Last month, I went to a small blogger retreat for Multicultural Kids Blogs and part of the presentations were on using social media. MaryAnne from Mama Smiles taught us about Google +. Kim from The Educators’ Spin on It did a really helpful presentation on Pinterest. My contribution was on how to use Twitter.
Tips for Using Twitter
I started using Twitter five years ago when I first started blogging. At that time, the bloggers were mostly on Facebook and Twitter but it was very challenging to grow a Facebook following. Pinterest, Instragram and Google + didn’t exist then and LinkedIn seemed like it was more for job networking.
Twitter was probably the easiest social media platform for me to figure out. With very little learning curve, I was able to grow my followers consistently. Now, five years later, I have 55,100 Twitter followers. I find that I am asked to join paid blog campaigns by brands sometimes just as a Twitter party host or co-host or part of a multi-platform campaign.
But honestly, I am still learning, daily, how to use Twitter more effectively. But here’s my advice of what I’ve figured out so far.
Cons of Twitter
- The tweet has the shortest half life in social media.
- Low traffic referral rate but it can be better than Facebook or LinkedIn FOR ME.
- Only 140 characters.
- Stream can be chaotic to follow.
Pros of Twitter
- You can find almost everyone here and they are willing to talk to you.
- Think of Twitter as an instant focus group.
- Can see engagement right away or not at all. Allows you to test headlines and messages.
- It’s easy to test questions and topics for engagement
- You might not get a lot of referral traffic from Twitter but you can get new subscribers.
- It’s great for branding yourself. You can send out more frequent messages about your blog without annoying your followers. I might post once on Instagram or Facebook a day but Twitter I can post hourly.
- You can find your tribe and meet people within your tribe easily.
- Brands care about Twitter and your influence. Impressions.
Grow Your Twitter Followers
Numbers count. Brands care about number of followers, not engagement or number of retweets. For them, it’s all about impressions — your tweet will show up on how many screens?
But it’s easy to grow your followers. The trick is consistency.
How to Grow Your Twitter Following
Follow and unfollow. That’s really it. Follow up to your limit (or slightly less if you can figure that out so you don’t end up in Twitter jail). Then, wait a period of time and unfollow all the followers who haven’t followed you back. I usually wait about a week.
Tools to Follow / Unfollow
I use Just Unfollow tool. I use the paid version but the free version might work for you. The paid version just gives you more capacity. Other bloggers have recommended Unfollowers which is free.
Who to follow?
Build within your audience niche. I built a Boston based audience of parents who care about education and also homeschoolers, librarians, authors and mom bloggers.
Step 1: Find the bloggers that are most similar to you. Follow their followers.
Step 2: Check out the lists they make or are listed on. Follow the people on the lists that make sense.
Step 3: Follow by hashtag
General Advice for Twitter
- There are some non blogging parents on Twitter; they tend to be on LinkedIn, Facebook or Pinterest.
- Concerned about keeping your Twitter stream clean if you tend to follow back? Try making a list of just those tweeps whose tweets you want to read.
- Thank your engaged members because it encourages engagement. I thank anyone who retweets me or adds to a list.
- Tweet consistently within your topic niche but don’t flood stream. I use the tool Buffer to space out my tweets. I pay but there is also a free version. Some bloggers use Hootsuite.
- Promote other bloggers’ great content not just your own.
- Set up social media plugin so your twitter handle is automatically included.
Efficient way is to read posts:
1) tweet good posts
2) tweet and pin great posts
3) tweet pin and google plus share mind blowing posts
Do this 3-4x a week by feeding your buffer
When you pin your own posts, also queue a tweet about that post in your Twitter buffer. You can put in old posts into Twitter this way. No one knows they are an old “evergreen” post.
Consistency is key. Set small goal of ten minutes a day but do it 5x a week plus one session of follow/unfollow.
#FF (Follow Friday) and all the other days are effective in growing followers. This recommendation system does not exist in such an institutionalized way on other platforms
Using these strategies, in the past two years I grew my clients’ Twitter accounts to around 10,000 followers. It really does work!
What strategies are you using for Twitter? Please share your advice. Thanks so much!
p.s. This is from Shareaholic’s ”Social Referrals That Matter” Report.
Six noteworthy findings says the report:
- YouTube is the undisputed champion, driving the most engaged traffic. These referrals have the lowest average bounce rate, the highest pages per visit, and the longest visit duration. Why are visitors from YouTube are so engaged, says the report, because video watchers are especially receptive to links within video descriptions which complement the audio+visual content they just consumed. Viewers are used to spending minutes or hours educating and entertaining themselves with awesome video, and may have fewer qualms about taking extra time to discover more great content post-click.
- Though Google+ and LinkedIn drive the fewest social referrals, they bring in some of the best visitors. Google+ users, on average, find themselves spending more than 3 minutes diving into things shared by connections in their circles, while LinkedIn users generally spend 2 minutes and 13 seconds on each link they click. Now may be the time to invest in building communities within those networks if engagement really matters to your business, suggests the report.
- A referral from Twitter is as good as a referral from Facebook in terms of bounce rate, pages per visit and time on site, notes the report. In 4th place, Twitter and Facebook are tied. Both types of visitors bounce the same, while Twitter wins the pages per visit category, and Facebook users tend to spend more time on a site post-click than Twitter users do.
- Pinterest isn’t the social media golden child we all play it up to be, observes wong. Pinners bounce as often as FB users and Tweeps do, but view fewer pages per visit, and spend considerably less time on site than almost all of its counterparts, with the exception of StumbleUpon.
- Reddit users are the most fickle. Redditors are the most likely to abandon sites — on average, 70.16% bounce. For marketers, Reddit is a tough nut to crack, opines the report. Its uber-loyal users are increasingly selective about the content that gets upvoted and are eager to downvote things they disagree with.
- StumbleUpon drives the least engaged referrals. Post-click, users view a meager 1.5 pages per visit and spend 54.09 seconds on site. It would appear that StumbleUpon’s click-heavy focus makes users trigger happy. Users stumble onto the next thing rather than immerse themselves in the webpage SU recommends, concludes the report.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.