This is a guest contribution from Courtney Gordner.
If you want to maximise the potential of your blog, it’s essential that you interact with your followers. And if you want to interact with your followers, you need to know where to find them.
When they’re online and not reading through your latest post, odds are, they’re engaging with social media. This is exactly why if you have a blog, you should be interacting with your readers on Twitter.
But hang on just a second. Before you jump right into linking your blog with Twitter, you should take some time to make your blog “Twitter friendly.” Here’s how this is done:
Creating a Twitter-Friendly Blog
Be Familiar with Your Target Audience and What Interests Them
It’s tempting to think that your blog should be all about your interests, but in reality, if you want to accrue a consistent readership, it’s essential that you write for your audience.
With this in mind, you should develop a marketing persona to understand the needs and priorities of your audience and a social media persona to know where they gather and interact on social media.
Use a Featured Image
Pictures, infographics, and visual aids draw readers in and grab their interest. Pictures should be properly formatted and appropriate for your content. Also, images of people are especially effective, so they should be used whenever possible.
Twitter Tools to Use with Your Blog
Use the Sidebar
Ask visitors to follow you on Twitter in your sidebar. Maximise the value of your blog by getting readers to interact with you on other social media sites.
It’s likely that visitors are already spending a lot of time on these platforms, and if you want to attract more readers, you need to go where the people go.
Incorporate Social Sharing Icons Above and Below Every Post
This is especially effective with your readers who are visually oriented.
Linking Twitter and Your Blog
Develop a Blog Profile
In your blog profile, you should give information about your blog, along with providing its URL, a current description, and gravatar. The name you use on Twitter should be consistent with your blog.
Make Your Blog’s Brand Part of Your Twitter Image and Background
Since you’re using social media to enhance your blog’s brand, you should make sure that your Twitter profile uses brand elements that identify with your blog.
Enlist the Help of Your Friends
Share posts from your friends on your Twitter page, and have them return the favor by sharing your posts on theirs.
Keep Your Eye on the Competition
Use your personal account to follow and interact with your competition on Twitter. The benefits of this are twofold: first, it allows you to develop relationships with people who may be interested in your content; secondly, it gives you ideas for other topics to address on your blog.
Optimizing Your Blog’s Potential with Twitter
Tweet Each Blog Post Multiple Times
Since people on social media live across the country in different time zones, this helps to ensure that your posts get noticed.
Condense Blog Posts into “Tweetable” Chunks
For more lengthy posts, roundups, and lists, make the most of your content by creating a set of tweets to be posted over an extended period of time.
For Reader Accessiblity, Pre-Format Tweets
This works especially well with quotes and data roundups. To promote tweeting, use Clicktotweet.
Extend Your Blog’s Reach with Optimal Hashtags
Keep your audience in mind as you evaluate the relevance of the content for your hashtags. You should use a maximum of three hashtags and keep them separate from the body of your message.
Publish Your Tweets With a Scheduling Tool
Scheduling tools allow you to set the time you want your tweets to appear.
Express Gratitude Towards People Who Share Your Blog Posts
They will appreciate the recognition, and by thanking people, you can develop and strengthen your social media relationships.
Join Pertinent Twitter Chats
Joining chats on Twitter is another great way to build social media relationships. Consider joining #BlogChat on Sunday evenings to learn ways to optimise your blog and interact with other bloggers.
Interacting with your blog readers on Twitter shows readers that you care about them and value their input. It helps you maintain your current readership and even allows you to draw in new readers.
So, if you want a widely followed blog that can’t be beat, the answer is clear: you better start to tweet.