In the race to social media stardom, plenty of bloggers have joined Twitter and are furiously tweeting the titles and openings of every post they publish. When they launch a product or open registration for a seminar, they tweet that.
But surely these can’t be the only ways to support your blog using Twitter? Your tweets might be limited to 140 characters, but the scope of your tweeting is limited — you guessed it — only by your imagination.
Here are some of the less conventional approaches I’ve seen bloggers employ in using Twitter to support their sites.
1. Tell the story of blog content creation.
This approach can be very intriguing and compelling for your followers. One journalist I know often invites his Twitter followers to contribute ideas for elements of the articles he’s working on. By responding, followers buy in to the story, and become intrigued about the article topic.
Perhaps he’ll follow up that request with tweets mentioning that he’s about to interview a subject for the article, or his research has uncovered something interesting. So by the time he tweets the link to the finished article, at least some portion of his followers — those who have been following his journey to produce the piece — are dying to read it.
2. Tweet interesting comment responses.
Rather than focusing solely on the content you produce for your blog, why not intersperse your article tweets with tweets that point your followers to interesting comments that readers have made in response to your posts?
As well as encouraging regular readers to make considered, valuable comments on your blog, this technique supports your online profile, building your and your blog’s reputation for producing quality content that sparks intelligent, innovative discussion. It also indicates that your blog is a place where thinkers congregate, and a source of information that sparks broader interaction among those within your niche.
3. Run a Twitter competition tie-in.
Trying to plug a new product or service that you’re launching? Perhaps you could add a Twitter competition to your launch strategy. Ask questions that followers can find answers to in one of your recent posts (perhaps one published on the same day), then give away your new product to a winner drawn from the pool of people who answer the question correctly.
This can be a great way to engage readers in a fun, constructive manner, and to take a break from the everyday in terms of Twitter content, and possibly, your promotions. It can also create a few moments of light relief for your readers.
4. Create a Twitter conversation around an event.
If you’re running an event in association with your blog, consider making a Twitter conversation part of your strategy. Watching real-time responses to events pop up in Twitter streams provides entertainment — and opinion, and education — for countless users every day. A recent festival in my town held some events and discussions entirely on Twitter.
Could you do something like this around your next product launch? Can you invite users to discuss an exclusive post — perhaps one that presents a new take on your niche, or includes an in-depth interview with a niche leader — at the time you publish it?
These are just a few of the alternative approaches you can use to promote your blog through Twitter. What alternatives have you seen or used yourself?