(This is a follow-up article to the post, “How To Use Twitter To Leverage Your Blog (Part One).”)
In the first part of this article, I wrote about how the impact of the StalkDaily and Mikeyy worm exploits on Twitter were, in a roundabout way, beneficial to this blog. By providing timely and helpful material to folks who were infected by the worms, I received an enormous amount of re-tweets, traffic and praise on Twitter and around the internet, and this blog’s ‘status’ rose considerably.
In this post I will share what I learned about this experience. Can anyone use Twitter to leverage their blog? Is Twitter a great source of traffic? Will Twitter followers become part of your blog’s community, and even subscribe?
Yes, yes and yes, and it can all be achieved by observing a few simple steps.
Build Your Twitter Profile
This one is a no-brainer, right? Without lots of followers, there’s not much point in sharing your own content, is there? Well, yes and no. I think it’s far more important to have the right types of people following you than to have an enormous amount of folk who have little to no interest in what you tweet about. Would you rather have five hundred followers who regularly clicked on your links and engaged with you and your content, or ten thousand who rarely did and didn’t care either way?
From my own experience, I’ve found that each time I tweet a link to my own content (either on my blog or in a guest post), I get an immediate wave of traffic of about 2-5 per cent of my total follow count. With re-tweets this number magnifiers, but if the right person (or people) hits the re-tweet button, we’re off to the races.
I’m increasingly in agreement with the opinion that our network of followers should be as optimal and relative as possible to our own interests. Otherwise it’s very easy to get lost in the noise, losing sight of those signals you desire, and Twitter can become a frustrating experience. To best accomplish this, I strongly suggest a network blend of all manner of Twitter users, large and small, names and newcomers, as long as they remain relative to your niche. (More on this later.)
Be Active On Twitter
The simple reason why I was able to offer timely updates on the worm exploits is because I was on Twitter when they began to infect the network. I am, in fact, on Twitter a lot. This is obviously of some benefit to this blog, although occasionally to my wife’s chagrin.
The reality is you don’t have to be on Twitter 24/7 to be able to maximise its benefits for you as a blogger, but you do have to be fairly active, I think, both to build trust and interest from your followers and also so that you are able to best utilise breaking events and relevant news stories to your advantage.
Twenty hours a day is too much; twenty minutes, not enough. And if at all possible, it’s better to be active for the same period of time each day than to flitter in and out randomly.
Share Great Content – Not Just Your Own
Nobody likes a spammer. Even spammers unfollow other spammers on Twitter. If all you do is share your own stuff, people will rapidly lose interest. Approximately fifty per cent of all my tweets on the network are sharing content of some kind – links to other blogs and websites – and I do this somewhere between 30-70 times per day. I submit a tweet about my own stuff usually once per day, shortly after I’ve written an article. I may from time to time submit it again if it’s timely. But that’s it.
It’s All In The Timing
I mentioned timing above and it’s extremely relevant – for your tweeted content to ‘have legs’, it needs to be re-tweeted. Re-tweets spread through the Twittersphere and can give you enormous reach. This is especially true if you are fortunate enough to be re-tweeted (or mentioned indirectly) by a name on Twitter. Hence, it can pay dividends to announce your stuff to the network when it, and especially your key followers, are at their most active.