How To Use Twitter

Twitter is a complicated platform for many of us, as both bloggers and just personal users. It is not as easy to drive traffic from than other platforms, but it still has a range of uses and possibilities that are unique to the platform.

This post will be a little different than my other social media posts for Guide to Blogging because Twitter is so different and, at least how I use the platform, is very different than the others. I will still cover promotion and advertising, but there will be other aspects covered as well!

Promotion

I have found that promoting my content on Twitter is not as effective as it is on other platforms but still worthwhile. There are some tips that can help your content get out there and found easier overall.

Tweet Your Content Multiple Times

This tip was a surprise to me at first, but it totally makes sense. There is constantly content being pushed into user feeds, so your tweet about your new post can get drowned out easily, if it even reaches your followers’ feeds at all. So tweeting about your content multiple times on the day it goes up helps get it into more feeds and seen sooner. Make each tweet unique though and not just repeat the exact same tweet every time.

How many times should you tweet about a new post? I’ve seen advice range from three times to upwards of seven times. I think it depends on your goals and abilities to do so. If you’re really new to using Twitter in this way, I’d say start with two or three times max. And if you make doing this a routine, it will become second nature.

Use Visuals

Visuals reign as the best way to get people to see and engage with your content on every platform and Twitter is no exception. Many think that Twitter must be words focused, especially with a character count limiting how much you can say. But that will not capture the attention as well as images, gifs, and videos do. So definitely think visual when it comes to Twitter.

How Often Should You Post

The general advice for this is often. I’ve seen 14 times a day as a recommendation, and even higher. Because of the likelihood that your tweets get drowned out by everyone else’s tweets, it is not a bad idea to tweet often. Just make sure it is not purely promotional tweets for yourself. Share other bloggers’ posts you like, tweet engaging tweets, and even just some personal insights. One thing I have started doing is live-tweeting my thoughts and reactions to things I watch called #AGeekGirlWatches. It is definitely not a new concept, but it helps me tweet more and not just promotional.

Engagement

Twitter is actually where I engage with people the most, especially for the blog. It’s very easy to start conversations with people, join in on fun trends, and get feedback for things. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I do polls a lot for feedback on ideas. Guide to Blogging was heavily planned with the help of Twitter polls actually.

You can also start threads and discussions on Twitter, whether it be just for fun or for promotional purposes. It gets conversations going which is one of the things Twitter is best for.

It’s not only about starting engagement opportunities but participating in others’ as well. Give mutuals feedback, jump into the random trends happening as you see fit, participate in polls, and participate in conversations as appropriate. If you engage with others, they are more likely to engage with you.

Networking

Speaking of engagement, Twitter is a great place to network! Engaging with your fellow bloggers, brands you love, and people you admire is a great way to get some good contacts for future collaborations.  Networking on Twitter is how I got the ability to go to PAX Unplugged last year and how I’ve worked with game publishers to get review copies of games.

However, do not engage with people purely to network and hope you can get something out of them. That’s not how any of this works. Connect with people you truly want to have conversations and connect with, not just ones that can benefit you in some way.

Advertising

Advertising is not something I personally do on Twitter, in terms of paying for promoted tweets and such. But for those who may be considering it, I will cover it as well as I can. As a reminder, I recommend you read my Intro to Social Advertising post that covers some basic info you will need.

Twitter has a business dashboard that you will use to create your ads. It then has a five-step process to creating your ad which is what I will cover now.

Step One: Objective

The objective is a common starting point for ads, and it covers what do you want this ad to accomplish. There are five objective options for promoted tweets: awareness, tweet engagements, followers, website clicks, and app installs.

twitter-objectives.JPG

It’s up to you to figure out what you want out of this ad. Website clicks are what you want for promoting specific content, but awareness can also be helpful depending on what you want to accomplish.

Step Two: Audience

The audience is who you want to see the ad. I cover this more in-depth in the Intro to Social Advertising post as well as in my Building an Audience post as well.

Step Three: Bidding

Bidding is where Twitter differentiates itself from other social platforms with their advertising. Twitter Ads run via auction, where you identify how much you are willing to pay per click, per follow, etc. Higher bids will lead to the ad being seen by more people. Ad bidding is a practice found in website ads as well.

Twitter also offers automatic bidding, which has it calculated based on your budget and goals. If you’re not comfortable with the bidding concept, I recommend using the automatic bidding instead.

Step Four: Budget

For Twitter specifically, you define a daily budget for the ad. You will likely define the duration of your ad here as well. Much like with audience, I cover this in more depth in the Intro to Social Advertising post.

Step Five: Creative

Creative is the look and visuals of your ad. For this, you will choose existing tweets that you have already posted to promote. It is like boosting posts for Facebook ads. You will have a chance to add a call-to-action, such as “sign up” or “start today”, but everything else is pulled from the existing tweet.

This is a very brief overview of Twitter ads and I recommend you go look through Twitter’s resources for more details. I personally choose to not advertise on Twitter because I believe my ad dollars work better elsewhere, but you should investigate it yourself to see if it will work for you.

So that is my guide on Twitter! Overall I would say Twitter is best used for engagement and networking and that should definitely be part of your use of the platform.


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