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How to Use Twitter for Building Your Business and Blog Traffic

How to Use Twitter for Building Your Business and Blog TrafficBy Holly Reisem Hanna

Recently a woman in my local blogging group asked:

“Anyone know much about tweeting? Good “get started how to’s??” I want to drive more traffic to blog and Etsy store … thanks in advance”.

Because so many of you have asked similar questions about Twitter, I thought it would be a good day to discuss how you can use Twitter for building your business and getting traffic to your blog.

For those you who are not familiar with Twitter,  it is a social network that allows you to send out mini updates, or in Twitter lingo, “tweets” in 140 characters or less. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a very basic, fast moving conversation, where profiles contain limited amounts of information, and individuals don’t need permission to be your “friend”.

So how do you use this fast moving social network to drive traffic to your blog and market your business?

Add Your Blog’s RSS Feed

Because Twitter is such a basic platform, you’ll need to use some third-party applications to help manage your account. The first thing you’ll want to do is to sign up for a Hootsuite account; here you can add your blog’s RSS feed and it will automatically push out new blog posts for you, hence driving traffic to your blog. You can also use Hootsuite to schedule tweets, reply to conversations, and you can even sync it up with other social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, allowing you to manage all of your accounts in one place.

Join a Tribe

To get more eyes on your blog posts, you’ll want individuals to re-tweet (RT) your content. While some of this sharing will happen organically, it can be helpful if you’re part of tribe that helps to spread each other’s content on Twitter. Triberr another third-party application, allows individuals to do just that, but automatically. How it works is each tribe member has their RSS feed linked into Triberr, then on a daily basis members login to Triberr and approve or deny tweets from their tribe. Once tweets are approved, they are automatically staggered and scheduled for publication on your Twitter stream. Triberr allows your blog posts to be seen by more people, by collectively working together for greater exposure.

Get Even More Eyes on Your Blog

Just ReTweet is a community where individuals share each other’s content and by doing so they earn credits. So if you have a blog post that you would like shared by community, simply add the tweet, the amount of credits you’re willing to give each member for sharing the tweet and you’re done. Credits can be earned easily by following, re-tweeting and filling out your account information… however credits can also be purchased giving you more Twitter RT power. The one thing I really like about this community is, because it is set up through a rewards system, individuals are more likely to share and participate, where a lot of other communities seem to be based on popularity and self service.

Offer Something of Value

I’m personally not a big fan of automated direct messages on Twitter, but with this said, I’ve seen a few companies do automated messages really well. To set up an automatic direct message, you’ll need to use a third-party application called Social Oomph. What happens is when someone new follows you on Twitter, you can send them an automatic direct message using Social Oomph. But a word of warning, if you’re going to do this you need to offer the individual something of significant value – a coupon for 10% off or free shipping could be enticing. I’ve also seen a couple of ladies offer free promotion on their blogs through a direct message, not sure if they do it anymore, but check out @AnaTrafficCafe and @katiefreiling for some good examples.

Join the Conversation

While I’ve mentioned a bunch of different tools and techniques for building your business and blog traffic on Twitter, by far the best way to market yourself is to join the conversation and build relationships. Just like in face to face encounters, you need to be gracious, respectful and genuine. Ask questions, reply to queries, thank individuals for RTs and always remember to give more than you take. One fun way to do this is to join a Twitter Chat, these are generally scheduled conversations around a certain topic. In fact, my good friend Melissa just wrote a post on a bunch on different Twitter Chats you can get involved with.

Just like anything else, marketing your blog and business on Twitter takes time, effort and consistency, but if you join in the conversation and focus on building relationships the rest will fall into place.

And if you’re interested you can find me @Holly_Hanna. What’s your Twitter handle?

Posted in Blogging, Business, Social Networking

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14 Responses to “How to Use Twitter for Building Your Business and Blog Traffic”

  1. 1
    Barbara says:

    Even though it is more basic it seems that there is more of a technique to Twitter and it’s important to know the best way to use Twitter if you want to be successful.

    • 1.1

      Hi Barbara, I know when I first started on Twitter I wasn’t sure what to tweet, but after some observation and trial and error, I slowly figured it out. And just remember there is no one right way to tweet, Guy Kawasaki has a totally different strategy, than say Chris Brogan – yet both are known as social media experts. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. 2
    Anna says:

    The thing I’ve learned about using Twitter is that it doesn’t take spending a lot of time over there to make a real difference. About 15 minutes a day max will do wonders!

    I also installed a plug-in called “Tweet Old Post” that will tweet out the links to older posts I’ve written sporadically throughout the day. You can set it to do it as little or often as you like, and you can also tell it to omit certain posts or categories if you don’t want to share them.

    Great information! Thanks :)

    • 2.1

      I totally agree Anna, it doesn’t take a lot of time to be useful on Twitter. I spend about 10 minutes a day on there, and the majority of that time is spent chatting with people.

      Thanks for letting me know about “Tweet Old Post” I hadn’t heard about that one before.

  3. 3

    Hi Holly,
    Thanks for writing such an awesome blogpost and revealing ways on how to use Twitter to grow your business. And thanks to including JustRetweet on your list :)

    Valentine

  4. 4
    Gail Gardner says:

    Twitter is my primary and strongest social network and every blogger really needs to be active there because it is how we spread links and support each quickly.

    You mentioned Ana so I’m surprised that you don’t use CommentLuv. One of the very best ways to generate more traffic and grow your influence is to be part of our community – and if you decide to be part of our DoFollow CommentLuv community there are huge benefits and many influential bloggers who will promote your content and interact with you.

    I write about Twitter all the time and rounded up all my how-to Twitter posts and other’s getting started posts and videos in one Twitter Best Practices post. You can get there by clicking on my name in this comment.

    • 4.1
      Holly Hanna says:

      Hi Gail,

      Those are definitely great ways to reward your readers. I used to use the CommentLuv and DoFollow plugins, but they slowed my page loads down, so to make reader’s experience a more positive one, I got rid of any non-essential plugins to speed up my page loads.

      Good suggestions – thanks for stopping by!

  5. 5
    Gail Gardner says:

    I hope you don’t mind some Twitter tips. First, if you use a plugin that encourages your commenters to leave their Twitter usernames, you can answer their comments and tweet to them (bringing your post more traffic for each time you do that).

    You can also more efficiently get to know them and your readers will start following each other and then tweeting about what you’re writing or their own and others’ comments.

    Also, if you configure your tweet tool to include your Twitter username you will get more followers and more RTs. Right now yours promotes @Shareaholic but not you.

  6. 6

    I only started to come out of my shell on Twitter very recently. I’m so grateful for the new friends I’ve met there. It’s really about building a relationship with your Twitter friends, isn’t it?

    A friend invited me to Tribber, and it’s working well so far — still figuring it out, though. And I still have much to learn about using Twitter effectively, so thanks for these tips, Holly.

    • 6.1
      Holly Hanna says:

      Hi Martine,

      It really is about building and cultivating relationships, the other tools are just accessories to the main outfit.

      Triberr can be a little confusing, especially when you start creating your own Tribe – but I think it’s a great community tool, if you get with the right tribe and don’t compromise your values.

  7. 7
    Nancy Lundy says:

    Thank you, Holly. I just joined Hootsuite. As a organizational freak, I just love having everything in one place. FANTASTIC! Thank you so much for all the knowledge you have passed on to me. I am forever grateful!

  8. 8
    Rick Magennis says:

    Great tutorial Holly!

    I just started an internet business and started a Twitter account, but did not know how to utilize it. Hootsuite and Triberr are going to be great tools for me to use to get my site exposure. I was always wondering how to get my tweets RT, and now I finally figured it out.

    I have been waiting for an article that could help me generate more traffic and I found it.

    Thanks again

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