This guest post is by Lior Levin.
It’s easy to quickly share promotions and ideas on Twitter, and if they catch on, they can spread quickly, even crossing over to platforms such as Facebook or Pinterest in the process. Since the cost of using Twitter is so low and the process of sharing tweets is so simple, it is an ideal tool for blog marketing.
Twitter’s blog benefits
There are three main reasons why bloggers need to use Twitter regularly:
1. Twitter increases blog traffic
Twitter is a top source of referral traffic, but it is likely far more effective than tools such as Google Analytics lets on.
Many referrals derive from Twitter originally, but Google Analytics isn’t able to track all of their origin points. Entrepreneur Mark Suster explains this at Tech Crunch, saying, “Twitter is an amazing generator of social hooks to websites. Some of that comes from Twitter.com or other Twitter clients. But since many other websites pull in Twitter data, including links, you don’t always know who is referring the traffic to you.”
In order to understand the true reach of your Twitter campaigns, Suster recommends a tool called Awe.sm.
2. Twitter improves your Google Page Rank
A thorough study of the impact of Twitter and Facebook on Google page ranking by the website SEO Moz yielded a strong correlation between high shares on Twitter and Facebook.
Rand Fishkin writes in the conclusions, “Pages that earn tweets + Facebook shares also correlate well with earning links, and send direct traffic on their own—ignoring these services at this point seems foolish.” If you want to improve your website’s page rank on Google, then the data suggests that more tweets and Facebook shares will help get you there.
3. Twitter helps establish your brand
Twitter is one way to reveal who you are as a brand, showing customers what you care about and whether you have anything important to share with them—whether that’s information or a promotion. The key is to connect in ways that prove your brand is consistent and reliable.
Top Twitter blog marketing tips
With these benefits in mind, here are some tips on how to use Twitter for online marketing.
As you look to expand your influence on Twitter, you’ll need followers who are influential and engaged. However, this doesn’t just mean networking with people who follow, or are followed by, a lot of people.
Beware of using tools such as Klout, as users with significant social media influence have been routinely undervalued by the Klout algorithm.
You can also search Twitter through hashtags (eg. “#marketing”) in order to find users in your niche. The key is to review what they tweet about by looking at their feeds. Are they active? Do they interact with their followers on Twitter? Are they willing to retweet content frequently?
A quick scan of Twitter profiles will tell you quite a bit about who to follow, and whether those users will follow you back and provide valuable interactions.
Promote your posts
Use engaging titles when tweeting about your website’s content, and link to promotions and information that will meet the specific needs of your followers. This all ties back to whether your company has a consistent focus and a clear brand image that can connect with customers. If it does, Twitter may be an excellent marketing tool for you.
Chris Brogan suggests that beyond tweeting your killer titles, you should also mention if content on your site has sparked a lively conversation, or if users are giving meaningful feedback.
Your followers may want to chip in to the conversation. In addition, you can ask for links on StumbleUpon or a retweet of your content if it’s particularly valuable to your readers.
Be socially proactive
Don’t just wait for people to find you. You need to find followers, retweet their content, and anticipate what they want. It’s your job to spark conversations and to stir up interest, even asking for a little help in spreading the word when appropriate.
Share unique and useful information
Twitter users will only find you worth following if you can point them to valuable content, whether it’s your own or someone else’s. Since it’s generally frowned upon to only post your own information, check out a site like All Top to find the best websites and news in your field. Between retweets of leaders in your field and links from All Top, you’ll provide the kind of content that will make people want to follow you.
As you read information online that’s related to your niche throughout the day, use a service such as Hootsuite or Buffer to set up auto-tweets throughout the day, so you can space out the information you share.
By installing the Buffer button to your browser toolbar, you can easily set up a regular stream of tweets throughout your day and increase your brand’s value to your customers.
Share tweets frequently
The best way to tell your Twitter followers that you’re personally invested in helping them is to retweet their tweets frequently. There’s a good chance that the customers you follow are sharing information that the rest of your followers need anyway, so you can both share relevant information and build your connection with your Twitter followers at the same time through consistent retweets.
Avoid inconsistent profile pictures across platforms
In order to create a consistent brand image, choose one profile picture, whether a logo or picture of a CEO, for all of your social media platforms. PR expert Sarah Evans writes at Mashable, “The first rule for avatars and bios is to stay consistent across social platforms. If you’re sharing information from your business account, decide whether you want your avatar to be your company logo or the face of the president.”
In addition, a profile picture should convey an image that is consistent with your brand.
Don’t spam followers with auto-direct messages
If your goal is to create authentic engagement with customers through social media, then the other golden rule is to never send auto-direct messages to new followers. Auto-direct messages are consistently viewed as spam by the majority of Twitter users and your brand will suffer if you send them.
An authentic Twitter presence
Twitter is easy to start using, but it’s also quite easy to mess up. The golden rule is to be authentic and genuinely helpful.
If you’re not helping your followers, then you’re just trying to use them to make money. The more money you try to make, the less you’ll help followers on Twitter—resulting in a lower return on your social media investment.
The more you try to help followers on Twitter, the more brand engagement you’ll build.
This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for company that specializes in a to do list app, and who also consults for an inspection company that provides various services in pre shipment inspections.