Twitter is a great way to build a following for your blog, but it’s a peculiar beast. It’s not like Facebook, where you can just ask someone to be your friend by clicking a button. Twitter requires you to be more aggressive and savvy if you want followers. You can attract a sizable micro-blogging readership without being Ashton Kutcher though. Especially if you’re promoting your blog, Twitter is an unparalleled way to attract attention. Here are some tips for things you can do to build a loyal fan-base for your tweets.
Follow others like you and interact with them. Just like cultivating a blogroll, you’ve got to find others on Twitter that share your interests and follow them. Then, when they post, you can respond to them and get on the radar. If you’re not following hundreds of people and services on Twitter, you’re probably not getting the most out of it. Over 27 million people use Twitter. Get just a couple hundred of them to subscribe to your blog and you’re off and running.
Use #hashtags but don’t overuse them. Hashtags are a fantastic way to get your tweets aggregated into categories where like-minded people will see you. This will increase your chances of being retweeted, which, depending on who’s retweeting you, should expose you to hundreds of new potential followers. Hashtags can also be used to contextualize a link or to simply add a sub-text to your post. It’s okay to not use hashtags, but you should definitely know how to use them. That said, if you overuse hashtags it will make your tweets look like spam, and if you’ve got links and @’s thrown in there too, it can be quite an eye sore.
Don’t go too off topic. If your blog is about mobile phone technology, you’re going to want to keep your tweets focused on subjects within that category. It’s okay to get a little off topic, perhaps reacting to breaking news, a sports game, or a recent movie you liked, but a Tweet about the Galaxy S2 cell phone will make more sense to mobile phone hounds who like your blog than a Tweet about the benefits of a gluten-free diet. You can lose followers very quickly by losing focus and tweeting on random subjects.
These are just a few Twitter tips that can help you to draw more attention to your blog or website. Twitter is an amazing social media tool that, if leveraged correctly, can bolster your traffic and subscription numbers greatly. But you’ve got to treat it like a tool, not a form of undisciplined entertainment. Remember, your blog needs Twitter but Twitter doesn’t need your blog.