It’s easy to overlook Twitter as a reader-attraction tool. All the recent news has focused on Pinterest and Facebook’s traffic talents. Don’t be fooled. Twitter is still an audience-building contender that routinely shows up as a top 5 traffic-source for fast-growing blogs.
Twitter, however, is changing. Like most platforms, its users are maturing quickly and are using Twitter in more sophisticated ways.
I’ve found that many readers use Twitter as a quick way to get filtered news from people they trust. They’ve graduated from watching their activity stream to creating categorized lists of topic curators. These lists are loaded into TweetDeck or Hootsuite and act like a topic dashboard.
Now, the goal is to get followed and added to the reader’s Twitter list. Accomplishing this requires more than just tweeting a few times a day. To attract these readers you’ll need to add a few new tricks to your repertoire.
I’ve compiled a list of my favorite (read “proven”) Twitter reader-attraction tactics. Pick one or two to try for yourself:
- Tweet More: You need to tweet (a lot) to get noticed in your follower’s tweet streams. One or two tweets a day will get swallowed up by the hundreds of tweets streaming across your potential reader’s screen.Boost the number of relevant tweets and increase your chances of catching your reader’s attention. Once you’ve captured their attention you can show your curation skills which could earn you a “list” slot.Don’t freak out. I know you don’t want to devote more time to Twitter. The next tip will help you tweet more and save time.
- Automate Your Curation: I like to tweet tons of information to my followers. In the past, this meant that had to spend hours every week reading and retweeting blog posts. I quickly discovered that I would run out of time before I ran out of information!
Thankfully I stumbled across a great solution. Now, I use IFTTT, a new automation tool, to automatically check my Google Reader account for posts that I’ve starred. These posts are automatically added to my Buffer account for retweeting at specific times. I’m able to fill my buffer account with awesome information without ever leaving Google Reader.
- Click here to get my IFTTT Recipe for my automatically loading starred Google Reader posts into your Buffer account.
(You can pick up some other handy IFTTT recipes here)
- Use Hashtags: Adding relevant hashtags to your tweets is an excellent way to expand the amount of people who could see your tweets. The key word here is “relevant”. Don’t spam groups and tweetchats with random hashtags. This will only get you ignored.
- Add the “Reason Why” to Tweets: Tell your readers why they should visit a retweeted link. Let them know that you’ve reviewed and vetted the link to insure that it’s worth their time. Your readers will soon watch for your tweets and pay your blog a visit as well.
- Don’t Overautomate: Early on I made the mistake of just retweeting posts and DMing new followers with an automated tool. Bad mistake. My attempt at being efficient just annoyed my followers and offended influencers. I’ve turned off all Twitter new follower automation. I believe that most followers would appreciate a retweet or mention when you can and not an automated message. Your day-to-day interaction with followers will also help you keep the pulse of your growing audience.
- Tweet at the Best Times: Your audience will be on Twitter all times of the day. Your job is to get your tweets in front of as many of these folks as possible. Even though you may love tweeting at 11PM, most of your audience may not even see your tweets. Use Timely.is to see the best times to tweet and plug those times into Buffer for automatic tweeting at the right time. You can also schedule your tweets via HootSuite.
- Target Influencers and Guest Post Opportunities: Pay special attention to bloggers that can offer guest blogging opportunities. You don’t need to be a suck up but you should look for ways to help them. Retweet articles that are relevant to your audience and find look for opportunities to @mention them in tweets.
- Thank Retweeters: Thank new retweeters for as long as you can. I understand that this can become a huge time investment after a while but this gesture goes a long way towards gaining new followers, readers and retweeters.
Keep you eyes open for new Twitter promotion strategies and techniques. Twitter still is an effective and free way to meet and invite interested readers back to your blog. I like to set aside at least a few days a month to brush up my Twitter skills. I suggest you do it too.