So you want to build more traffic on Twitter, huh? Well, alright. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Put these tips into action and you’ll be playing in more traffic! Wait, that came out wrong. You’ll be swimming in more traffic than you know what to do with. You’ll have followers galore, retweets out the wazoo and more favorites tan you can shake a stick at. Just, uh, be careful shaking that stick. You don’t want to hit your computer.
Use a unique, interesting header image. On a high resolution monitor, the Twitter header image takes up fully half of the available screen real estate. It scales down on smaller monitors, but it’s still a huge graphical banner at the top of your screen. Make use of that space.
Use a unique, interesting profile photo. This is who you are. Unlike Facebook, where you can make your image part of the cover photo, Twitter changes sizes dynamically. This means you shouldn’t bother trying to make a seamless set of images. Just use your profile photo as a compelling image of your brand or your personality.
Make your bio interesting. It doesn’t need to be more than one or two sentences. One quick line hinting about who you are and what the user gains by following you. One quick line about you, adding personality so the user feels like they get a sense of you. That’s it! That’s all you need for a compelling bio.
Follow influential people. There are a few categories of people you should follow. Industry influencers are the people who have sway in your industry and are ripe with valuable information. Twitter amplifiers are people who frequently retweet content and are likely to act as a signal boost for your message. You can also follow people from your audience, to give them a feeling of appreciation.
Follow Twitter marketers. These people aren’t necessarily valuable to your industry or niche, but they will tweet useful information and tips to help you market through Twitter. In other words, follow them and their advice, and you’ll kick your feed up a notch.
Put a Twitter button on your blog. Simple and easy. A Twitter button that ties back to your profile allows users to quickly and easily follow your Twitter from your site. From there, you can funnel them back to your site via your messages.
Use a “tweet this” plugin. You can either create specific quotes with easy tweet buttons, or you can use a plugin that pops up a “tweet this” box over any section of text the user highlights. Either will work to make it easy for a user to tweet your content.
Tweet in blocks of four. When you tweet four times in quick succession, you fill a block of your users’ feeds. Four messages is enough to be noticed, but not so much you look like a spammer. The first three can be anything; links, retweets, images or whatever. The fourth should be a link to your site.
Tweet frequently. It’s a hard line to draw between tweeting too much and not tweeting enough. Unfortunately, a lot of knowing when to stop comes from knowing how many people your followers are following. If they follow thousands of accounts, their feeds are going to be packed, and you’re going to need to fight harder for space. If they only follow a few dozen people, you have a lot more leeway, but a high volume looks a lot more like spam.
Tweet engaging content. Duh. If the content you’re posting isn’t worth reading, who is going to bother to read it? Let alone retweet it. Your content needs to be interesting enough to draw in users, and it should be compelling enough to get them to tweet it themselves.
Interact with people, retweet and @mention other users. Above all, Twitter is a social platform. People use it so they can interact with their favorite people, whether they’re friends, marketers or celebrities. The tools of the trade are the manual retweet and the @mention. Retweet content from people you like, @mention them in tweets and respond to their comments.
Use image content. Twitter users love images. They love video and animated gifs as well, but those are a little harder to use. Images are quick and easy. You can use a tool like Canva to create cool pictures based on templates, or you can pick up your own graphic design tools, depending on the resources you have at hand.
Don’t forget the hashtags. A few good hashtags allow you to participate in ongoing conversations, but you need to be cautious that you do just that. Try to avoid jumping into a hashtag with an ongoing debate only to shill your blog. If you do, you’re likely to earn the ire of people trying to have a conversation. It’s like walking into a debate and shouting your commercial message.
Set up Twitter cards for your blog. You know how you can set Facebook’s open graph attributes so that whenever a user links to your blog, the post preview is completely under your control? The same thing works for Twitter using Twitter card attributes. Customize those attributes to make sure your posts appear in a compelling format on Twitter.
Whenever you mention someone in a blog post, tweet them about it. It’s a bit of a play on vanity, but people – particularly bloggers – like to know when they’ve been mentioned. It’s why tools exist solely to monitor social mentions. When you mention someone in your posts or link to their blog, send them a tweet to let them know. Chances are they’ll read your post, and if they like it, they’ll probably link to you in their feed as well.
Tease content and link to your site. Don’t spoil the point of your blog post with a tweet. If you write 1,500 words leading up to the conclusion that “cats are awesome” and the content of your tweet is “cats are awesome <link>” no one is going to bother reading it. Okay, well, they’ll read an article about cats. People love cats. The point is, don’t spoil your post. Tease the content and get users to click organically.
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