How to Get More Traffic with Twitter
"Twitter is simple to use and this is what makes it so popular... it gets tons of traffic and it can get you tons of traffic as well." — Webconfs.com
Many top bloggers have claimed that over half of their traffic are referred by Twitter. Unlike Google which takes time to crawl your site, traffic from Twitter is relatively instantaneous. As such, many new bloggers have likewise benefited. So if you have not already started using Twitter, isn't it worth your while to allocate some of your valuable time to find out how Twitter can work for you?
Twitter is a microblogging social-networking site that places a 140-character limit in a message, known as "tweets". (Twitter automatically replaces all URL addresses with their own t.co urls, with HTTP urls being treated as 19 characters, and HTTPs urls as 20, irrespective of the actual length of your URL address. Thus the 140-character limit appears to be exceeded at times and at other times, you feel that you've been shortchanged.)
Described as "the SMS of the Internet", Twittter has become one of the top 10 most visited websites on the Internet, since its launch in July 2006. In September 2011, Twitter hit 100 million monthly active users but by December of the following year, that number had more than doubled, surpassing the 200 million mark. With so many registered users, is it any wonder that Twitter has become one of the best places on the Internet for webmasters and bloggers to receive traffic?
10 Steps to Becoming a Twitter Master
The Two Most Important Things to Consider in Twitter
Your profile and your username are the two most important things to consider because they are the first two things that your visitors will see, when they visit your Twitter page.
- Make your Twitter profile interesting: If your profile looks boring, people will not bother to read your tweets. As you are limited to only 140 characters, you cannot write a very long bio. State your location, occupation, interests, etc, and include a couple of keywords. Do not forget to put your website URL in your bio, if you want to drive traffic to your website. (URLs are considered to be 19 characters long for HTTP, no matter what its actual length is.)
- Choose a username that is targeted at your niche, e.g. if you are promoting your SEO services, you can choose something like SEOmaster, SEOguru, SEOservices, etc. Dummies.com says: "Your Twitter name has power and influence on search engine optimization (SEO), which translates to how close to the top of a search results list you appear in a search engine such as Yahoo! or Google. If you're a business, consider using a valuable keyword as your Twitter name."
Unlike Facebook and some other social networks, Twitter allows you to have more than one Twitter account. Each account, however, must have its own unique email address associated with it. You are allowed to log in to only one Twitter account at a time in the same browser, but you may use different browsers to logged in to multiple accounts simultaneously.
Twitter also allows you to change your username.
What to Tweet
Tweet what is valuable and useful to your readers, and avoid purely promotional posts. Instead of merely adding a link to your hub or blog, write some useful content. Common sense, right?
When you log into Twitter, you will also find 10 trending topics in a box on the left-hand side of the page. "Trends" are hot topics that are being discussed by lots of Twitter users. If you do not know what to tweet, you can take a look at these topics which may, in turn, inspire you to tweet.
When you write a tweet, you can start with an interesting fact, but always try to end with a question, whenever possible, followed by a link to your hub or website. This way, it will generate curiosity to find out more and the chances of users visiting your hub or site is dramatically increased.
How to Use Twitter: Hashtags
You can use hashtags to organize your content. Hashtags always begin with a pound sign (#), e.g. #health. They also facilitate Twitter users to find tweets that may interest them, which also means that hashtags make it easier for your tweets to be found through related searches. If people can find your tweets, they may retweet it to their followers, thus creating an opportunity for your tweets and/or your hubs to go viral.
You can find the right hashtag to use by using Twitter's search function. Established users who have thousands of followers are usually very experienced, so you can learn from them by seeing what kind of hashtags they use. Websites such as hashtags.org also provides a list of popular hashtags for various topics.
Do not use too many hashtags, or else your tweets would look like spam. Moreover, Google may penalize your tweets by not indexing them. Thus, avoid using more than 3 hashtags at any one time. Also, do not use hashtags that are misleading and irrelevant to your tweets.
How to Socialize in Twitter
- Inform your friends, acquaintances, and coworkers of your Twitter account: Your friends, acquaintances, and coworkers will be your most loyal audience. Make them aware of your Twitter account by sending them the link to your Twitter profile. Send them a mass invite, If you have their emails, or know their accounts on other networks.
- Seek out Twitter users with similar interests: Use Twitter's search functions to find users with similar interests. These users may not be as loyal as your friends, acquaintances, and coworkers, but you can still get some hits from them. Some Twitter users report that about 1-2% of their followers visit their site a day but by making your tweets interesting, you can beat the odds.
- Interact as much as possible: When you respond to the posts of your followers in Twitter and visit their links, chances are that they will do likewise. In short, actively follow those that follow you. To send a message to a specific person or to reply, begin your Twitter message with @, followed by that person’s Twitter username.
- Tweet regularly: As with all other kinds of social networks, if you want to keep your audience, you need to feed them regularly. Writing a short tweet takes just a few seconds, but is enough to keep your followers happy. Needless to say, you should tweet about useful things. If you don't have something useful to post, it is perfectly alright to post a link to an article, a video, or a blog that you found on the Internet that you find interesting.
Twitter Services and Gadgets
Twitter Help Center says "We’re constantly amazed by the applications and services that develop around the Twitter platform."
Yes, there are a lot of such applications and services these days that can extend the functionality of your Twitter account. While Twitter allows this, it also cautions that "ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of your account, which means you shouldn't give control of your account to a third-party unless you've thoroughly investigated the application. If your account automation is violating the Twitter Rules (by retweeting spam updates, repeatedly posting duplicate links, etc.), your account will be suspended."
Twitterfeed is one example of a Twitter service. It takes your RSS feeds and sends new items to the social networks that you want to link with. Apart from Twitterfeed, there are also many other gadgets which can turn your blog visitors into Twitter followers. If these followers have a big following, there is a good chance that some of their followers will notice you and join your network.
There are also many tools out there that can automate your tweets. Apart from Twitterfeed mentioned earlier, there are also other sites such as Buffer, and SocialOomph. Needless to say, automation tools can dramatically increase your traffic from Twitter. If you constantly monitor what new Twitter tools and gadgets are being released, you will certainly find more ways to drive traffic from Twitter to your site.
(NOTE: URL shorteners are no longer required, as Twitter now converts all URL addresses with their own t.co urls.)
A Word of Caution: Do Not Spam
Because it is so easy to tweet, it is also very easy to spam Twitter by sending your lastest tweets to as many users as you can. Refrain from doing this, or else you may be banned. To avoid being banned by Twitter, do familiarize yourself with its Policies and Violations.