Five Twitter Tips (Plus One More I Thought Was Obvious)

A few weeks ago on my blog, I mentioned Twitter as one of my big personal time drains that I allowed to keep me from completing my blogging tasks efficiently. I half meant this in jest, because although I do spend way too much time on Twitter, it has been one of the most useful tools for driving traffic to my blogs. I have to admit that I didn’t “get” Twitter at first… 140 character blurbs about what you’re doing at any given moment? It sounded like a huge ADHD party for people with nothing better to do. But once I committed to exploring Twitter a bit deeper, I found that it’s a great relationship building tool – and one that naturally leads to contact via other means, such as email, discussion forums, and yes, blogs.

It’s easy to get a little (okay, a lot) carried away with Twitter, given the variety of apps that let you send and receive tweets (messages) from just about anywhere. Taken in moderation, though, there are few tools that will let you find like-minded, interested people as effectively as this one.

Here are a few of the insights I have garnered regarding Twitter over the past several weeks:

Twitter is a social networking tool, not just an advertising vehicle. Constantly pimping your blogs is a pretty poor way to get people interested in what you have to say. Instead, engage your followers. Let them know what you’re doing in your day to day life; inspire them with quotes and pearls of wisdom; post links to pictures and videos if you feel comfortable with that level of transparency. I’ve said it before – people buy from people they like, know, and trust – and Twitter is a great way to develop relationships. You know the guy at the coffee shop who knows your kids’ names, and asks how your boss is treating you these days? Yeah. Twitter lets you be that guy… only on a much larger scale.
The more engaging your Tweets, the more followers you’ll have. And I’m not talking about just average Joes here… in the few weeks that I’ve been actively using Twitter, I’ve gained the interest of Jack Canfield, Yaro Starak, Darren Rowse, and Fabienne Frederickson, just to name a few. These are highly influential people who can instantly vlow your traffic through the roof with just a single mention. It’s good to have that kind of audience.
The two most magical letters of the internet today are “RT”. In case you haven’t used Twitter, “RT” means “re-tweet”. The idea is that if you post something of value to your followers, and it really resonates, they will re-tweet the post to their followers using the prefix “RT” along with a link to your Twitter profile. So your post reaches a much wider audience than just your own followers. Say you have 1,000 followers, and 100 of them re-tweet your post to their 1,000 followers… then your post has reached 101,000 people… with no extra effort on your part! Think that’s good for traffic? Boy howdy!
You should spend time on Twitter every day to stay on people’s minds. Despite my earlier comments about using Twitter too much, it really is important to post and interact every day. Twitter is an evanescent media… you can fade from the internet public’s eye as quickly as you appeared. That doesn’t mean you need to post 100 times a day… just that you need to stay visible to make it work for you.
As with any internet media, there are plenty of spammers on Twitter. Ignore them. Or better yet, unfollow them. Twitter is a surprisingly positive social media vehicle, and followers don’t take too kindly to admonishing other users (spammers or not). Plus, jumping a spammer’s case is a waste of time. Just click “unfollow” and be done with it.

 

Oh, and one last tidbit…

If you’re trying to use Twitter to build backlinks to your posts/blogs/websites, you’re wasting your time. Twitter has adopted “no follow” tags throughout the site. This means that any links you post won’t count as backlinks for search engine ranking purposes. I wasn’t going to include this because I thought it was obvious, but I’ve dealt with numerous users lately who thought they were building these great link campaigns by constantly tweeting links to their sites. Sorry guys.

 

Well, there you go. As I mentioned, I’m a bit late on the Twitter bandwagon, so I’m certainly no “guru” when it comes to using this site. But if you haven’t been using it, I highly recommend that you start, using the tips above as a rough guideline to adjust your expectations.

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