13 Ways to Get Traffic From Twitter
By Atif Mumtaz Khan
Despite the brilliance of your occasional tweets, somehow the world isn't beating a path to your blog or website. What are others doing that you are not?
(Note: Wherever I say 'blog' in this article I'm including regular websites too as the strategies are the same.)
The question above is one I posed to myself some time ago, which led me to do some research and change my Twitter ways. You will be the lucky recipients of that research without having to do the work.
First you should know there are many strategies for building traffic on Twitter and your blog and many of them are circular; i.e. building a highly sought after blog will make your Twitter tweets more sought after and creating better tweets promoting your blog will send more traffic to your blog. It's a win-win for the blog and Twitter and a big win for you.
There were almost as many strategies as there are experts but some are agreed on by pretty well everyone. Here are the ones I found to have the most 'votes'. I've listed them in the order I think works best for an individuals' blog.
1. Be active on Twitter
Use your first and last 15 minutes of each day to tweet, follow, and respond to your followers. Be tweeting before most people in your target audience have gone to work and again after they've returned home. Also, I live in the same time zone as my target audience so the beginning and end of my day fits in with their day too. However, if your target market lives in a different time zone, you need to make your time on Twitter suit your audience's day. There's a handy program called Tweet When that can help you with that.
2. Create an engaging Biography.
People like to interact with people, even when they're 'interacting' electronically over great distances. Be sure you have a great Avatar, preferably a photo of you. If you'd rather not use your own face, use an image that says something about you. Just be sure whatever your Avatar is, it looks professional. If it's a photo of you, make your face the focus. Keep in mind, this is the first way your readers, and hopefully soon-to-be followers, know anything about you. It's that first impression that everyone remembers.
3. Include images
Twitter has moved on from being a text-only medium and you need to as well. Stunning, quirky, emotion-laden images are the most re-tweeted items out there and will bring lots of traffic to your blog to see and read more. This is particularly true for travel blogs where the scenery is often what draws people to visit.
4. Keep your Tweets shorter than the 140 characters
Short tweets allow re-tweeters to add their thoughts to yours and. surveys show that short tweets are much more likely to get re-tweeted.
5. While we're talking about re-tweeting, don't be shy - ask for one
Don't ask every time, of course, but when you have something you feel is worth a wider audience, ask your followers for a re-tweet, known as an RT. It may not be what your mom taught you but in the Twitter verse you'll find asking gets you way more 'shares'. Become a re-tweeter yourself, particularly when you see your own blog mentioned.
6. Use quotes often, either from your own blog or from another source, such as
A famous person, book or movie.
Choose something wise, provocative, intriguing or interestingly controversial -- just not something ugly or obnoxious.
7. Questions, like quotes, are a good way to spark interest
I once heard questions described as the spark plugs of conversation -- and they are. One of the things we've learned from the Internet world is that people enjoy even the silliest of surveys so use that to your advantage. As with all things web traffic related, keep your questions focused on your blog's subject or niche.
8. Add #Hash tags and @mentions to your posts
These Twitter features help spread the word. Hash tags are a way of creating a discussion theme. Just put a word or two behind a # symbol and people can take part in a discussion knowing they're talking around the same subject. A @ mention allows you to include a Twitter user's address, which is useful and flattering for directly tweeting to specific people.
9. Be sure to tweet about any contest happening on your blog.
Contests are a great way to get traffic to a blog and Twitter is a great way to advertise them. People love this kind of light-hearted engagement with sites. Be sure to mention your Twitter feed on your blog and anywhere else it makes sense, business cards, for example.
10. While we're talking blogs, develop your Twitter niche to complement your blog's theme.
This is easy if you've a travel-related blog but it still needs to be done even if your blog is less physically focused. Whatever your blog is about, Do your best to get emotions into your posts and tweets. Think of the things that have 'gone viral' these past years - funny cats are a good example. Here again, images are often the quickest way to capture the moment. Search Pinterest for pictures that tell the story.
11. Following someone who follows you isn't just polite; it's profitable too.
Users do notice when you don't and they'll likely 'un-follow' you when they don't see a quick response, which is a practice you need to learn as well. While we're talking about following, look for people who 'auto-follow' and follow them. These people are generally 'Twitter celebrities' and some of their aura will rub off on you, in time. As well, try to get famous people to follow you. This isn't easy but it happens and to make it happen you need something special in your tweet to catch their eye.
12. Use the tools available, such as Twitter feed, Twitter Counter, and Qwitter, to help direct you on your path to greater traffic.
Google Trends is also useful here for making sure you're tweeting on subjects of interest and it also makes sure you're speaking the way your audience expects of someone in the niche. Using the right terminology, for example (just not so much it's unreadable to everyone else).
13. Use web tools.
Items 1 to 12 are all things you can do without cost. This last one, however, does cost. Twitter provides an option to promote your tweets. It isn't too expensive and can help you quickly reach a target audience, using such things as keywords, location or subject. Used sparingly it's a cost effective way of getting your name out there.
A final word of caution, don't dive in with all of items 1 to 13 all at once. Not every strategy may work for you so proceed in a logical way. Pick the ones that seem best suited to your blog and try them, checking the results as you go.
Once you're finished all the above, you maybe a Twitter celebrity too!
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