By now, ambulance everyone and their mom knows what Twitter is (wait, sale you don’t know what Twitter is? Have you been living under a rock? Kidding… but no seriously. Anyway, if you really don’t know, it’s totally fine. Sometimes rocks can be cozy, right? Just take a second or two to familiarize yourself with Twitter in our Intro to Social Media Tools for Bloggers post before reading on.
If you’re here reading our posts on AmpliFound, chances are you have an interest in the Internet, social media, and blogging. Twitter is a beautiful combination of those three things and can be an incredibly powerful tool for bloggers. Before we go into details about how you can use Twitter to help your blog, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page by describing some basics! This may be enlightening for some, and painfully redundant for others. If you’re in the “others” category, feel free to skip down below to where we get into how to use Twitter as a blogger.
Basics of Twitter
What is a tweet?
A tweet is a 140 character status update
What is a Twitter handle?
A handle is just another name for your username.
What is RT?
RT stands for re-tweet. A re-tweet is when you share someone else’s tweet on your own profile. RT is used as an abbreviation to save on precious, limited number of characters allowed in one tweet.
What is a mention?
A mention is an “@” symbol and someone’s username. When you mention someone, they will receive a notification that they were mentioned by you.
What is a hashtag?
A hashtag is a way to discover other content being shared or discussed on Twitter (or other social networking websites). You can click on the hashtag to see others who are using the hashtag in their tweets. (Here are some fun ones to look at: #HowSeattleRiots, #FirstWorldProblems)
For quite possibly the BEST explanation of how Twitter works at a basic, functional level, check out Mom, This is How Twitter Works.
Using Twitter as a blogger
Okay! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s cover how we can use tweets, mentions, hashtags, and other fancy Twitter features to help you as a blogger. how bloggers can take advantage of tweets, mentions, hashtags, and other fancy Twitter features!
Set a goal
A theme you’ll notice here at AmpliFound, is that we’ll be pushing you to set goals. They don’t have to be big, scary goals per se, but it’s important to understand WHY you’re doing what you’re doing before investing your time in it. Twitter is no different. Is your goal to make connections with other bloggers? Do you want Twitter to serve as an extension of your blog and personal brand? Do you want to show a more human side to yourself and your blog? Or is it simply another way to drive traffic to your blog?
Twitter can help with all of those things!
The best way to get started with Twitter is to begin making connections with others. Follow your friends, bloggers with whom you have relationships, other bloggers you’d like to form relationships with, companies you adore, or people you look up to. Once you start following others, a few will begin to follow you back. Following people you care about gives you content to interact with in your feed and can even help inspire you when thinking of things to write about on your own blog.
The more connections you have, the easier it will be for you to get additional exposure when it comes time to promote yourself (which is okay in moderation!).
Reinforce your blog and personal branding
There are a few things you can do on Twitter to reinforce your personal brand and allow Twitter to act as an extension of your blog.
First, it’s important that when a visitor sees your Twitter profile and your website, that they can tell they’re owned by the same person. Generally, you should use the same profile picture on your website as you do on Twitter so people can recognize you.
Next, you should add a link directly to your blog within your Twitter bio so that people can learn more about you if they don’t already know you, or easily access your blog if they’d like to easily access your blog.
Same goes for your blog itself! Do you link to your Twitter profile in an prominent location on your blog? Featuring your social profiles on your website is another way to get your loyal readers to follow you to continue fostering relationships.
When you’re sharing content from your own blog, use photos from your blog posts in your tweets. Tweets with images have been proven to get much higher engagement than those without. By sharing photos on Twitter that visitors can find in your posts, they are more likely to want to click through and read more, and gives you the opportunity to reinforce your branding.
Drive traffic to your blog
Twitter can be a great way to get new people to visit your blog. For example, if you publish a new post that you think a couple of your connections might enjoy, mention them in your tweet with a link to the post! If they enjoy it, they’ll be more likely to retweet your post, and some of their followers may visit your site to read it as well.
As you write new posts on your blog, don’t be shy! It’s important to tweet them! There is a fine line, however, when it comes to sharing your own content. You want to strike a balance of tweeting your own content, sharing content from other websites, and interacting with other people. A general rule of thumb is to share your post once or twice, and again a couple of days after it has gone live, while sprinkling in content from others so as not to appear too self-promotional.
With Twitter, it all comes back to the connections you make. These connections have so many benefits to you as a blogger; whether they help inspire you to write new content, they introduce you to others who can help you, or help to promote what you’re writing about on your blog! The best piece of advice for bloggers who are either getting started with Twitter, or are looking to get more out of it, is to dive right in and don’t be shy! Regular, continued use of Twitter can be a great way to make connections with others and drive more visitors to your blog.