Twitter For Bloggers Tips

Twitter Tips For Bloggers

While the rest of the blogosphere has gone nuts for Google+ I’m pushing some retro social media cool. Twitter.

Yes, I might be a little bit in love with Twitter, but it’s not just a case of better the devil you know.

Twitter not only makes me feel good (most of the time), it makes me look good (because I maintain a strong ratio of followers compared to how many people I follow) and my blog statistics show that Twitter nets me some lovely readers too.

Some might call it traffic but to me they are readers. Real people looking for really useful information who found my blog on Twitter.

Let’s take Successful Blogging as an example of how Twitter can help get more readers to your blog.

Here at Successful Blogging, Twitter is the seventh best referrer of traffic. Google is first which is a huge success for a new blog (it’s only six months old) then StumbledUpon (this is a unique case I could write about in another post if you’re interested), direct traffic (people who typed www.successfulblogging.com into  their browser bar) plus referrals from my travel blog Get In the Hot Spot, then from Personal Development Free (where my three free book chapters are listed as incitement to sign up) then, (drumroll please) Twitter.

Twitter beats Facebook bringing 50% more readers than Facebook and, while Twitter is the seventh best referral for traffic, Google+ limps in at 31. Of course there’s room for improvement and Google+ is new, but common sense and experience shows it’s better to concentrate on the proven performers rather than the potential performers.

So I want to share more Twitter tips about the tools I use to manage Twitter and my other social media accounts.

I’ve written about the joys of Twitter as a motivational tool, mentioned it in Over Online Networking? Start Stalking People Instead and shared some Twitter tactics which is a recommended read if you need tips on what to tweet and how.

This is more of a hands on guide to help you use those Twitter tips and streamline your Twitter and social media accounts so they don’t eat up too much time but are still useful to you and your readers.

The Ugly Side of Twitter For Bloggers

I said I love Twitter but it can be a love/hate relationship and I want to talk about the downside too.

Sometimes Twitter can be a waste of time. What better place to go when you want to avoid work?

Sometimes Twitter can feel like an obligation. There’s the feeling you have to be interesting, be connected or engage in conversation, when sometimes you don’t have anything interesting to say and you’d rather enjoy a bit of isolation or not speak to anyone.

Twitter can induce feelings of paranoia too. It invites endless comparison between you and other bloggers or makes you wonder why so and so are talking to each other and not to you.

But that’s just on a bad day. On a good day Twitter rules.

There’s a lot of nonsense on Twitter too. There are some people who follow everyone to boost their own followers and who just seem to be self-promoting spin doctors. There are bots (robots) and spammers who send Direct Mail to sell, sell, sell and hackers who tweet phishing links you should not click on.

Never click on a link in Twitter from someone you don’t know, even if they’ve tweeted to you. Usually when you look you’ll see they have no followers and it’s a hacking or phishing account.

But the majority of Twitter users are good people, normal people who want to find new information and make new contacts.

Twitter For New Bloggers

1. You have to be on Twitter. I recently wrote about 5 brilliant books to read. Only two of the author are on Twitter which is criminal.

Twitter offers writers an incredible opportunity to talk to their readers. Likewise business owners can use Twitter to connect with their clients and reach new ones.

Twitter is the very best social outpost because it’s incredibly easy to get started. It’s easy to use and it’s easy to connect with amazing people. Often without even trying.

At the very least bloggers should start a Twitter account and set it to update automatically every time you add a new blog post.

2. Follow other genuine Twitter users who are interested in  your topic and keep your tweet stream 80% related to that topic.

I have two main Twitter accounts: @GetIntheHotSpot for travel and @BloggingMentor for blogging. If you tweet or blog about two different topics having separate Twitter accounts is a good move.

3. Make sure you follow no more than the number of people who follow you.  If you follow a lot more people than follow you it creates a bad impression.

@BloggingMentor has 1,172 followers, 888 being followed – there I follow everyone who’s into blogging. @GetIntheHotSpot has 2,925 followers, 116 being followed – there I follow strong supporters, travel industry leaders and travel companies.

4. Mention your Twitter handle on your blog where people can easily find it and link to it. Some readers want to subscribe by email, others like RSS feed but some will want to follow you on Twitter so make sure they can.

Twitter For Established Bloggers

I recommend HootSuite for Twitter and social media management because:

1. I’ve tried using the Twitter site and Tweetdeck but I like Hootsuite best. There’s a free version which lets you manage up to five different social media accounts including Facebook and LinkedIn as well as Twitter. It will also let you add the RSS feed to your blog (or two blogs of your choice) so your Twitter feed automatically updates when a new post is published.

2. Hootsuite has a built in URL shortener.

3. If you use Firefox as your browser there’s an extension called Hootlet which adds a button at the top of your browser window so if you read a post you like and want to tweet you just click the Hootlet button and it creates the tweet with the blog post title and a shortened url.

4. Hootsuite lets you set up streams for each of your Twitter account so you can easily see everything at a glance. I set up streams for direct mails, my sent tweets, my followers tweets, certain search terms or hashtags I’m interested in like #blogging.

5. It’s free. Try out the free version of HootSuite if you like the sound of it.

Twitter For Pro Bloggers

While five social media accounts is enough for me I’ve signed up for the Hootsuite Pro and pay them $5.99 a month because:

1. I can automatically retweet new blog posts by as many other bloggers as I like because Hootsuite Pro allows me to add an unlimited number of RSS feeds to my account.

This is brilliant because it means my Twitter stream is constantly updating with relevant information and links – I only set up a blog for automatic retweets if I know the blogger and trust that their content will be useful or interesting to my followers.

I’m providing a useful service to my followers and helping other bloggers in my field who often reciprocate by auto-retweeting my posts.

2. I can schedule a whole month’s worth of Twitter updates in advance. So if I’m away, or want to make sure my Twitter stream has useful tips from me without the distractions of actually being on Twitter, I can schedule my tweets once a month.

Of course I still check in at least daily to see if anyone’s retweeted something and thank them or see if anyone has replied to me or said hello.

3. For $5.99 a month it’s worth it because those things save me a lot of time.

You can sign up for a free 30-day trial of HootSuite Pro if you’d like to try it.

How do you manage Twitter and your other social media outposts? Please leave a comment and feel free to include your Twitter handle so I can follow you.

PS. Here’s where you can connect with me:

Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Google+

PPS. Like this post? Please give it a Tweet, Facebook share of Google+ boost with the handy buttons below. Thank you!

Author: Annabel Candy

Please Share This:



{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Bree @ The Blog Stylist August 4, 2011 at 11:40 am

I love how you call Twitter “retro” :)

Reply

Annabel Candy August 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Hi Bree, lol, but it is now:) Not as retro as Facebook though but that is much more hard to navigate successfully and they change the rules all the time. That’s why I love Twitter and recommend it to other bloggers:)

Reply

Jane | Find All Answers August 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I had earlier tried Hootsuite once and found it to be bit confusing and unconventional (to me) and hence I switched to Tweet Deck. But I am recently hearing from a lot of bloggers about Hootsuite and what you have explained here makes sense. I will give it a try this evening to see how it works again for me :)

Thanks,
Jane.

Reply

Annabel Candy August 4, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Hi Jane, thanks for swinging by:) There’s always a learning curve with everything but Hootsuite worked for me where nothing else did!

Reply

Dave Doolin August 5, 2011 at 1:26 am

Amen to readers vs “traffic.”

I find Twitter an obligation these days.

I think I have one “post” (?) up on G+, not sure. I changed my profile picture if that counts. I am trying to follow everyone back who is following me, but I don’t actually seem to know any of these people at this point.

Retro: I’m moving back to irc in a big way. I mean, really, Twitter to me is just a giant irc server with a single channel! Filtering a stream on hashtags is especially ironic.

Reply

Annabel Candy August 5, 2011 at 7:45 am

Hi Dave, lol, traffic is a bit rude isn’t it?! Wow, you are really winding back the clock. I do like the #amwriting hash tag on Twitter though. Very handy for writing bloggers:)

Reply

Barbara August 5, 2011 at 2:58 am

I signed up with Hootsuite a while ago and haven’t found time to get familiar and really use it. My bad. I’ll put that on my agenda for this week… what’s left of this week.

I am a bit ambivalent about twitter but I keep trying to like it. It always amazes me how many people follow me because I don’t feel I know what I’m doing with it. Maybe when they find me out they’ll give up too.

b

Reply

Annabel Candy August 5, 2011 at 7:47 am

Hi Barbara, well, everyone is learning but this post should help you with what to do on Twitter: http://www.successfulblogging.com/9-twitter-tactics-which-ones-work-for-you/ But you’re obviously doing something right or no one would be following you:)

Reply

Vishnu August 5, 2011 at 3:49 am

Annabel – as a new twitter user, I found this post helpful. THe first time I tried Twitter a couple of years ago, it felt like speeding through a bazaar with shop-keepers throwing all kinds of things at you – in speedy 100+ character weapons.

I’m giving it a second try and will be using your tips asap. As a soon to be blogger, I like your blog and the easy to read and implement solutions.

Reply

Annabel Candy August 5, 2011 at 7:49 am

Hi Vishnu, so glad you find my blogging tips handy:) Love the analogy, you should start experimenting with twitter now!

Reply

Sandra / Always Well Within August 5, 2011 at 8:06 am

I totally love you for this article, Annabel! Right now I’m streamlining everything digital to make my life sane. This is exactly what I needed when it comes to twitter. I’m not tech savvy so I avoid trying programs like tweetdeck or Hoot Suite. But then when I finally get on board eons later, I realize how much time I save and, hence, how much time I’ve lost by being a stick-in-the mud. And I really resonate with the downsides of twitter that you mention!

As always, your user-friendly information makes this all doable for me! Thank you. Thank you.

Reply

Annabel Candy August 5, 2011 at 8:40 am

Hi Sandra, yay! I hope it works for you too:) Glad it’s not just me who experiences the downsides too….

Reply

Seana Smith August 5, 2011 at 8:46 am

Thanks Annabe, this landed in my email inbox ths morning. How did you know I needed this topic covered??? I definitely have a love/hate thing with Twitter, it can suck too much time out of the day. It sometimes feels like being in a school playground with everyone shouting at the top of their lungs. Will try Hootsuite. Love your tweets!!

Reply

Annabel Candy August 5, 2011 at 8:56 am

Hi Seana, it is a bit much. I love it when I have time to spend browsing and getting distracted but when I don’t it’s so good to have systems in place so I can keep sending useful tweets to my followers anyway!

Reply

Pamela Cook August 5, 2011 at 10:26 am

Thanks for this informative post on using Twitter. I’ve been tweeting for a while @justwritetoday but have been running out of steam. You’ve inspired me to keep going and learn more. Thank you!

Reply

Elle B | @Later_Bloomer August 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Don’t give up yet, Pamela! It just takes time, sometimes lots. Love your Twitter name and checked out your website. I’m already a fan!

Reply

Annabel Candy August 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Hi Elle, I had to check out and follow that Twitter handle too:)

Elle B | @Later_Bloomer August 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Great roundup, Annabel. I just discovered Hootsuite and love it, but didn’t know about the Firefox extension, so you’ve given me yet another really useful tip! Thanks.

Reply

Annabel Candy August 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Brilliant:) I use my little Hootlet all the time!

Reply

Nikki @ Styling You August 5, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Great post, Annabel. As you know Twitter is my first love too! I’ve jumped on to Google+ because it’s Google and I’m interested to see where it all goes. For my desktop, I’m a fan of TweetDeck; for my phone and iPad I find echofon the best Twitter application.

Reply

Annabel Candy August 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Hi Nikki, interesting, I’ll have to try echophon next. I love my iPad but it only gets used when I’m away from home:)

Reply

Desolie | @DesoliePage August 5, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Really appreciate the way you’ve presented this information, Annabel.
Being fairly new to twitter, I’ve been trying to find the best way to make it work for me – so I now have a few more things to follow up.
I find being able to post to facebook and linkedin from Tweetdeck is useful and time saving. May be time to explore Hootsuite :-)

Reply

Annabel Candy August 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Hi Desolie, if Tweetdeck works for you stick with it. I wonder if you can use it to schedule a month of tweets as you can with Hootsuit?

Reply

Linda ~ Journey Jottings August 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm

I can’t believe there’s ONLY “116″ “strong supporters, travel industry leaders and travel companies” that you feel ‘worth’ following for GetintheHotSpot? ~
The travel fraternity have really embraced Twitter, perhaps due to their mutual love of covering the world ~
I’ve started my third list of 500 travel related Tweeps worth following plus I have nearly a full list of 500 treasured travelling folk on the road ALL blogging about their wonderful worldly experiences.

Like you I use Hootesuite, although there are times I flip over to see my Twitter List streams in their raw form ~
Twitter Lists are really worth creating if you want to keep any semblance of order once you get past the first 100 following or everyone just swishes past in the stream :)

Reply

Annabel Candy August 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Hi Linda, definitely not that the others aren’t worth following. Just that I haven’t connected with them yet. Luckily I can benefit from following all those great lists you’ve made! And of course I follow you:) I like having the split Twitter experiment going on so although @getinthehotspot is growing followers MUCH more slowly than @bloggingmentor which I only set up six months ago I plan to stick with it. That way I can report my findings here:)

Yes, I log into the real Twitter too quite often:)

Reply

sibin August 6, 2011 at 2:13 am

I also agree with you.I read many blogs ,while reading i find that Tweeting is more than Facebook likes.So i think it is the best way for promoting our blog.

Reply

Annabel Candy August 6, 2011 at 9:06 am

Hi Sibin, maybe not the best way to promote our blogs but definitely a great way to do it:)

Reply

Philipp Knoll August 6, 2011 at 5:22 am

Hi Annabel,

Your Twitter advice is great and even not new to Twitter one can find valuable tips in your writing. The only thing I’m not so sure about is the automation. I’m not talking about scheduled tweets but about auto-retweeting. I believe that there is too much noise out there already anyway. It is easy to identify people auto-retweeting by the quantity of their tweets. The number of tweets is often times just very unrealistic. It would mean that those people do nothing but tweeting. They wouldn’t have the time to read all the info they are tweeting about let alone blog for themselves or do the stuff they talk about in their articles. I normally try to avoid such Tweeters as I prefer to get updates from people who have actually valued the links they share before doing so.

Does that make sense to you? I’d be really interested in your opinion on this as I have given the social noise topic a lot of thought lately.

Thanks.

Reply

Annabel Candy August 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

Hi Philipp, great to hear from you. I agree with what you say and there is an element of danger in auto-retweeting. I have to be very careful in only choosing blogs I know will always provide real value or interest. I also switch them around so my followers don’t get bored and I’m always introducing them to new things. Otherwise they can just follow the person who I’m retweeting can’t they?

Reply

Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living August 13, 2011 at 12:25 am

Philip, this resonates with me after writing a post on “How authentic are we online?”

Reply

Angus Richard August 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Hi Annabel
I read this blog and as I progressed began to feel like Stone Henge on a wet November evening…very old and very grey! The reason of course had nothing to do with you it was just that I did not understand a word of it! Being ancient and on the cusp of senility and a recent convert to “blogart” I find myself at this point quite beyond even the smallest tweet. The good news however is that the exploration of the currently unfathomable is great fun. Further I have a couple of very much younger friends (almost everyone at my age!) to whom I go for translation and the door slowly creeketh open! Go well, I always enjoy your missives even if they, like the peace of God..pass all understanding !

Reply

Linda September 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Hi Annabel,

Thanks for a great post. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to streamline my social media use for a wee while, so some of these tips are brill.

I do think Twitter and other social media outlets definitely have their place, but sometimes you can get so sucked in that putting out good content and writing guest posts – my main aims – tend to fall by the wayside. And when time is already limited that’s not so good.

Thanks again!

Reply

Se7en October 8, 2011 at 12:23 am

First blogpost I’ve read on returning to the land of tarred roads. And I love it, I am so glad to have discovered twitter. It brought even more fun into blogging! I love getting to know the twitter-side of my favorite bloggers.

Reply

Lee Davy November 13, 2011 at 11:57 am

As usual very informative.

I managed to pull two gems of information from this article and I thank you for that. I too use Hootsuite and not Tweetdeck. I actually switched to Hootsuite after the awful customer service I experienced at Tweetdeck when their tweet scheduler failed.

Keep up the good work (I doubt you class this as work mind you).

Lee

Reply

Johanna December 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Thanks Annabel, I’m reading this on a down in the dumps day when I had begun to seriously doubt Twitter and may ability to connect to others in a meaningful way. You’ve given lots of good tips (as you always do) and so I’m going to give myself a stern talking to and get on with the job in hand. Your point about “Twitter can induce feelings of paranoia too. It invites endless comparison between you and other bloggers or makes you wonder why so and so are talking to each other and not to you,” is so true, but I guess you’ve just got to get over it and realise that providing helpful and relevant links and content is the way forward. Onwards and upwards ….

Reply

Regina Sayles December 2, 2011 at 9:30 am

Hi Annabel

Thanks for the helpful tips, you made me realize that I need to go back and re-evaluate who I’m following and why. Although my blog is only a few months old, I want to start out attracting viewers who are actually interested in my content from the get go. I’ve found that most of my @mentions come from people or companies that fall within my niche. Those are most likely the people who are actually reading my content.

You also mentioned that you are able to see how much twitter traffic is directed towards your blog. Maybe this is a newbie question, but are there specific plug-ins you’d recommend for monitoring twitter traffic?

And of course, thanks again for your advice. I’m always able to find info here that is applicable to my blogging needs.

Reply

Kitty December 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Hi Annabel, just found your blog via vintage shops Australia on facebook…and I was stunned to find out you’re local to me!!! as an old stick-in-the-mud who hates change, I don’t see how wordpress would be better for my (small-fry!) purposes…any chance you could do a post on google plus?? I don’t really get it!!

Reply

Bishopston Mum January 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Thank you for posting about Twitter, that was really helpful for me as a new blogger and equally new Twitter user. Must confess That sometimes I do feel a bit like how you describe a Twitter user on a bad day. New year’s resolution to fully embrace Twitter! :-)

Reply

sari1099 January 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Thanks a lot for the tips that you give very helpful and your writing is very meaningful to me, I will try your nice twitter tips for blogger like me :)

Reply

Tracey February 4, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Hootsuite works for me : )

Reply

Elizabeth April 27, 2012 at 4:53 am

Thanks for sharing your post about Twitter. We have realized the importance of Twitter and advertising and have written several blogs about it on our website.

Reply

Mike @ Embedle June 24, 2012 at 7:13 am

These were great tips. It actually inspires me to create a new blog so I can try them…

On the subject of Twitter, we’re working on a Twitter app called Embedle that brings twitter conversations to webpages and turns tweets into threaded discussions. We will be releasing a new feature soon that will be made specifically for bloggers to increase engagement and interaction with their readers. I thought you might be interested!

Reply

Leave a Comment


Subscribe to Comments RSS

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: