Are you feeling less than enchanted with Twitter these days?
Were you surprised by the news that Instagram has overtaken Twitter in popularity? I must confess, Twitter often seems to be home to too many automated updates, sales-type links and competition Tweets. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve replied to someone’s Tweet only to find it’s an automated post of something that’s actually three years old!
That said, Twitter is still a really important source of traffic for many bloggers – and there are definitely ways to help boost your Twitter following and gain new readers. Here are 10 of our favourites:
Learn the Art of the Teaser Headline
Think of Twitter as being an advertising billboard for your blog posts. Try and give your Tweets a personality, that matches the style and content of your blog.
When you craft a Tweet, you want to give potential readers a flavour of what’s to come – but don’t give it all away upfront. Research suggests that hints like, “I’m working on a recipe using THIS ingredient” can be an effective way to draw in new followers.
Try having fun with teases like. “10 Surprising Ways to Use Avocados” – you can always Tweet a link in 3 different styles and see which works best for you.
Make Friends with Popular Tweeters
There are loads of online tools where you can plug in key words and hashtags and identify the “top” Tweeters for that particular topic. Try and establish people in your audience who Tweet things you enjoy, and connect with them. Remember Twitter is open to everyone – don’t wait to be invited to join a conversation!
Tweet from Outside your Living Room
Industry events are an amazing way to connect with new followers and add some excitement to your feed. When you’re at a live event, don’t just share to Insta – be sure to send a few Tweets, too.
Be sure to use relevant hashtags, respond to other Tweets about events you’re attending (or maybe just following along online), and people will start to see you as a person who has the inside track!
Create Twitter Exclusive Content
It’s tempting to use one of those platforms that allows you to post a photo simultaneously to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, but if you’re doing that, why would I follow you on Twitter and Facebook?
It’s better to choose one channel per piece of content for promotion. I find that competitions do really well on Twitter but less so on Facebook. Each channel also tends to be most active at different times of day.
Tweet Stuff More Than Once
I remember reading that a typical Tweet is seen by about 5% of your followers. So I strongly suggest sending your best content out more than once. I tend to share new posts on Twitter half a dozen times over the first week (not often enough to annoy someone who’s on Twitter often), and after that, I rotate through older posts and schedule them out around key seasonal events, or topical trends.
As an aside, I don’t recommend using one of those plug-ins that automates sharing of old posts – they’re as likely to be irrelevant or misleading as not. And once people realise that’s what you’re doing, they’re likely to feel spammed more than spoken to.
Share from Other Accounts
One of my pet hates on Twitter is following an account that does nothing but pump out link after link. It’s like screaming, “LOOK AT ME” in someone’s face at a party. Rude.
The 80/20 rule is a good rule of thumb, so for every Tweets about you, or your content, you share one Tweet promoting someone else. I find this really easy to do via Buffer. During the week, I’ll like Tweets I see in my timeline then once a week I schedule a bunch of links to my content and pages, along with those RTs of other people’s comments and content.
(And do tag people when you mention them, as you might get a RT and reach some more potential followers!)
Follow, Follow, Follow
It’s easy to let your Twitter account stagnate (and get boring) when you’re seeing the same old people day in, day out. How often do you identify and seek out new people to follow?
Once a month or thereabouts, I use Twitter search to find new people in my niche to follow, based on specific keywords in their bio, their location or hashtags they’ve used. Rather than sitting back and waiting for people to find you, why not find interesting people and engage with them proactively?
We’d love to hear your Twitter growth hacks in the comments!