Any time I go to research news outlets, publications, bloggers or writers (or anyone really), the first social media account I look up is their Twitter account. I hop right on to Google and search away. Nowadays as a writer, it seems almost necessary to own a Twitter handle; it comes with a sense of legitimacy. Not only does Twitter reveal one’s personality, but it also offers viewers a quick glimpse of a writer’s portfolio.
Twitter provides an instantaneous feed of information – it’s a plethora of opinions, conversations, links, images and videos. It also takes less time and energy to view someone’s Twitter than it does someone’s professional website; everything is right there on one site versus being spread across different pages and links. There also isn’t as much pressure in terms of receiving feedback on items you post – it’s not all about the “likes” on Twitter.
Bloggers can greatly benefit from Twitter, from marketing to networking. Therefore, today, I give you 10 Twitter Tips for Bloggers. Enjoy!
1. First impressions count. Back in my post 10 Instagram Tips for Bloggers, I mentioned the importance of first impressions when visitors land on your profile page. Similarly, when visitors land on your Twitter profile page, you want everything to look professional and clean. Make sure your profile picture and cover photo are of high quality. Please, no blurry pictures and stay away from grainy-looking images! Also, make sure your photos aren’t resized to unusual shapes and sizes. If you want a more professional look and feel, use your logo as your profile avatar. A simple, clean image is key. I would try to stay away from collages or “Pic-Stitched” images, too.
Here is an example of a clean Twitter page:
CNN’s Twitter page consists of a simple logo graphic as their profile avatar and a high-quality, easy-to-read image as their cover photo. Boom. It doesn’t get any better than that.
2. Provide the right type of information on your profile page. Be straightforward: Who are you? What do you do? Where are you located? What can you provide to your viewers (if anything)? Etc. Also, most importantly, always provide a link to your homepage. The purpose of your social media accounts is always to build traffic towards your main website.
3. Network. Reach out to others within your niche and community. Twitter is the ultimate social media platform for engaging in conversations. Follow people within your niche, pay attention to their tweets and retweet or reply. Also, be sure to respond back to people who respond to your tweets.
4. Reach out to influencers. Influencers are those with a large amount of engaged followers. If you tweet at them or respond to one of their tweets, they could end up retweeting you or mentioning you in a reply. This can result in greater exposure of your work or more followers for your account.
5. Every tweet counts. Every tweet can either hurt or help your image. Make sure you put a lot of thought in to what you tweet. Generally, try to stay away from controversy (e.g. religious or political topics) – unless it’s the topic of a breaking news story you want to cover. Also, don’t be too self-centered. Your tweets should be more about your followers and what you have to offer them. So, offer them something useful and valuable.
6. Use Twitter as a research tool. On my media Twitter account (@melibarratv), I follow all types of reporters, news and social media accounts. Every time I check my Twitter newsfeed, I’m bombarded with an influx of news and information. Take advantage of Twitter as a resource. If you use a social media platform like Tweetdeck, you can even personalize a set of columns to display certain hashtags or Twitter lists you’ve created of a specific group of people. This type of information can inspire your blog posts. Also, recent topics tend to be more viral on the internet.
7. Ask questions. Ask your followers questions here and there. This can result in great engagement. Moreover, after you’ve received responses, write up a recap to post on your blog: “I asked this question on Twitter the other day and these were my responses.” Feature people who replied to you. After you write up that recap, send a Tweet with a link to the recap.
8. Host twitter parties. What is a Twitter party? Basically, you set aside a specific date and time for a giant conversation with your followers and guests, falling under a unique hashtag. For example, let’s say I want to hold a Twitter party next week discussing Baby Fashion under the hashtag #babyfashionistas101. I will ask questions live to my followers, and every time someone replies they will attach the hashtag #babyfashionistas101, allowing the conversation to be easily followed. For more information on Twitter parties, check out this page: www.5minutesformom.com/twitterparty/.
All-Star Tip: Try incorporating a Twitter contest with your Twitter party to drive engagement. Give away a prize to one of your participants. Sometimes you can even get sponsors to work with you on these.
9. Schedule Tweets. When tweeting, you always want to strike a balance between tweeting too little and tweeting too much. Tweeting too much can annoy your followers, so try to veer away from that. However, what do you do if you tweet too little? Schedule your tweets! Tweetdeck and Hootsuite allow users to schedule tweets to stay on track. Many bloggers schedule their blog posts, so perhaps your scheduled Tweets can revolve around your scheduled blog posts.
10. Promote your Twitter account on your blog. Don’t forget, your blog and your Twitter account should have a symbiotic relationship! Promote your Twitter and other social media accounts on your blog.
Bloggers: Need help finding story ideas or connecting with expert sources? Let us know. PR Newswire for Journalists is your one-stop shop for newsgathering with access to custom newsfeeds, ProfNet expert queries and our multimedia gallery. Best of all, it’s free. Sign up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com or contact us to learn more.
Melissa Ibarra is an online community services specialist at ProfNet, a service that connects journalists with expert sources. In the past, she has worked for CBS Sports and News 12 NJ and done freelance reporting for New Jersey News Room and Reel Reporting. She specializes in social media, graphic design, and video production. Follow her media journey @melibarraTV.