Right from the early days of Twitter I decided to start working on building my brand there. Now with over 5,000 visitors in the last 30 days, Twitter is my number one referral traffic source. And it has actually always been on the top of the list for the last few years
The fact is with enough high-quality followers, you have the potential of drawing a lot of traffic from Twitter right to your blog.
But of course followers are not all there is to Twitter.
I’ve seen accounts that rarely receive a SINGLE retweet on their shares even though they have hundreds of thousands of followers under their belt. To see success you should look at different directions and take into consideration multiple factors.
The aim of today’s post is namely to give you a glimpse over some of those other factors that matter.
In the below paragraphs I have devised a list of five of the things I do to stay on top of my Twitter marketing aside from getting people to follow me.
Let’s get started:
1. Start with Designing Your Profile
What a lot of folks tend to do is the minute they sign-up, they just become tweet and follow frenzy. Without having taking a minute to optimize their profile, they rush into following everyone they see and tweeting links.
Chances are before following you back, people WILL look at your profile. And when they see an egg or some photo you found on the internet (it’s easy to distinguish between a real one) as your profile picture, they probably won’t look further.
What is the morale here?
We need to be genuine.
Shooting and uploading a photo of you takes just a couple of minutes but the effect is big. One thing to remember is don’t make the photo too small. I myself have the tendency of clicking on the avatars to see them in bigger size. It looks rather unprofessional when you click on one and it doesn’t scale up to a bigger size than the thumbnail. The least it could be an avatar you’ve found somewhere and used on your profile.
It seems like the perfect dimensions for a Twitter avatar are 400 x 400. That way when clicked the images scales up nicely so people can see your face better.
Second thing is the cover image, which all big social networks incorporate lately.
The default cover image isn’t ugly, but it doesn’t tell the visitor anything. Plus it isn’t cohesive. The avatar rarely fits that grayish background. Here are a few examples of great combinations between a profile image and a cover photo:
Darren has done a great job connecting the cover with the profile image. The professionally-made close-up of Darren’s face definitely adds a pinch of credibility even if it wasn’t for the blue tick next to his name.
KISSmetrics profile tells us right away, without having to read the description, what they are all about. We instantly know we are dealing with a company that specializes in social media (the Twitter badges and the conversation balloons) analysis (the numerous charts) to help business make money (the briefcase, the shopping trolley, the dollar bill).
The last one from Michael Hyatt’s profile is the “cleanest” on the list. Simplicity is definitely not a bad thing when executed right. Additionally the black color makes for a great contrast between the background and the letters, making the reader’s eyes focus on the text.
Hopefully those profiles brought some inspiration. If they indeed did and you are ready to fire-up Photoshop, make sure your cover image is exactly 1252 pixels wide and 626 pixels high.
As for the background, I honestly don’t like the ones that include a ton of text, logos and images and prefer to keep it simple with just one color that matches the cover photo. One simplistic background that I really like is the one Moz have.
2. Use and Monitor Hashtags
Are you adding hashtags to your tweets?
Well if you aren’t, you should be. A recent research proved that hashtags do make a difference. The results speak for themselves:
So from the above graphic we see that it is best to go for either one or two hashtags in your tweets. But the question now is which hashtags should we use. Well unless you are making a Twitter chat using a hashtag, you shouldn’t be too specific with Twitter hashtags. There isn’t enough search volume for hashtags like #ConversionOptimizationTips or #GetMoreBlogTraffic to work.
The best starting point is your competition. Discover Twitter users who are using Twitter longer than you and observe their hashtag usage.
3. Take Advantage of Search Alerts
The main idea of a search alert is to stay tuned to what other are saying about your brand and to engage where appropriate. Search alerts can also be used for monitoring your competition or just keeping yourself informed on an event.
One really simple tool that I recently discovered and that does the job well is TweetBeep.
Before you use it, you will first have to sign-up. The whole process will take just a minute of your time so it’s not a big deal.
Then once you have confirmed your email, you log-in and click on the big “My Alerts” link on the top-right side of your screen. Now you will have to insert the keyword or the keyphrase you will be monitoring, choose whether that is simply a keyword, a hashtag, or a Twitter username, select the frequency and you are done:
Noticed the “Exclude keywords” option? That one can be particularly useful if you are looking for specific results and don’t want to receive all notifications about the keyword of your choice.
4. Make Sure People Know You Are on Twitter
Sounds a little obvious, doesn’t it?
Even though it might indeed seem like a no-brainer, have you seriously thought about ways to let people know you are on Twitter and they can follow you there?
Well below I have included some of the more important things you absolutely must do if you want to be followed:
- Make sure to add “via @YourTwitterHandle” to your retweet button – It is quite frustrating when you want to retweet an article, but the retweet button doesn’t include the via element. After all you need to make sure you give credit to the original author. Haven’t you also happened to follow someone namely after seeing the author’s Twitter handle?
Okay, how do you add that? Simple. Most social plugins will have a field in their Settings page where you can add your Twitter handle. The rest will be done automatically. Or if you are using the direct code for the button, here is what you need:
<iframe style="width: 115px; height: 21px;" src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/tweet_button.html?url=<?php the_permalink(); ?>&via=YOUR TWITTER HANDLE&text=<?php the_title(); ?>" height="240" width="320" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>
- Include social buttons at the right side of your header – Social Media Widget is a really simple WordPress plugin that does just that – it allows you to include social media buttons for a wide variety of platforms including Twitter. There are several button styles with different hover effects, so you should find the look that suits you.
If you have a widget area at the top of your blog, make sure to include the widget there. After all that is one of the first elements your blog’s visitors will notice.
- Still Don’t neglect your sidebar – The sidebar is where most blogs have a “Stay Tuned” widget for people to connect, so you shouldn’t forget about that area. One of the best placements to use is the “About me” widget, where you tell people a bit about yourself and provide them with a link to your About page. There I’d advise you to use the follow button from Twitter’s page.
Also if you are willing to spend six bucks, the Social Box plugin (aff. link) is a great way to add a dynamic widget that shows the number of fans and followers for your social platforms and allows visitors to easily follow you.
- Create an Email Signature – It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. What I’ve done is simply included a link to my social media profiles without any styling. Images and hard formatting aren’t a good idea with emails anyway, since most people won’t see them. Make it simple and noticeable.
5. Measure Your Results and Adapt
The last part comes down to measuring your results and adapting your presence.
How do you do that?
Well there are a number of tools that you can take advantage of.
If you’d like to know which of your tweets return a lot of retweets and which fail to create engagement, you can use Buffer (ref. link).
Buffer as you probably know is a tool that allows you to schedule Twitter updated. If you use it, you also get some really detailed analytics that can give you an insight on what is working and what isn’t if you are testing different kinds of tweets.
Another service that you can use to observe your results is Twitter Counter. The service provides information on how many followers you gain/lose on daily base. With the free plan you can go back up to six months in time to see how your account is doing and how your number of followers is changing over time.
Those are some of the main considerations if you want a strong presence on Twitter. Keep in mind that it all starts from your profile. If you make that part right, your path will be a little easier. Second thing is hashtags – make sure to use them – they do make a difference! Thirdly don’t forget to make sure people know how to find you on Twitter.
Now on to you!
What are your ways to stay on top of Twitter? Do you agree with the steps I covered in the post? Do you use hashtags?
Please take a minute to share!