Do you wanna drive Twitter traffic to your blog like it’s 5pm in Los Angeles?
Okay, I understand this post is not for everybody. I wanted to write it anyway because I’ve had a few people ask about my own experience, so I decided to share some of the things I do.
Twitter can become your blog’s best friend when it comes to traffic. I’m not suggesting that you use it for that purpose only but, if you run a blog and feel like you could be getting a little more love from it, perhaps you should adjust your strategy and integrate some of these tips.
There are some basics that we are going to skip, like having a good descriptive bio, link to your blog, take advantage of the real estate on the background, etc.
I promise you two things with this post:
- While I can’t promise specific results, I can tell you that if you follow this advice, you should be able to at least start moving the needle
- And I will not use the word “Viral” =)
We’ll start with the most basic items and build up to the juicy stuff…
1. Be Twitter-Friendly
This is a given so let’s get it out of the way first. Your blog needs to be Twitter-friendly, I mean at least having the Retweet button visible at the top of your post. The reason is that people will not go out of their way to tweet your post, unless you are Seth Godin (and if you are… thanks for reading my blog Seth).
2. Kick-Ass Headlines
The only piece that makes the 140 characters is your headline. It will make people click or ignore your Tweet in less than a second. Allow some extra time to craft an awesome headline that:
- Is descriptive – Don’t mislead people, you will piss them off
- Is short – You only have 140 characters and need to include your Twitter name, link and leave room for Retweets
- Gets people’s attention – Don’t be a smarty pants but write something fun, different, clever
- Includes keywords – Without sounding like a robot
Another thing that you should consider is that, as I said on my previous post “Social Media: So, Are Numbers Important Or Not?“, a percentage of those Retweets are done without even reading a single line of your post. People feel the need to share stuff but don’t have the time to read it all. Is this bad? Maybe that person didn’t even click on your link so you don’t get the traffic but let’s focus on the positive, at least you get expose to his/her network.
3. Repeated Tweets
You need to promote your own content. There is nothing wrong with it. Of course if you don’t do anything else on Twitter but promote yourself, you will not get any love. Again, you are not Seth Godin.
In this case I want you to kick it up a notch, remember we are talking about driving Twitter traffic to your blog. Tweet you content more than once. Depending on how much you Tweet in general, find a nice balance and try to post your own content 2 or 3 times on the same day your post goes live.
4. Tweet Previous Posts
You can’t do this on a daily basis but every now and then on a day that you are not publishing anything, Tweet one of your previous posts. Look for a popular post, one that has generated a good response in terms of traffic, comments, Retweets and clickthroughs. A post that has proven its performance.
In my experience, a good tool to measure the life of a post is PostRank. It allows you to visualize how a previous post can get a second air and bring in a nice amount of extra traffic.
5. Higher Activity
You decide how much time you spend on Twitter or social media in general, nobody can really tell you what is appropriate or what will give you better results. What I can tell you for personal experience is that being active on the days you publish posts can make a difference. Basically… show up.
There are different ways to be active on Twitter, I do 2 things:
- Before self-promoting your stuff, you should start the day by sharing other people’s content. I usually travel the blogosphere before I kick start the daily grind, that gives me some inspiration and helps me find stuff to post on Twitter. After sharing some good stuff and getting people’s attention, you can post your own
- During the day of the post, I take time to interact with people, reconnect or connect with new folks. Higher activity and interaction will result in an increase of RT’s and clickthroughs
6. Smart Scheduling
I should start this point by saying that I completely disagree with automatically sending blog posts to Twitter. I think you should have full control of when to send out a Tweet and hopefully get as much exposure as possible.
Some of the best times are said to be when people get to work, lunch time or the end of 9 to 5. Of course you also should consider timezones, if you Tweet at noon PST, you are hitting the east coast at 3pm. I’ll share the times that have given me good results but you should know that this could be different in your case. I post around 9 or 10am, then at 3pm and then at the end of the day, usually 5 or 6pm. I’m Pacific time.
Also remember, there are no rules. Experiment.
7. Who To Follow
One of the most important aspects of social media marketing is how your target market makes itself visible to your eyes, it’s just obvious. Identifying who is interested in what you have to offer or at least in what you are publishing is easier than ever. Twitter gives you the opportunity to follow those that are Retweeting your content. You tell me, what is more targeted than that?
So here is the scoop, after your post has been published and sent out to the Twittersphere, look for those people that have Retweeted it and follow them. If you do it in a timely manner, they are most likely to know exactly who you are, follow you back and who knows, maybe there is even room for some interaction. That is what I call quality following.
There are 2 ways to find these individuals:
- The visible Tweets are those who have credit the source by adding your Twitter name to their Tweet. You can find these folks right on your “Mentions”. Easy!
- Invisible Tweets on the other hand, are those that don’t include your name, they don’t show up on your mentions. You can find them by doing a search for the title of your post on Twitter Search. You can also use other tools like UberVu and even set up email alerts for this
8. Get Some Influence On Your Corner
The point here is to get exposure but also to get people to click through. A great way is to have one of those big names in your niche to retweet you, you know, an influencer. Not only you get huge exposure but you get to ride on their trust. Let me explain, these individuals are trusted sources, their followers consume what they share.
One of the things that help SocialMouths get on the map last year was a Retweet by Guy Kawasaki. Yes, a simple tweet took the post from 150 RT’s to almost 700 in a matter of days. It can be that powerful. In this case it was casual, I didn’t expect it or asked for it but you can totally make this happen by interacting with those leaders in your industry.
Start by sharing their content, comment on their blogs and initiate conversations on Twitter to get their attention. If you are dropping kick ass content on your blog, they will eventually notice you.
This is important.
Reciprocity is huge. I promote you and you promote me. I’ve had people asked me directly to support each other, via email or DM, but most of the time reciprocity happens by establishing unspoken agreements. Creating relationships with other bloggers, even if they are in the same niche. I have several relationships based on this, we interact, promote each others content and sometimes even collaborate.
This is the kick start of your Twitter traffic every post you publish. Tier 1. You’re getting exposure on all their networks on a weekly basis without asking.
Make this happen organically.
10. Build Reputation
As I mentioned before, there are individuals that become trusted sources and people not only listen but click on their links all the time. You know they will not post trash. You need to become one of those individuals. Share stuff that is relevant to your network.
Becoming a trusted source of information takes time, I’m talking about the content you create and the one you share on Twitter from other people.
# 11 Is Yours…
There are many other ways to help increase your traffic from Twitter, I’m sure you have a couple of tips and, I’m asking you to share them with the rest of us. What’s your experience? What gives you results? Share in the comments section.
Also feel free to ask questions or… to disagree with me!