By 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?