Utilizing social media websites effectively can make or break a blogging career. With a reported 500 million registered users, Twitter should be one of the platforms any blogger depends on to get the word out about their work. According to Twitter, almost 40% of its users don’t even Tweet – they use the website as a news feed and to keep track of things they are passionate about. With these kinds of numbers, you should be using Twitter to promote your blog aggressively. Here are some common mistakes bloggers make when it comes to getting the most out of their Twitter experience:
- Not adding tweet buttons to your posts: Can you think of an easier way to get people to share your blog posts? If you are not giving your current readers the easy and fast option to share your posts, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Your followers obviously already like what you do, and so might their friends and Twitter followers. Give them the opportunity to share their interests with their followers, and you just might gain some traction. The more followers you have on Twitter, the more views your blog will get. Use the social network to…network!
- Tweeting at the wrong time: It might not seem like that big of a deal, but tweeting at a time when your followers will see your tweets is a must. Research shows that the best time to tweet is between 1:00 and 3:00 pm Monday through Thursday. You don’t want to tweet too early and have your tweets buried by the time your followers log on to check things out. You also don’t want to tweet to late and have your tweets go stale before anyone ever sees them. Try to schedule your tweets at the optimal time for your followers when they’ll be more likely to follow the link to your blog.
- Not using effective hashtags: Make sure you use hashtags that are searchable and relevant. You want people who are interested in the subject matter you are writing about to be able to find you and follow you with minimal effort. If you are coming up with hashtags that are too long or obscure, you won’t get any benefit out of them. Also, try not to use too many hashtags per tweet. You want them to be focused, not scattered and overwhelming to readers. If you write a food blog, for example, hashtag your Twitter post with #food and maybe #recipes.
- Not adding a “Follow Me on Twitter!” link in your sidebar: If you don’t give your readers and easy way to find you and follow you on Twitter, they probably aren’t going to search you out. By not adding this link in your sidebar you are missing out on tons of potential followers, shares, and re-tweets. The more you cross-promote your blog the more authority you’re lending yourself.
- Not connecting with your followers: In general, social media is all about connecting to other people. Make sure your Tweets are targeted at the people who follow you (and the people you hope will follow you.) Don’t SPAM your followers with irrelevant Tweets that have no substance just to show up in their feeds. And remember to Tweet even when you don’t have a new blog post to promote. As long as you’re constantly providing relevant information to your followers, they’ll listen.
Twitter is an invaluable tool for a new or established blogger. Always remember the network is a two-way street and to interact as much as you Tweet. Think of Twitter as an extension of your blog community and you’ll gain followers left and right!
Ryan is a product manager at BizShark.com, with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.