Twitter really is a blogger's best friend! The beauty of Twitter comes from having the freedom to:
1. Use your blog name as your Twitter name rather than your real name, so people associate your account with your blog more easily.
2. Interact with people you don't know in real life without looking like a weirdo!
The first step is building a following on Twitter. There are lots of ways to do this.
1. In the beginning, the best way is to find blogger's in your field of interest and follow them, hopefully some will follow you back. You now have some people to interact with!
2. Interact with people, it is a social network after all! Don't beg people to follow you, it looks desperate and often puts people off! Just talk to them. It doesn't have to be ground breaking. Did you read a post of theirs you loved? Share it and tag them in the tweet, or tweet them telling them you liked it! It does get easier, and as you build up relationships, you will find yourself having conversations left right and centre!
3. Have a follow button, or a link to follow you on your blog/blog posts. The easier you make it, the more likely someone is to follow you. It's not a treasure hunt with your Twitter page as the prize!
4. Post some non-promo tweets! Just a little update about how your day is going, a picture you want to share, or a question you want to ask, pretty much anything with a little bit of your personality in it. No one wants to follow a robot.
As you interact with people, and post your tweets, people will notice you and may decide to follow you if they like what you are saying. Be yourself, and be real.
So, you've got your first followers, and you want to start promoting your blog. Here's how:
Tweet links to your posts.Add a brief description and a relevant image. Remember, you only have 140 characters. The image uses 23 of them regardless of it's size, and of course your link will use quite a few, so you will have to be creative here.
Tweets links to linky posts.
You will have already promoted the post, but once you have joined a linky, tweet it again using the # of the linky and the tag the hosts into the tweet. I am yet to find a linky where the hosts don't retweet you. The more retweets you get, the more people see your link!
Join in some Twitter chats
Blogging chats on Twitter are a great way to meet other bloggers. At the end, everyone shares their links, but don't just join to plug your link. (And never tweet a link into a chat you aren't involved in - everyone can see what you're doing, and it only serves to annoy people!). Blogger chats are a good way to network with bloggers, share tips and just generally talk all things blog related. There are loads of these chats. My personal favourite is #bdibNA, which takes place 1am UK time on Monday and Friday nights.
Use #s and promo accounts
I think of hashtags as Twitter's filing system. They are used to categorise a tweet. For example, if you write a book review, you would use relevant hashtags such as #bookbloggers, #bookreview etc. They are a brilliant way of getting your tweets seen by people who aren't following you.
Promo accounts are also a good way of getting your tweets seen by non-followers. You simply follow the account, the add their Twitter @ name to your tweet, and they retweet you!
I will be posting a list tomorrow of some of my most tried and tested #s and promo accounts.
Repeat your promo tweets
Twitter is an extremely fast, extremely busy network. It's unlikely each tweet is seen by more than a handful of your followers, so it's important to make sure you tweet your posts links more than once. You don't want to spend all your time there worrying about posting promo tweets though. Use a scheduler so you load all your promo tweets at once then just forget about them. I use Tweetdeck for mine and it's fab! It's free, easy to use and there's no limit to how many tweets you can pre-load (or if there is, I've never hit it and I sometimes schedule a month's tweets in advance!). Remember each tweet has to be unique within a 24 hour period, so change a word, or the order you display things.
Don't be afraid to tag people in your tweets
I'm not for one second suggesting you should tweet your post's link to random people for no apparent reason! If you have mentioned them in your post for some reason, tweet them the link telling them they are mentioned. I also sometimes tweet people a link to a post if I think they will be particularly interested in it. For example, if it's a follow up post and they left a comment on the first part saying they were looking forward to the next part.
And remember to cross promote your accounts. Tweet links to your other social networks!
Twitter can be daunting for people who are new to it. At first I was just like "what the hell?", but trust me, it will grow on you to the point of being your go-to network! If you haven't joined yet, do it! You won't regret it. What have you go to lose? Nothing! But you have everything to gain.
Prior to promoting my posts on Twitter, I was totally lost on how people had hundreds of views and comments. Since joining Twitter and actively promoting my blog there, my daily views exceed my monthly views from my pre-Twitter days. Twitter really is the answer!
Do you love Twitter? If not, what is your go-to network? If you do love it, do you have any tips to add? Let me know in the comments!