In comparison to Facebook and Instagram, Twitter is a fairly untapped method for generating traffic to sites. This is especially odd considering the huge Twitter communities of bloggers out there.
In this article, we’ll give you a bit of background on Twitter, the big mistakes people make as well as some top tips to follow to get more traffic!
Let’s start with making sure we know what Twitter is all about.
A question I’m regularly asked is ‘What’s the point of Twitter?’ ‘You only get 280 (originally 140) characters… Why bother?’
Those not using Twitter view it as, wrongly in my opinion, of being a micro blog. Cram all your thoughts into 280 characters and wait for engagement. The way I see it is more of a headline grabber and a way to get people’s attention. Get their attention and, with the right words, you can get them to your blog.
I started as a passive user of Twitter, following some journalists and comedians, hoping to be the first person to know of a big news story, or be entertained with a funny joke.
Why can’t I do the same?
What I soon realised, though, was if these people can get me to follow them and read their content, why can’t I do the same?
It’s now my ‘go-to’ place for updates about things I’m interested in and, more importantly for business, where I go if I need to reach out or let my followers know of a new piece of content I’ve posted (resulting in more traffic!)
My favourite thing about Twitter is the flexibility. It let’s you post text, images, video, live steaming while also being amazing for engagement and having great conversation with followers.
Sure, no social media platform is perfect (that’s why there’s so many!), so let’s look at some pros and cons of using Twitter to drive traffic:
I find Twitter to be the best platform to get FREE targeted engagement and traffic. Sure, you could spend money boosting posts, but the hashtag functionality allows you to target people looking for content like yours really easily. If you engage regularly, your following will join in. To get similar traction on Facebook and Instagram really needs paid advertising which is something we like to avoid if we can.
Twitter gives you great accessibility to your content lovers. There are over 260 million Twitter accounts with almost half of them active on the platform daily. That’s well over 100 million people actively looking for stuff to read and comment on and potential. Again, using relevant hashtags helps you target people interested in what you’re talking about.
Deliver customer service
Twitter allows two-way conversation between you and your followers. This can be a great way to deliver great customer service, which enhances your brand and following. If you deal with things via the comments, other people will see it, which is a great opportunity to show your personality and service in a positive light.
Similar to customer service, if you can gain traction and have thousands of followers, they’ll see your authenticity and personality which readers love. True fans will be interested in you as the writer as much as the articles you’re writing. Putting yourself out there is a great way to build your brand.
Another great benefit of using Twitter is that it’s easy to get genuine feedback from your readers. If someone likes or loves what you’ve posted, there’s a high chance they’ll let you know in the comments. Listen to what they’re saying use that to decide what’s working.
As mentioned above, no social media platform is perfect, and each one comes with its downsides. Here are some specifically related to Twitter:
It can take up a lot of capacity to maintain an engaging Twitter account that generates traffic. Followers will expect regular updates, or they’ll lose interest. It can take time to think of content for Twitter that’ll maintain and increase your following. The good news is there’s two options to help you on this. We cover them in more detail below.
Of course, not everyone will love every piece of content you put out there. That’s part of the game! The internet is a big place, and you’ll get people that actively complain about your content if they disagree. The good news is if you handle this feedback well, you can enhance your reputation even further.
Perhaps the biggest downside to Twitter is that because so many people are posting daily, your content can drop down the page very quickly without being seen by all your followers, especially if they’re not online when you post it. To tackle this, be sure to retweet previous content to give it the maximum chance of being seen. Also, if your audience is in a specific location, think about when they’re most likely to be on time and schedule your posts accordingly.
Those 280 characters
Yep, it can be frustrating trying to get your message out within 280 characters. It’s a skill learning how to do so. With practice, you’ll get there. A quick tip on this, if the links you’re sharing are taking up lots of characters, use a URL shortener like bitly. I use this tool every day. It allows you to not only cut down your links, but brand them as well. What’s more, you’ll be able to measure how many people have clicked on the link and where they’ve clicked on. This is all completely free.
The three biggest, most common mistakes people make with Twitter
Even though Twitter is a really simple platform to use, you can still make simple mistakes without even realising it. Let’s have a look at them and how to tackle them. Master these and you’ll be on the right path to generating traffic with Twitter.
Lack of branding
So many accounts I see, who are trying to grow their presence create a quick account, add any old photo they like, rush through the profile description and start posting. You simply aren’t going to achieve a high following if you don’t let people know who you are. Be sure to use a clear photo, either of yourself or, in the case of a business, your logo. Make sure you use the profile description to let people know who you are and what to do. This may sound obvious, but there are so many who skip by this.
This can be a tricky one to get right, and it’ll take time, testing and practice to nail it. Getting the headline right is key to generating traffic from Twitter. As we’ve already mentioned, you only have a limited number of characters to get your message across, so use them wisely! Don’t write it as a text message. Grab the readers’ attention. Read it back to yourself. If you read that as a consumer, would you want to know more? Just like in a blog post, the headline is critical for someone to click on, read and eventually share. So don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from people you know. (I’d say friends and family, but they’ll likely just tell you it’s great because they like you 😊).
Not enough tweets
Twitter is different to Facebook. On Facebook, you can get away with posting once every few days. That’s not the case on Twitter. Remember, as soon as you’ve posted, as a result your tweet will move down the page very quickly and be forgotten about. It’s important to keep engaged with your community, even if it’s one or two sentences. Plan your content for the week up front so you’re not stuck for something to say!
Top tips for Twitter traffic
Now we’ve covered the basics of Twitter, let’s turn these into actionable tasks that we can start using straight away to generate that traffic. We’ll expand on some of what we’ve covered already as well as some other things you can do to help drive that traffic.
As we’ve already spoken about, hashtags allow you to target people who are interested in what you’re talking about, which is gold! A hashtag looks something link #this. What follows the #, tends to be one or more keywords or a phrase. Just like with SEO, there is higher competition on broad keywords and less competition on long-tail keywords. Hashtags that become very popular are what we call ‘trending’.
Some people prefer to write what they want to say and then add hashtags at the end of the tweet to categorise it, while others use hashtags throughout the tweet, which can save on that vital character space.
Use the right hashtags, and people will be able to find your tweets related to that subject! Therefore, it’s vital to use hashtags in your tweets if you want them to become noticed.
‘What hashtags should I use for my niche?’
It can be hard deciding what hashtags will work for you. A good place to start would be All-Hashtag. It allows you to input a keyword related to your niche and will offer suggested hashtags.
Another way to research is to search for your own keywords on Twitter and see what tweets appear. If you find something that’s working, don’t try to reinvent what is working. Use it!
‘How to I know if my hashtags are working?’
A useful tool I use is called KeyHole. It’ll allow you to track the hashtags you’re using so you can see what’s performing, what’s not working and act accordingly.
Perhaps the most critical thing to remember about generating traffic on Twitter is this:
Engagement brings engagement
Don’t start tweeting and expect people to comment and engage with you if you’ve not bothered engaging with them. Think about it as networking. If you go to a networking event, but don’t talk to anyone, how successful do you think that event will be for you? Not very, right?
Twitter is the same. Gary Vee has a strategy for increasing engagement and traffic on Instagram, but it works just as well with Twitter. He calls it the $1.80 strategy. The way it works, is imagine you have $1.80 on you every day. The goal is to spend it. 2 cents at a time. Each 2 cents = 1 like or 1 comment. That means you’re engaging 90 times a day. Does it feel too much? That’s what it takes! It’s only called the $1.80 strategy for a catchy name though.
If you’re really struggling to find the time to fit it in, start with your own $1 strategy and increase it as you go. However, be careful not to rush your comments. If you just say ‘Nice post’ on 50 tweets a day, you’re not going to get much of a response. Try to take interest in their piece and demonstrate that you’ve read it.
Think about what you enjoy on Twitter. You’ll probably notice the most popular tweets have been retweeted thousands of times as well as just liked. The best way to get noticed is by somebody retweeting your tweet. It automatically gets a far bigger audience (all of their followers). Maybe one of their followers will also retweet it and it can snowball from there.
Think of things you’ve had an urge to show your friends and family, be it articles, photos or videos. It doesn’t even have to be your own creation. You want to get yourself retweeted as much as possible, so more people recognise you and your brand. Stats suggest that tweets with photos perform better than just text. According to Buffer:
- Tweets with images received 89% more likes
- Tweets with images received 18% more clicks than those without
- Tweets with images received 150% more retweets
When getting started, you may want to give the reader an incentive to retweet you. Could you do a giveaway or prize draw? Offer them a discount on a product?
Interesting facts and infographics are great for getting retweets. The more unbelievable they are, the more traction they’ll get.
Also, be inventive and be bold. Do you know what the most retweeted tweet ever is? It might surprise you!
When you’re scrolling through Twitter, what captures your attention? If you’re trying to capture readers who have the same interests as you, the likelihood is the same headlines will catch them too! You want to stop them scrolling and reel them in. Try talking to them.
‘Do you know the secret to…?’
‘I how I managed to…’
‘Top 5 places to visit in…’
These sorts of headlines are intriguing and make the reader want to know more and importantly, click through and read your article. Again, try variations and monitor your stats to see what works. Don’t try to fix what’s not working. Double down on what is working!
Influencers and collaborations
Influencers are the people who get most traction on social media. Whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest, each platform will have its influencers, and they can help drive your traffic. Find out who the influencers are in your niche.
Get their approval to mention them in your articles and tweets and as them to share. The biggest influencers will likely charge a fee for this. But maybe someone who has twice as many followers of you will be happy to share one of your articles if you return the favour so you’re helping each other.
Don’t be afraid to Direct Message your competition and suggest working together on a post. It’ll multiply your chances of being noticed and increase your following! As mentioned above, engaging with others will help build a rapport so people will be more open to collaborating with you. Do you sell products? Why not offer to send them one for them to write an article on it. They get a free product, you get traction! Your Twitter traffic could surge.
Scheduled, planned content
It can be nigh on impossible to think of content on demand, let alone set aside the same time every day to post. Instead of doing things so reactively, do your tweet planning all at once. Sundays are good for me!
Set aside a couple of hours once a week to schedule your tweets for that week (or posts on any platform). You’ll find it much easier to stick to one time a week as opposed to one time every day.
You can also automate your tweets to go out at specific times of day and specific days of the week, so all the work is done within those two hours you set aside. Great tools for this are:
Hootsuite – Probably the most popular out there as it covers all platforms
PostPlanner – This focuses on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. It’s also cheaper than Hootsuite.
Buffer – This one is free if you only want to post on up to 3 social media accounts so it can be great for starting out.
If you struggle to find that time of the week to do your planning up front, you could consider outsourcing the posting of your social media. Fiverr is a great resource for this. Just be sure to do your diligence on who you opt for. Check their reviews and ask to see some previous work they’ve done. Most will also be open to a ‘try before you commit’ approach, where you trial it for a week before continuing. Only pay what you can afford. What’s your Twitter traffic worth to you?
Do you have anything to add?
So, that’s our top tips on using Twitter to generate traffic to your website or blog. Are you doing these? Are you doing something else? Share it in the comments below!