Are you looking to get free traffic from Twitter? In this blog post, I'm going to share some Twitter marketing tips I've learned along the way.
Before we start, let me make something clear:
For a new blog, I would focus 100% (well, maybe 99%) of my energy into Pinterest. That's because, unlike Twitter, Pinterest was designed to send bloggers like you boatloads of traffic.
Don't get too caught up trying to get traffic from Twitter to your new blog. The goal is just to set up a system to get passive traffic from Twitter.
Alright, let's get started. Here are my Twitter marketing tips for new bloggers.
1. Create a kickass Twitter profile
First things first. Your profile game needs to be on point. Follow these steps to create an amazing Twitter profile.
Your profile photo needs to be a photo of your face. If you want people to engage with your profile and follow you, retweet your posts and visit your website, you need to be a real person.
Profile photos on Twitter are not very big, so choose a close up picture of your face. Nothing fancy needed here. Just snap a selfie where you're looking at the camera and smiling.
Your profile photo size should be 400x400 pixels (source).
Don't waste this space with a pointless picture. For your cover photo, choose a picture of you doing something related to your niche.
A beautiful panoramic shot with you doing an activity is always a good look. This is especially true if you are the focal point of your blog.
- Food blog? Maybe a picture of some food you cooked up.
- Travel blog? You can be on top of a mountain.
- Health blog? How about a shot of you meditating at the beach.
In short, your cover photo should "sell the dream".
The size of your Twitter header photo should be 1500x500 pixels. You can find some examples here.
Your Twitter bio needs to be short and sweet. You have only 160 characters to work with, so you need to choose your words wisely.
Here's the formula for the perfect Twitter bio:
- Introduction. Who are you, what do you do, and why do you do it?
- Social proof. Why should someone listen to you?
- Call to action. Go to my blog, join my email list, buy my product, etc.
Now that you have designed a visually appealing Twitter profile, it's now time to get some eyeballs on your profile.
2. How to get Twitter followers
Your Twitter follower count is more than just a vanity metric. It represents the total number of people who can see your updates, like them, share them for you.
Having a tweet take off and go viral rarely happens by chance. It happens when you combine great content with an even better distribution channel. What do I mean by that?
To put it bluntly, you need to have a lot of followers to get any kind of traffic from Twitter (see this case study by Buffer).
Here's how to get more followers on Twitter:
Identify several influencers who are in the same niche as you - but have a much bigger audience.
These are the leaders of your industry, and you need to know who they are.
You don't want to go nuts and follow everyone. Aggressive following and unfollowing is against Twitter's terms (source). Plus, following a bunch of random people isn't going to get you anywhere anyway.
Here's how to do it instead. See who has recently followed some bigger names in your space and follow those accounts only.
- Step 1. Go to an influencer's Twitter profile and see their Followers.
- Step 2. Follow recent followers only. They are the ones listed at the top.
- Step 3. Don't do too many. There are hourly, daily, and account limits, so be selective on who to follow.
- Step 4. Be selective. Skip over profiles without a picture, spam accounts, and those in other languages.
By targeting only active Twitter users, you will begin to see some of them follow you back.
You got to give a little to get a little. Retweet some niche-related tweets from your new followers. Giving a follow + a retweet is a good way to show up in their notifications more than once.
Doing this will make it much more likely that they will retweet your posts in return.
3. DM your new followers
Twitter followers are good, but nowhere near as good as an email subscriber. That's because the odds that someone sees a tweet from you are somewhere between slim and none.
What we're going to try and do is convert a Twitter follower into an email subscriber.
Don't have an email list yet? Stop reading this and start an email list first.
How do we get a follower to join your email list? You just ask them.
It's so freaking simple, yet many bloggers ignore this step. What's the worst that can happen? They unfollow you? Oohhh, I'm shaking in my boots!
Don't be afraid to start a conversation with them.
When you receive a follow, send a non-automated follow-up message. You can copy/paste, but be sure to personalize at least their name.
Slide into their DM's with this template!
Hey (insert their first name, look it up on their Twitter name or bio)!
Thank you for your recent follow.
(Comment on something you saw on their profile)
(Mention your lead magnet and include a link to your landing page)
(Personal sendoff, Your name, and URL)
With this tactic, you are doing the following:
- Being personal by addressing them by name.
- Being grateful for their follow.
- Showing you took the time to look at their profile.
- Offering value about a topic they are interested in.
- Your signoff shows you're a real human being, not a bot.
The result will be a Twitter user who doesn't feel like they are being spammed and will appreciate you reaching out to them.
4. Add beautiful share buttons on your blog
Okay, we're done with what you can do directly on Twitter, and now let's move on to what you can do on your actual blog to take your Twitter marketing to another level.
Let's talk share icons.
You need to give your readers the chance to share your blog on Twitter. I recommend using the SocialWarfare to add share icons on your blog posts.
This is what the big boys use. The industry leaders in your niche are using this plugin. They might not tell you. Heck, they might not even answer you if you ask them. But trust me, they are using this plugin.
Here's why I use the SocialWarfare plugin:
You can choose to publicize your share counts or not (or only publicize them once they reach X amount of shares).
You can activate Twitter cards, which means that in each post, you can designate a specific image that's used when your blog post is mentioned on Twitter.
You can choose where you want your icons. I always have mine below the content. Plus, you can choose to use floating buttons, which stay on the page as the user scrolls.
When someone shares your content on Twitter, your handle is included in the tweet. The plugin adds "via @username" to the end of the tweet.
You can activate UTM tracking for the URL being shared so you can see sharing stats in Google Analytics. You can create these tracking codes here.
5. Add a call to action
How do you have your readers share your blog posts on Twitter more often? It's simple, just ask them to share it. Is it really that simple? Yes, yes, and yes!
Here's a quote from Nora Roberts from her book The Gallaghers Of Ardmore Trilogy.
We will end every blog post with a Call To Action (CTA). If you don't tell your readers what to do, they won't do anything.
Every one of my blog posts ends with a call to action. For this post, my call to action is for readers to share this post on Twitter.
6. Write epic content that demands to be shared
If you want your article to be shared on Twitter, the content needs to be AWESOME. Make your content so good Twitter users will want to share it.
I write my content using Grammarly. I don't use it just to catch spelling errors, but to deliver powerful and confident content.
Use numbers, your targeted keyword, and power words for a click-worthy headline.
I wrote a guide on writing catchy headlines here.
You can use this headline analyzer to help you grade the strength of your headlines.
Use the proper capitalization with Capitalize My Title.
Next, you can use this Headline Optimizer plugin to split-test different headlines to see which one gets higher engagement.
If you want more shares on Twitter, solve a problem that your ideal reader is having. If you can solve a problem, it's much more likely to be shared.
Let's be honest, text is boring. Using images throughout your content keeps the reader engaged. This could be screenshots, but it can also just be stock images. I use Pexels.com (free) and DepositPhotos (paid).
Love them or hate them, list-style posts are the epitome of shareable content.
Readers love to skim the key points in an article. List style posts with headings allow them to do just that.
You can check out my blog post template here to help you write better blog posts faster.
When you write your blog posts, write conversationally, as if you're talking to someone. You're not writing a research paper at school!
The most important tip I can give as far as writing great content is to make it FUN. I don't care what topic you're writing about, you can spice up any topic.
7. Give influencers a backlink to get a retweet
A great way of getting your content shared and seen by thousands is by having an influencer in your niche retweet your blog post.
This will put your content in the eyes of tens of thousands of their followers. You can leverage an influencer's huge Twitter following and turn them into fans of your blog.
Here's how to get this done.
Keep in mind that a backlink is worth 1000X that of a tweet.
But if you're new, the value you get back from a retweet is greater than the value you're giving up with a backlink.
8. Use Twitter cards for your blog posts
Twitter posts that contain an image have higher engagement rates (source). This doesn't mean you have to manually add an image to each tweet you share though.
An image will be shown in your tweet automatically if you have Twitter Cards activated on your blog.
I create a custom image for each of my posts as my featured image, which I also use for Twitter.
I create my images in Canva and use their default image size, which is 1024x512. Just search for the Twitter Post design so you can choose from one of the templates they have.
To activate Twitter cards, you have two options:
Using the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, go to SEO > Social > Twitter.
Enable Twitter cards and choose to show Summary (small image) or Summary with large image.
Use the SocialWarfare Pro plugin I mentioned earlier. The plugin will automatically add "Open Graph" meta tags (for Facebook and LinkedIn) and Twitter cards (for uh, Twitter) to your blog posts (source).
If you don't choose a specific image for the plugin to use, it will use your featured image.
You can see if Twitter cards are working using the Twitter card validator tool here.
9. Use click to tweet
Another great part of the Social Warfare plugin is its Click To Tweet feature.
What could be easier than a single click to share your content?
Add a Click To Tweet module directly into your blog posts to encourage more Twitter shares of your content.
These work best when it's a quote or a major point you're making in the article. For example, here's a click-to-tweet for this post:
10. Automate your tweets
I started this article telling you that I would not
spend waste my time trying to get Twitter traffic. I would instead focus on Pinterest since it's way easier.
But that doesn't mean I ignore Twitter. It means I don't spend hardly any time on Twitter.
What I've done is automate Twitter marketing to get (free) passive traffic from Twitter.
I use Social Pilot to schedule my tweets for months in advance.
This is how I do it.
I use Google Sheets, but any spreadsheet will do.
I write 5 different tweets per article in addition to tweeting inspirational quotes.
Go to File > Download As > Comma-separated values (.csv, current sheet)
On Social Pilot, add your Twitter account and set a posting schedule. You pick the number of times per day you post and the time.
On Social Pilot, go to Posts > Bulk Schedule. Upload the file, choose your Twitter account, and you're done.
To schedule your content for months in advance, copy + paste the content in your spreadsheet until you have hundreds (or thousands) of lines.
I usually schedule my tweets out 3-6 months in advance.
You can start using Social Pilot here. You can use it for 14 days to try it out without entering any payment info.
At the moment, Twitter does NOT have an algorithm like Pinterest has. The content you see on your feed is posted in chronological order. Until this changes, posting more frequently is the best way to increase the visibility of your tweets.
Alright, I'm all done here. If you found this post helpful, hit that Twitter share button!