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4 Ways to Use Twitter to Support Your Blog

In the race to social media stardom, plenty of bloggers have joined Twitter and are furiously tweeting the titles and openings of every post they publish. When they launch a product or open registration for a seminar, they tweet that.

But surely these can’t be the only ways to support your blog using Twitter?  Your tweets might be limited to 140 characters, but the scope of your tweeting is limited — you guessed it — only by your imagination.

Here are some of the less conventional approaches I’ve seen bloggers employ in using Twitter to support their sites.

1. Tell the story of blog content creation.

This approach can be very intriguing and compelling for your followers. One journalist I know often invites his Twitter followers to contribute ideas for elements of the articles he’s working on. By responding, followers buy in to the story, and become intrigued about the article topic.

Perhaps he’ll follow up that request with tweets mentioning that he’s about to interview a subject for the article, or his research has uncovered something interesting. So by the time he tweets the link to the finished article, at least some portion of his followers — those who have been following his journey to produce the piece — are dying to read it.

2. Tweet interesting comment responses.

Rather than focusing solely on the content you produce for your blog, why not intersperse your article tweets with tweets that point your followers to interesting comments that readers have made in response to your posts?

As well as encouraging regular readers to make considered, valuable comments on your blog, this technique supports your online profile, building your and your blog’s reputation for producing quality content that sparks intelligent, innovative discussion. It also indicates that your blog is a place where thinkers congregate, and a source of information that sparks broader interaction among those within your niche.

3. Run a Twitter competition tie-in.

Trying to plug a new product or service that you’re launching? Perhaps you could add a Twitter competition to your launch strategy. Ask questions that followers can find answers to in one of your recent posts (perhaps one published on the same day), then give away your new product to a winner drawn from the pool of people who answer the question correctly.

This can be a great way to engage readers in a fun, constructive manner, and to take a break from the everyday in terms of Twitter content, and possibly, your promotions. It can also create a few moments of light relief for your readers.

4. Create a Twitter conversation around an event.

If you’re running an event in association with your blog, consider making a Twitter conversation part of your strategy. Watching real-time responses to   events pop up in Twitter streams provides entertainment — and opinion, and education — for countless users every day. A recent festival in my town held some events and discussions entirely on Twitter.

Could you do something like this around your next product launch? Can you invite users to discuss an exclusive post — perhaps one that presents a new take on your niche, or includes an in-depth interview with a niche leader –  at the time you publish it?

These are just a few of the alternative approaches you can use to promote your blog through Twitter. What alternatives have you seen or used yourself?

About Georgina Laidlaw

Georgina Laidlaw is a freelance content developer, and Content manager for problogger.net. You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    What a great post! Often brands tend to broadcast rather than engage with their audience. Your tips should help blogs reach success, especially those that are just forming.

    It would be interesting to see what advice you would give to someone with a completely new blog and a new account on Twitter, where they have no audience at the start for both.

    Thanks for the article again,

    Sarah

  2. Steve Fogg says:

    Twitter is such an essential way to support blogs. I use it to support mine, I think it counts for about 30% traffic. But it feels more broadcast than interactive in terms of blog integration. I think Facebook is a lot more ‘social’.

    Twitter is brilliant for give aways though. My largest traffic days have come from RT’s on twitter when I giving stuff away. It just goes and goes.

    One thing I LOVE about Twitter is how people rename my posts (normally improving it) which is usually about the point they find most pertinent. It gives you a great insight to what is useful for them and blog worthy in the future.

  3. You make very valid points, I especially liked the one about tweeting your posts’ comments, very smart, I didn’t think about it and I agree it’s a very nice way to encourage engagement and drive more attention to your blog/online publication as a “meeting of minds”.
    I also like to encourage discussion about posts I retweet from my company’s blog or from other blogs as well as I believe, even if I don’t directly “profit” from visitors to other blogs, promoting exchanges of ideas and views is the real key element of social media and Twitter in particular.

  4. Tweeting interesting comments in the blog is an excellent idea that didn’t strike me so far. Actually tweeting comments encourages the commenter and if he/she owns a blog, he/she becomes popular by commenting in our blog. If people come to know this in the long run, this can be a very encouraging for people to leave comments.

    Thanks for the nice in-depth article.

    Jane.

  5. Josh Garcia says:

    Hey Georgina,

    What a great idea to tweet comments. It is something different. We all love something different. Well, not everyone. The other approaches are great as well. As I get closer to a product launch. I will use that 3rd strategy.

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

  6. Ed says:

    Very useful post (and i would emphasize point 2 – as i notice quite a few people focusing on just promoting their own content, and that puts me off – and this also flies in the face of what social media is about).

    Also, just like to add that the date on your blog post / blog is wrong. It says 17th September, when today is the 16th!

  7. I had an excellent comment on my blog the other day and did just that – it seemed a shame not to share the comment as it was actually a really in depth response to what I had written and i felt it would encourage others to get involved.

    Thanks,

    Hilary

  8. Rebecca says:

    I really like the idea of tweeting interesting comments from the blog. It’s a great suggestion and a great way to foster even more conversation. I usually use Twitter just to announce a new post, but I’ll start trying a few of these ideas as well. Thanks for the great ideas.

  9. Constantine says:

    I had ignored twitter for long time, but after installing it on my blog it has become a regular source of traffic.

    Am now focusing on developing twitter followers so that I can monetize my twitter feed.

  10. Great post, twitter is an excellent source of traffic.
    I recommend putting your RSS feed through google feedburner then in the settings of your google feedburner export it out as a tweet through your twitter profile.

  11. Sufism World says:

    I have not tried twitter, and more importantly do not have any plans to use it any time soon. The important thing for me (and this will vary from other peoples opinions) is having enough time to really use the tool to its full potential. I don’t like starting something and then not using it to its potential and then its slowly grinds to a halt.

    When I find the time, I shall give it a go and make sure I make it work for myself, but this is not going to happen any time soon.

  12. AIsle 424 says:

    I use twitterfeed to auto-tweet a link to reader comments. That works really well to show that there is interaction happening on the blog and it usually draws a significant rise in traffic.

    The downside is that occasionally there is a post where there are tons of comments and I fear turning off followers with a stream of Comment tweets that clog their feeds.

  13. Eric says:

    Awesome ideas for the use of Twitter. It’s limited to the info you can publish per tweet but is not limited, as you’ve demonstrated here, to how powerful of a tool it can be.

  14. John Sherry says:

    All damn sensible and easy to do if you ask me. I particularly like No.1 which gives others a bit of the action and become part of your blog story. It encourages people to check in to see the final post and find out if their input made the last draft. Any ideas that promote interaction get my vote. Love the simplicity and yet also richly helpful post Georgina.

  15. InspiroHost says:

    I’d like to share a tip. Instead of telling your Twitter audience that you’ve published a new post, ask them their opinion on the core topic you’ve covered. “Do you think banner ads are dead?” followed by a link to your site is much more appealing than posting to Twitter, “Banner Ads Are Not Dead.” Asking a question engages your Twitter followers and solicits their experience.

  16. Sathishkumar says:

    Hi Georgina, Thanks for providing an wonderful post. The Twitter competition would be a good idea to build a community around your Twitter account which in turn help us to get more exposure for our tweets. Also with the new twitter we can easily demonstrate our tweets with pictures and Videos.

    Twitter is a wonderful place to get more traffic for our blog, if we use it in the right way.

    Sathish

  17. GreenLava says:

    I’ve just installed TweetDeck yesterday. Will definitely try out some of your suggestions.

  18. Wow, many of these ideas I never thought about before. I especially find the first 3 suggestions interesting.

    I don’t use Twitter much, but I was thinking about starting to. I was also thinking about launching an eBook sometime in the distant future. I could probably talk about that eBook launch and then do a competition where about 10 people receive the eBook for free. Sounds like a really fun idea.

    Great tips!

    Christina

  19. Amy Harrison says:

    The most enjoyable Twitter experiences I’ve had are when I’ve been able to help someone with something. If you can answer a question, or make a helpful suggestion, it really does start buildilng up some amazing Twitter Karma.

    It was also a godsend when I launched my eBook in letting people know about a couple of glitches that I could iron out quickly because of feedback from Twitter. (which all problogger readers get a discount to – just type in:problog)

    The connection to your audience is so powerful when you want to establish trust and rapport.

    Little and often works best as well, I find if you jump onto it expecting overnight answers it doesn’t really work. hop on, have fun and help out!

  20. Twitter has become a much more powerful social media tool than anyone ever expected. I actually know a few people who started using it because of the cute bird (even the cute fail whale!) and now get tons of traffic.

  21. Joshua Noerr says:

    I really like the idea of tweeting interesting comments. That just made it’s way into my strategy. Thanks

  22. Kate says:

    Great advice to tweet reader comments. I’ve been looking for more ways to promote my blog through twitter, and this is probably one of the best ideas I’ve hit upon yet. Thanks!

  23. jaidecker says:

    Hi there,

    I love the ‘out of the box’ thinking to move beyond bulk tweeting and finding ways to get turn followers into engagers. As in any online strategy, it is the ability to turn your efforts into a successful (and hopefully profitable) venture.

    That said, i quickly blogged about how to take your article’s recommendations and turn them into an actionable quantifiable strategy. If you care to read it, here it is for your review: http://www.driventide.com/2010/strategy-review-on-4-ways-to-use-twitter-to-support-your-blog/

    I hope you find my post helpful and complementary

  24. Jamie says:

    4 great ideas out of the normal auto tweeting your posts, thanks Georgina :)

  25. Nicole Dean says:

    One of my favorite methods is to compile a blog post that showcases others and then tweet the people about it.

    For instance a Tweet would look like this:

    (Title of Post) – Featuring @Name @Name @Name (Link to Post)

    Normally that works to get RTs and build relationships with the collaborators, as well.

  26. Clay says:

    Just started really trying to get twitter more involved in my traffic generating strategy. Your post had some great info to try. Great stuff. keep it coming. Clay

  27. I love the first 2 ideas. I started doing #1 a few weeks ago for online articles we’re planning. I think readers really enjoy hearing about the behind-the-scenes production process, and it makes them feel even more involved. I’m planning on doing more of the tweeting of comments. That’s a great idea.

  28. Chris says:

    Twitter really seems to be exploding……..what about twitterattack?

  29. Robby G says:

    That’s brilliant. I never thought I could do that within such a small space on twitter. Tweeting interesting comments is a great idea I think. Cheers.

  30. Twitter has been a great boost for my site, and it’s exceptionally easy to use. It was also very easy to set up twitter feed.

  31. I had never thought about tweeting comments before, but this is actually a great idea – There is some good content in comments sometimes.

    Thanks,

    Brian M. Connole

  32. Tweeting comments… its a great idea :)

  33. I don’t allow comments on my blog – for various reasons, but Twitter may be a way forward. I did use it for a while in a half-hearted way, but I suppose you need to commit to it.

  34. Alex says:

    Wow Georgina!

    This really is some incredibly out of the box and inspirational ways of looking at Twitter marketing. You have shown me an entirely new way to look at the tool that has always been so good to me anyway.

    Thanks so much to Darren for sharing this, and of course to Georgina for having the insight to come up with it in the first place.

    Nice one!

  35. Hey Georgina,

    Always good advice here. I definitely need help with my tweets — or lack thereof.
    devin

  36. Kelly B says:

    I’m guilty. I broadcast on Twitter rather than engage. I needed this prompt. I’m doing well on FB but not so well on Twitter so thank you for the tips.

  37. daniel says:

    i like the tweeting interesting comments. :-) it make our readers feel appreciated…

  38. Simon says:

    I love Twitter! It is an excellent way to circumvent search engine ranking.

    The immediacy of the articles I write means I can get people viewing them within minutes of them being published and with say breaking news stories this valuable few seconds can give you “first poster advantage”

    What I mean by this is, if I post an article and then tweet it, it is more likely to be retweeted than if I leave it a few days when that article is “old news” and many other blogs have already promoted their articles.

    I also love how my twitter account brings a constant stream of new visitors to my blogs. For example, with one blog yesterday I received 48 new followers of which 32 visited the blog and 7 people subscribed to my newsletter.

  39. Arlene says:

    The light went off as soon as I read your article. good ideals especially the one about tweeting comments from our articles or even asking questions. Good tips. Thanks

  40. Adding your view and opinion on ongoing events are really really helpful and if this is on your niche than you will get the maximum benefit.

  41. Michael says:

    Thanks for the post! I’m a little past the point where I just tweet the post title, but I still need to work on making my twitter followers a part of every post. I’ll have to try some of your tips this week and let you know how it goes.

  42. moneyglue says:

    Yes i’m in the habit of broadcasting. I like the idea of asking your followers for ideas for articles. Great read, thanks

  43. Mike Smith says:

    Hi Georgina

    You got 485 Retweets so far – That petty much confirms what your saying.

    I guess as with many things you get into a rut and keep using Twitter in the same old way every day

    Great tips many thanks

    Mike

  44. cheska says:

    thanks a lot for this post. I have a twitter account but to be honest, I find it very difficult to manage. I guess I’m not that familiar with how it really works compared with facebook.Thanks for the advice. very excited to try it out soon. Looking forward to more of your interesting post.

  45. kbharath says:

    great suggestion, i am a new blogger searchin for ways to promote my blog. i am trying lot of suggestions provided by you.

  46. Belize says:

    ONE way NOT to promote your bog is through an incessant flood of tweets. I used to follow Darren but for the past couple of months it was like a dozen tweets a day of which ONE may have stimulated me to action and visit his blog and read a post.

    Having to wade through so many tweets for one blog turned me off. Most seemed to be peddling something to buy, if not in the tweet itself, in the actual blog post itself. It also appears he was stuffing or automated the tweets. It was a big turn off.

    So I stopped following and check in about twice a week to see what is going on.

    Respectfully
    M.A. Romero

    • Darren Rowse says:

      Sorry you feel that way Belize.

      Strange thing is that I get criticized more that I tweet too much personal stuff and not enough stuff about my blogging by many. I guess you can’t please everybody.

  47. Belize says:

    Darren – yes – the personal stuff is a turn off for me.

    Maybe I am old fashioned but for e.g. I do not care what someone is drinking right now – unless it is something way out exotic or healthy I have never heard about before.

    I know there are thousands who want to know what shoes a lady socialite is wearing tonight but that is not your market or my interest .

    As a hard-core journalist and news blogger I want the straight dope – there is so much noise out there it is getting harder to manage your time to wade through material.

    I just read a story where Sysomos alleges 71% of Tweets produce zero response. If you haven’t already you may wish to post about that.

    Best Regards and keep up the good work…..

  48. onetwib says:

    Point #2 (Tweet interesting comment responses.) is quite interesting
    I’ve never did that before, smart idea!
    You also can tweet when other blogs/websites talk about you, it kinda thanks them

  49. Yea. Tweeting can help us to do micro posts and connect with our readers, when we do not have time to write huge posts with pictures. Twitter is very nice. Though Facebook is regarded as the best media now (as far as i know), Twitter is best for bloggers and businessmen to promote their products. I like Darren Sir’s tweets very much. I would be very grateful if u tweet about me @shafinbest , and suggest ur followers to follow me. Because I started quite new :)

  50. Kim Snyder says:

    Never thought about tweeting comments. I just now starting getting great comments. But what happens if your comments are on blog posts that are years old? Well for sure look into figuring out the best way to use this idea. Thanks such a great post!
    Btw reading this from pro-bloggers app for the itouch. Way easier way for searching for
    posts of interest.
    Kim