The day I first set up this blog back in 2014, I was signed up to every social channel I knew of back then, but Twitter was my least favourite. I barely went on it and literally followed 5 people at the time and had 1 follower – My Mum. Even she was more active than I was! But now, it’s the one channel I get the most engagement on.
I’ve obviously learned a few ‘tricks of the trade’ over the years when it comes down to using Twitter as a blogger (but also during my day job in the marketing industry). That is why I’ve set myself the task of creating A Blogger’s Guide to Twitter.
The Benefits of Twitter
Twitter is the biggest referrer of traffic for my blog when it comes down to all social media channels alone. It beats the likes of Facebook, Pinterest or Google+ and it also has a higher engagement rate too. It’s so easy for your readers to follow you and keep up to date with your content, but is also a great way for your readers to connect with you easily and simply chat.
1 | Choose a handle (username) that is easy for your readers to find – either your blog name or your real name. I mentioned in my things I wish I knew before blogging post that I wish I searched for my old blog name (before the blog rebrand) on social media before buying my domain. It would’ve made things much simpler.
2 | Create a bad-ass bio. You can see what mine displays here, but the best thing is to just be yourself. I’m a lifestyle blogger who blogs life, beauty, blogging tips and a little travel. Therefore, I’ve stated what ‘type’ of blogger I am, three things about me – whether a personality trait or things I love – and finished it off with how people can contact me. It’s as simple as that.
3 | Customise your profile. A profile picture is a good way to start. Typically you’d opt for a photo of yourself – whether a selfie, professional headshot or a full-length portrait someone has taken of you – or you can opt for your blog’s logo. Additionally, edit your settings. Like any accounts you set up online – blogging related or not – there are default settings. Now’s the time to customise them to suit what you want and need. The most important one would be ‘Discoverability’ in my opinion, as this is what’s going to allow your profile to be seen by others without them even clicking on your profile!
4 | Place a Twitter icon, button or link to your profile, onto your blog. I mentioned very briefly in my quick essential steps to starting a blog post, that you should make links to all your social channels easy to find for your readers. Whether this is in the header, footer, sidebar or at the bottom of each post, they should be placed somewhere readers will find them. How else are people going to know you exist on social media?
Tips for Building a Following & Increasing Engagement
1 | Tweet your content. There’s no point promoting the fact you have a Twitter account, if there’s nothing there to follow. Send out a handful of tweets (spaced out to avoid looking like spam) promoting your blog. If you’re new to tweeting, check out relevant blogger’s profiles and see what content they post. Obviously don’t copy them, but it’ll help to give you an idea of tweets people are posting and how others are interacting with that content.
2 | Start following others. Firstly, do not just go following anyone that pops up for the sake of following someone. Be genuine about who you follow – friends, family, favourite brands to keep up to date with, but then blogger’s who are relevant to you to help start building an online community for yourself via Twitter. Start with your niche and then broaden out, but still remain relevant.
3 | Interact with your following. What’s the point in growing an audience if you’re not going to talk to them? Engagement is key. Ask questions or start a poll to gt a conversation going. Better yet, respond to replies and send some love to those who re-tweeted your content. If I tweet a link to a blog post of mine and someone re-tweets this, I always respond with a little thank you to those people, as it genuinely means a lot to me.
4 | Use images. Wordy tweets are fine from time to time and work well for certain content, but adding images is a sure way of attracting more people to your tweets and therefore increasing engagement.
5 | Use relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience, but also keep an eye on those trending #’s too! Is there a hashtag or two trending that you think you could use to your own advantage? Go right ahead and utilise it within your own content. Try to be unique though – trending hashtags/topics share a lot of the same content, so try and find a unique angle if you want to stand out.
6 | Join Twitter Chats. If you haven’t already participated in a Twitter Chat, look through my ultimate list of Twitter Chats and join one this week! These chats are a great way of engaging with others on Twitter in your niche, who you wouldn’t have originally interacted with before. Better yet, once you feel you’ve grasped the ins and outs of Twitter Chats, you could consider finding a gap for a new kind of Twitter Chat and make one of your own to invite others to join. If you do, let me know the details and I shall add it to my list for all to see!
Just a Few Tips
1 | Avoid the ‘PR-Friendly’ statements. We’ve all rocked it in our bio once before, but people are sick of seeing it to be honest. Although it may not be your intention in the slightest, it can appear as a cry for help for brands and agencies to get in touch with you to offer an opportunity.
2 | For the love of god, please do NOT set up any type of automatic DM (Direct Message). This was featured in my annoying blogger habits post, but I’ll reiterate for those who don’t know what this means, or who have it set up and don’t understand why we dislike it so much.
An auto DM (may be called other things too) is a customisable setting you can apply to your Twitter profile which sends followers a Direct Message (DM) once they’ve followed you. A generic template you’ll often find replicated in every auto DM you receive, would be something along the lines of, “Hey, thanks for the follow! I’d love for you to check out my blog at ‘abc’ and follow me on ALL my social media! Thanks x”.
It’s the most irritating thing to receive – alongside those emails offering me $1,405,731 straight to my bank account, because apparently my Grandma was swept of a banana boat and eaten by a shark – because it’s not even genuine.
3 | NEVER follow accounts which simply offer ‘follow for follow’ – #f4f. These are just accounts who want the large following, but quite simply have nothing to show for it. Be genuine. It takes time to build your following, no matter how many people you follow. Typically a lot of people will simply just follow you back – which is nice – but whether they’re a genuine follower or someone who just clicked ‘Follow’ to return the favour, can be difficult to tell at times.
Quite a lengthy post today, but I do hope you’ve found this Blogger’s Guide to Twitter helpful to some extent!
*items may have been gifted to me for review purposes.