It’s tempting to use Twitter as your own personal megaphone. Open up the dashboard, pop off a message in 140 characters or less, and immediately broadcast it to hundreds or maybe thousands of people. Sounds great, right?
The problem is, Twitter is becoming heavily oversaturated with advertising and marketing messages. It’s the white noise threatening to overshadow genuine conversations. So while you certainly want to use Twitter to your advantage, you don’t want to be another irritating voice shouting “look at me” to the Internet.
How Not to Tweet Your Blog Posts
Let’s start with what Internet aficionados fondly refer to as “fail.” That would be, the ways in which you really should not tweet your blog posts:
- Tweeting the same link to your post ten or fifteen times a day.
- Tweeting the same link to your blog post for several days in a row.
- Tweeting a link to your blog post with an inflammatory, misleading hook that has very little to do with your actual post.
- Only using an automated service to tweet your blog posts.
If you promote your blog the wrong way, you risk missing out on potential readers or worse, losing loyal followers. Unless your blog is a high-profile, highly trafficked news source, you’re going to have to put some tender love and care into connecting with your followers to promote your blog.
Talk to the Right People
First of all, there’s nothing wrong with promoting new posts. Twitter is a convenient, effective way to quickly reach out to readers, friends, colleagues and like-minded folks online. Most bloggers can achieve a steady spike in traffic by building a base of followers on Twitter and promoting new posts by Tweeting about them.
Before you promote your content to your followers, make sure you have a decent relationship with them. It’s a little bit like marketing to your friends. You don’t want to hand out flyers for your kid’s fundraiser until you’ve established a decent connection. (Right?)
Your Twitter timeline should be a mixture of regular updates, re-tweets and replies to other users. That way, genuine people will be listening to what you have to say and getting to know your Twitter persona before you start promoting blog posts.
How to Make the Right Kind of Noise
Automate if you have to. If you’re forgetful or you don’t have time to log into Twitter every time you publish a new post, consider using an automated plugin or Facebook’s “Facebook to Twitter” application to tweet your link. The key is to go the extra mile after that so that your Twitter stream isn’t a repetitive list of links.
Craft a hook. Make your blog posts sound appetizing, but genuine. You don’t want to say, “OMG GUYS GUESS WHAT I WROTE.” You do want to say, “Five surprising ways to avoid skin cancer” or “I tackled a difficult topic on my blog today.”
Tweet your post three or four times. Spread out your tweets to hit different time zones and avoid getting lost in the sea of tweets. Guy Kawasaki suggests tweeting posts four or more times a day. This number should be tweaked depending on your number of followers. (He has hundreds of thousands!) If you have less than 5,000 followers, you may want to stick to twice a day, and once the following day.
Tweet other useful links. Share other informative links and blog posts with your followers. By sharing great resources, you establish trust and demonstrate that you’re not just using Twitter for self-promotion.
Write good blog posts. Sounds obvious, right? Basically, if your posts aren’t useful or engaging, it doesn’t matter how much you promote them. Your Twitter followers will learn not to quick. Commit to posting and promoting great content and readers will follow.