Blogkeeping // How I Use Twitter

Blogkeeping // How I use Twitter // Elembee.com

Last week, I gave an overview of some things you need to know about Twitter, and Jadyn wanted to know how I personally use it for my business. Honestly, I don’t use some groundbreaking strategy — it’s really all about getting your name out there and connecting with others, and like I said last week, you’ll get more out of it if you actually enjoy it. I see Twitter as a way for people to get to know me better and vice-versa, through personal tidbits that don’t necessarily fit on my blog and conversations that may not have a place anywhere else, and it’s also a great way to share information! Twitter is just another way to help people find you and remember who you are — I’ve even gotten recommendations from people who found my work through Twitter and shared it with a friend who was looking for a designer. Here are some of the ways I use Twitter:

I follow people that add value

And by value, I just mean they add to my day in some way. Some make me laugh, some share interesting links, some know the answer to everything, and some, let’s be honest, lead really interesting lives and I just like to stalk them. Here are a few of the things that make me want to follow people:

  • When they start fun or interesting discussions.
  • When they share links with thoughtful commentary that makes me want to read them.
  • When they make relatable personal comments.
  • When they answer my questions in a helpful way.
  • Mean Girls quotes. Instant follow. Ditto on Harry Potter.

As I mentioned, I don’t follow for follow anymore, but I am more likely to follow back when someone says hello or joins a conversation. I probably won’t follow someone who constantly auto-tweets from other platforms, tweets their links out too often, or makes a lot of negative or passive-agressive comments. I also prefer following blogs via Twitter — since I cleared out my Google Reader, I pretty much stick to blogs that regularly provide visual inspiration there. With Twitter, I can choose whether or not to follow a link and read the post without getting to that 1000+ unread mark in Google Reader, which used to happen all the time!

I join the conversation

Like I said before, Twitter is one giant conversation, and you just have to jump in. We’ve talked about leaving thoughtful comments before, and the same is true for Twitter. It’s perfectly fine to tweet back that you agree with someone, or they shared a great post, and it’s more likely you’ll get a response than if you left a similar comment in the comments section. But Twitter is a never-ending stream of thoughts, and your reply is a lot more likely to be noticed if it adds to the conversation. If you see that you have something in common with someone, start a conversation! I actually just met a fellow blogger for coffee because she saw on Twitter that I live in her hometown and she was going to be in for a visit, and like I said before, a number of my blogging friendships happened because we jumped in on each other’s Twitter conversations. And don’t forget Twitter chats!

I share my work

This is where I think it gets tricky for people — there’s definitely a fine line when it comes to too much self-promotion. A lot of people get on Twitter solely because they know they should be promoting their posts there, but it’s really more effective if you’re building those relationships and joining conversations too, balancing out the self-promotion with other valuable tweets. Here are a few things I try to follow:

  • Don’t auto-tweet posts. Personally, a lot of my posts publish at 6am CST, so people on the West Coast wouldn’t even see those tweets! This can get especially annoying if you have multiple platforms sending auto-tweets for the same post, so you end up with 8 tweets going out at the same time. People don’t like that. Same goes for auto-tweeting pins. It’s fine to share a pin with a comment every once in a while, but don’t auto-tweet your pinning spree.
  • Preview the link. I personally would much rather see a short description of your link than “new blog post,” so I know what it’s about and why I would want to read it. I usually ask a question or pull a quote from my post, that way I’m not sending out the same tweet throughout the day, but those who have already seen the link know they can skip over it.
  • Post your links when people are online. I have readers on both the East and West Coasts, so I generally try to post my links around 9am (CST), noon, 4pm, and 8pm. That way, my links hit some people when they’re getting to work, some at lunchtime, some in the afternoon slump, and some when they’re winding down for the evening. I use Buffer to schedule my tweets and change up the schedule a little each week or so, so my tweets aren’t going out at the exact same time every day. Your schedule may need to be different — just play around until you find one that works for you. I also typically schedule the day before or the morning of, that way I don’t forget what I’m tweeting out.

I find and share information

Twitter is the perfect place to find and share interesting things you come across. People are always looking for fun links to follow, so if you really liked something you read, make a short comment about it and share the link! Again, it’s another way for people to get to know you better — you can share interests you may not usually talk about on your blog. Also, Twitter is a great place to ask questions, whether you need help with something, or you’re simply curious about what other people think, so ask away!

I hope this gives you a better idea of some ways you can use Twitter — it really is all about experimenting and figuring out what works best for you. How do you use Twitter?

20 Comments

  1. I usually follow back people who follow me and then use TweetDeck lists to see tweets from the people I really care about, but nothing drives me crazier than getting followed by someone and later finding that he or she has unfollowed me after I follow back. Especially when it’s a restaurant. You’re lucky I followed you, restaurant! And now there ain’t NO WAY I’m visiting you and reviewing you for all the world to see!

    Luckily, friendorfollow.com exists.

    Posted 3.6.13
    • Yeah, I think it’s a different story when you’re talking about businesses who tweet as businesses. Yes, my tweeting does help my business, but I don’t tweet AS my business, I tweet as myself. Restaurants should definitely be following the patrons who follow them, especially when they’re writing reviews. And yes — following people just to get them to follow you, then unfollowing them, is annoying. Those are also usually the people who are constantly whining about losing followers and asking for retweets to get to a certain number. In my opinion, if you have to ask for followers, it’s not genuine growth.

      If I liked using TweetDeck on a regular basis, I would probably do the same, but I just prefer the simplicity of the regular Twitter site for everyday use, so it’s easier to make sure I’m only following people I enjoy following.

      Posted 3.6.13
      • Even worse than asking for followers is buying followers. I know that’s rampant on Instagram, and it’s not fooling anyone.

        Posted 3.6.13
  2. Celestine wrote:

    I’m beating myself up for undermining the power of Twitter so early on when I started blogging months ago. Now I understand that it’s one of, if not the most, powerful traffic driving tool for blogs and businesses.

    Posted 3.6.13
    • I think it can be a really effective tool for driving traffic if you use it well. It’s definitely one of my top sources for referral traffic, but that didn’t really happen until I started spending more time on it outside of promoting my posts.

      Posted 3.6.13
  3. Allyssa wrote:

    Great tips! Your tweets are really effective in getting me to click links. In fact, on some days I end up on your blog several times because I think what you’re tweeting about is an entirely new link! You definitely have mastered how to hook someone into clicking! Either that or I’m an idiot who has no common sense, haha.

    Posted 3.6.13
    • Hahaha, good to hear! Though, maybe I do need to be a little more clear on the content of my links so it doesn’t look like a new post — I know I always get disappointed when I follow a link and it’s something I’ve already read! It’s a really fine line — I certainly don’t want to be tweeting the same thing all day, but I don’t want people to get annoyed because they keep clicking links they’ve already read. Guess it’s really all about experimenting.

      Posted 3.6.13
    • Celestine wrote:

      I completely agree! I also frequent this site everyday if not multiple times a day!

      Posted 3.6.13
  4. Apparently I’m a technology fool, but what is “auto-tweeting”? And while we’re on the “auto” subject, what is “auto-pinning?”

    Posted 3.6.13
    • There are plugins you can use to send your post links automatically to Twitter when you post them. You see auto-tweeting with different apps too — for example, if you link your Twitter account to Pinterest, you can choose for it to automatically tweet every time you pin.

      Posted 3.6.13
  5. I have major love for Twitter. I make my closest blogging friendships that way – most of them start there after I’ve commented on their blog. I do love your tip about not auto-tweeting your post. I unfollowed someone just yesterday that would tweet their post from multiple apps and I would see 8 tweets in my feed with identical subjects and links.

    I also unfollow people who have me click to their Facebook post, where I must click the link to the blog. I see what you’re doing there, and I don’t like it.

    Posted 3.6.13
    • Oh yeah, not a fan of the tweet to Facebook post to blog. Do you want me to read your post or not?

      And yay for Twitter friends!

      Posted 3.6.13
  6. Sandra wrote:

    I love twitter! Love the banter and quick conversation. I also use it to RT links that I think my followers might find interesting.

    It’s the best way for me to follow people with different, unique interests who end up being gatekeepers for all sorts of information that I’d never find otherwise.

    Posted 3.7.13
  7. Lauren wrote:

    Great insight, as usual! P.S. Anything Mean Girls or Harry Potter related is an instant follow for me too! : )

    Posted 3.7.13
  8. Ashley wrote:

    It is so hard for me to think about using Twitter :\ Maybe I’ll try to instill some of these into my approach.

    xo Ashley
    thetiniestfirecracker.com

    Posted 3.8.13
  9. Jadyn wrote:

    Thank you so much for this post Lisa! It took me a while to be able to sit down and really read it but it was definitely worth reading with my full attention! Thank you for giving some insight into how you use twitter. I’ve started unfollowing people so that hopefully my twitter feed will be a place that I want to go visit again – babysteps…thanks for getting me going in the right direction. 🙂

    Posted 3.12.13
  10. I started tweeting last year. I have a growing love for it but it doesn’t come easily. I think having conversations gets easier when you have a bigger pool of people to comment back 🙂 Personally I love instagram for its visual connection. But I do appreciate the need for twitter too.

    Posted 7.14.13

Comments are closed.