other engagement features, even with the free version.
Even if you do schedule your tweets, I would suggest spending 20 – 30 minutes a day on Twitter. This gives you a chance to respond to direct messages and engage with some of your audience’s content.
ReTweets & Likes
Sharing another users tweet on Twitter is called a retweet. Be sure that the content you’re retweeting will be valuable to your audience. Don’t just blindly retweet, since your retweet is like your stamp of approval.
You can also “like” a tweet with the heart icon, to give it thumbs-up without retweeting.
Retweets and “likes” are two of the tools on Twitter to engage with your audience.
Twitter is great for getting your message in front of an unlimited number of users. Usually getting your tweet shared is as easy as starting your tweet with “Please RT. If it’s valuable information, that’s usually all it takes.
If you really want to get your content out there, there are several users that will retweet your content just for including their handle or hashtag in your tweet! These accounts have accumulated thousands of followers as a result, and that means tens of thousands of new eyes on your tweets!
My account for Next Level Blogging is one of them, so follow me on Twitter start using #nextlevelblogging in your tweets for a ReTweet!
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Replies & Mentions
When you reply to a tweet, Twitter will automatically tag the @handle of the original sender. This feature assures that the original tweeter is notified of your reply and it will also appear in their feed.
You can use the @handle of any user that you want to tag in your tweet also called a Mention. They’ll receive a notification of tweet and it will appear in their feed,even if they don’t follow you .
If you start your tweet with @mention, only the user mentioned will see the tweet in their feed, and their followers. If you want your followers to also see the tweet, move the @mention to somewhere else in your tweet, instead of the beginning.
Another ProBound Tip
Anytime you mention an influencer in one of your blog posts, be sure to tag their @handle on Twitter with the post link.
Many influencers are active on Twitter and if they like your post there’s a good chance they’ll retweet it to their audience.
Sending A Direct Message (DM)
If you want to keep your conversation with a user private, you can send a direct message, known as a DM on Twitter.
It’s similar to Facebook messenger, in the sense that if you tag more than one user in the message, all replies will be seen by everyone tagged. If you want to send the same message to multiple users, you’ll have to send them separately if you want the replies to your message to be private.
Many Twitter users send automated DMs when you start following them, thanking you for the follow and suggesting you check out their blog, Youtube channel, eBook, etc.
This is done with a third party app, and although it seems like a great timesaver, don’t do it! You could use a valuable follower with this tactic, since it’s seen as tacky, and impersonal.
If you receive a new follower that has the potential to be a customer, send a friendly DM. Thank them for following you, and open up the dialogue by asking if there’s anything they need help with, or something similar. Don’t pitch a product with this first contact. Just let them know you’re paying attention and are there to help.
Add them to a List, so you can catch all of their content and engage with it.
Since you’re probably not staring at your Twitter Feed 24/7, it’s easy to miss out on content that you would love. That’s where Twitter Lists come in.
Twitter Lists help you sort users by any category that you set up. Lists can be public or private, depending on your needs. When you click on your list, you can view just the content of those on the list, instead of seeing everyone in your feed. You do not have to be following a user to add them to a list.
Private Lists can only be seen by you, and doesn’t notify the user that they’re on the list.
Using private lists comes in handy for several reasons incuding:
- Keeping track of potential customers tweets, so you can engage with them (as described above)
- Watching your competitors content and engagement habits, to stay competitive and in the loop on trends
- To keep track of users that regularly and retweet your content so you can return the favor
Public Lists can be viewed by anyone, and a notification is sent to users added to a list.
A public list might include:
- Influencers in your industry that regularly tweet sharable content
- Bloggers that you follow and enjoy added to niche-specific lists
Those are just examples but should give you a pretty good idea of how to use lists.
Check out an influencers lists. If the’yre public, you can copy them, and follow the relevant users.
Another ProBound Tip
Check to see who else is on any lists that other users have added you to. They’re most likely similar in some way, and might be competition. Add them to your private “Competitors” list.
Getting Your Blog Content Shared On Twitter
Now that you’re actively engaged on Twitter and have a healthy amount of followers, how do you get people visiting your blog to share your content on Twitter for their audience?
As a blogger, you probably already know the importance of social media share buttons on your blog. You may even have Twitter share buttons already in use. If you do, be sure to add your Twitter @handle in the settings of whatever plugin or service you’re using. That way, you’ll be tagged when your content is shared.
Sumo offers a free tool to add social share buttons, along with several other free tools that will help your blog. I recently wrote a post about the free tools from Sumo, One Powerful Tool That Will Skyrocket Your Blog’s Growth.
I’m sure you’ve noticed the blue boxes throughout this post asking for a Click-To-Tweet. If you haven’t yet, go ahead and click one of them and you’ll test-drive the Click-To-Tweet plugin.
It’s free and offers several templates to choose from, so they look great in any post.
Click-To-Tweet gives the option of having your blog post url included in the tweet, as well as the option to tag your @handle.
Pretty cool, for a free plugin, right?
What Do You Think?
There you have it, you can now master the power of Twitter to promote your blog and brand. I hope your fears of using Twitter have subsided, and you have a better understanding of how Twitter can help you reach more of your target audience.
This is just the beginning of everything you can do with Twitter, so be sure to sign up for my email list here, so you’ll get notified of my future Twitter posts.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like my post Ignite Your Pinterest Growth With The Ultimate Pinterest Profile.
Did you learn anything new? Do you already use Twitter and have a tip you’d like to share? I love getting your feedback, so please leave a comment below.
Don’t forget to connect with me on Twitter and use #nextlevelblogging for retweets of your content.
Until next time, Happy Blogging!