Twitter is a great tool for bloggers and businesses alike. However not everyone is using it to their advantage. It might be due to fear, unsure if the service is for them, or how to use Twitter. That is quite alright as this is a Twitter Guide that hopefully covers as many angles to help anyone on their way.
A Little Twitter History
Before getting into the tips and tools of this Twitter guide, it’s important to know a little history behind Twitter. Twitter was opened to the public in July 2006. It was originally dubbed a microblogging social network that people could connect in 140 characters or less. Now, this is not really suppose to be the daily happenings like “I am brushing my teeth” or “I am sitting on the toilet”, but to share meaningful messages that people can actually communicate back and forth.
You can also read in depth about Twitter on Wikipedia.
Why Your Business Or Blog Should Have A Twitter Account
You might be thinking that it’s impossible to market on Twitter… that it might be difficult to throw a campaign together in under 140 characters. It’s not impossible considering that you can insert links to other sites, pictures, and even videos into your Twitter feed. Each tweet is searchable, adding to your authority. This is part of social search… very much a part of search engine optimization.
While you should have a Twitter account, you need to make sure you are taking advantage of the opportunity to connect with others. Brainstorm what you want to do with Twitter in order to fit it into your business plan. You also want to make sure you know exactly what type of audience you are trying to reach or you will be dive bombing to the ground trying to use Twitter.
You might not be comfortable using Twitter, but you can always hire someone to manage your brand’s social network handles if they can do it better. Just make sure that you are still in the loop and your person managing social media marketing campaigns is on the same page as you so you don’t end up butting heads later on.
Strategies For Marketing Your Blog Or Business On Twitter
This part of the Twitter guide are tips that may help you. Some may be useless for your particular business, but others may be a great fit. Use what works for you. The important part is to remember that the end result should be a return on investment, which is new followers, subscribers, engagement with your followers, and ultimately… buyers.
Start Twitter chats or events.
Twitter chats or events are normally 1-2 hours long, depending on how many are attending. These need to be carefully planned and you should have a list of questions. Normally having a list of 10 questions prepared is great as it gives a lot of room for discussion and takes time.
Twitter tends to have a more serious handle on hashtags, mainly due to the fact that they started this trend. It is a great way to track interests. Some people will follow specific hashtags. For example, I normally follow #blogging and #wordpress.
Some people will actually ask questions and use hashtags, so if you want to capitalize on those asking questions on Twitter, check to see if people are using hashtags related to your niche.
Use Twitter lists.
Twitter lists allow you to organize your followers into their interests, rather then their news getting lost amongst the masses. The fact that you keep up with their information keeps them engaged and eager to re-tweet your posts, favorite them, or reply.
Utilize your Twitter favorites.
Those favorites should be geared to increasing your authority. Don’t be shy by clicking the star next to a tweet that is valuable to your followers.
Aim to connect with at least 5- 20 people you follow or have just started following.
Those people don’t always have to be different people, but just interacting breaks up your Twitter stream from all the auto-tweets you’ve scheduled.
Conduct giveaways and contests.
You’ve heard this before, at least for increasing traffic to your blog, but the same can be said for contests on any social network. The prize doesn’t have to be huge, but it has to be interesting to make the return on investment worth it… in this case either new followers or new clients.
Some people are eager to answer questions, even if you know the answer. It is always a nice ice breaker.
Tweet and re-tweet more than just your own content.
It can’t all just be about you. Some of your visitors and followers are coming to you for the first time. They might know some of the other top dogs in your niche or perhaps others, this helps with creating both trust, and sharing other quality content to build your authority.
Capitalize on Marketing on Twitter With Some of These Tools
In this part of the Twitter guide, I have put together a list of various Twitter tools that you may like to try out that I use. A lot of people have their own personal favorites and I’m not going to discourage you from yours. What works best for me, may not always work well for you.
However, if you are finding it difficult to market yourself on Twitter, you might want to take a look.
Handy Twitter Tools
These are tools I love to use that do the job I need them to do. I know some of you might have your own, but feel free to compare the tools in this Twitter guide and see what works best for you.
Hootsuite – Hootsuite is great as it offers automatic and scheduled content syndication to several social networks, statistics, and more. The nifty thing is being able to have several streams open at the same time.
Dlvr.it – Dlvr.it allows you to schedule and automatically syndicate not just your own feed, but others too. You can publish on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and more.
Tweetchat – Tweetchat is very simplistic, but it is an excellent tool to try to keep up with Twitter chats or events. I find this handy for just keeping one thing opened as I like to keep it simple, especially in a Twitter chat that has hundreds of people jumping into the conversation.
Twitter Plugins for WordPress Sites
It’s important to note that you may not want to load your site up with a lot of plugins. You might manually code social sharing buttons, or use third party tools to automatically syndicate your posts to Twitter. These are merely suggestions for WordPress plugins to use that deal with sharing content to Twitter.
Revive Old Post – This plugin does exactly what its name says it does. It takes old content at random and makes it fresh by automatically posting it to your Twitter stream.
WP to Buffer – This tool allows you to share to different social networks including Twitter. However, it also allows you to schedule your posts to publish when you want it to.
DiggDigg – This tool allows you to share to different social networks including Twitter.
JetPack – JetPack has a lot of different extensions, but a few of them like Publicize and Social Sharing are good getting posts shared out to Twitter as well as other social networks.
WordPress SEO by Yoast – While this plugin is mostly for SEO, it has a social section that you can customize how you want your posts to look on Twitter. You will need to validate your Twitter card before being able to use it. Note: If you use the Open Graph for WordPress SEO, you will need to turn off the Open Graph in JetPack as these plugins will conflict.
Third Party Twitter Tools for More Re-Tweets
Social search is very important, so you might want to take a 15 to 30 minutes in a week to try one or both of these services that allow you to get more tweets and other social network shares.
Triberr – Triberr allows you to connect with bloggers and get your content shared.
JustRetweet – This is a service that bloggers can take advantage of in getting more social sharing for their posts. It’s also a way to widen their blog circles.
Free and Premium Twitter Campaign Services
I am sharing services that I have used and have found reliable in my own Twitter marketing campaigns.
Twitter Ads – This is Twitter’s own ad campaign system.
SponsoredTweets – SponsoredTweets is an Izea company. You can have real Twitter users tweet or re-tweet your content out to their followers. The fees depend on your needs, and you set the price, and approve who can tweet out your campaign. They give you some information about each Twitter user that allows you to decide if they are worth using to tweet our your advertisement.
Twitter Guide Summary
You don’t have to spend oodles of time on Twitter to get yourself out there. As mentioned earlier it can take 15-30 minutes each week to engage, and you can still automate the other content. The tools in this Twitter guide will also help make your social media marketing strategy a little more streamline.
Don’t worry about the follower count. Worry more if your followers are not engaging with you. Worry about what you are tweeting. You might want to sign up for Kred, or try Brandwatch to check out how much you are really influencing your followers on Twitter, as well as other social networks.
Hopefully this guide will help you if you are new to Twitter, or have been trying to figure out Twitter for some time.
How often do you use Twitter to engage with others? Do you automatically syndicate your content?
Have you had success on Twitter? If so, what tips worked for you?