Twitter is a notoriously difficult place to get traffic from, especially if most of your experience comes from search engine optimization and PPC ads. But if you can capture a loyal audience and keep them interested, it can quickly become one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. How to do it? Let’s take a look at how to get traffic from Twitter:
Create a Complete Profile, Really
It’s striking just how many marketing professionals don’t actually completely fill out their profiles. Complete every step, use keywords everywhere that it makes sense, and include a link back to your site. Use an avatar that is a picture of your human face, unless you happen to be a company with thousands of employees.
If the latter is the case, create one profile for your brand and “human” profiles for all of your spokespeople. For the most part, tweeters aren’t interested in anything a “brand” has to say, only what a human has to say. The only exceptions are major outlets like Forbes, and even they are smart enough to give each of their bloggers a separate human profile.
Don’t even bother posting links to your articles when you are first starting out. This is the easiest way to announce to the world that you are spam. Twitter really is just a popularity contest, and if you want to be popular you need to become friends with the popular clique. Yes, it really is that simple.
The first thing you should do once you complete your profile is to find the people who are popular in your niche. Use the Twitter search tool or FollowerWonk to find people who talk about your keyword, and become their friend. Share interesting things with them, answer and ask questions, use plenty of @ mentions, retweet them, and be a genuine human being. You’ll likely need to move the relationship off to email or Facebook in order to solidify it.
This is the step that almost everybody misses. If you don’t do this, nothing else you do on Twitter will matter. I guarantee it. Don’t post a single link to your site (except in your biography) until you’ve made at least one influential friend, preferably more.
Incorporate Your Site
Now that you’ve made a few influential friends, you can start using Twitter to promote your site. Use a link shortener to add your links to your tweets. Write interesting tweets that compel people to find out more, and make sure the blog post actually lives up to the promise of the tweet.
Do NOT flood your stream with self-promotional material. Submit, at the very least, just as many tweets that aren’t direct promotions of your blog. Share interesting content from other people’s sites, answer and ask questions, spark discussions, and keep making friends.
It’s usually best to promote your blog posts at 12:00 PM Eastern Time. You can send out two tweets for the same post, usually waiting a few days for an “in case you missed it” tweet. More than that will be bordering on spam.
Add a few widgets to your blog to incorporate your twitter profile. Include a tweet button so people don’t forget to share your content. Include your Twitter handle in the widget so that when people tweet you it will say “via @YourName” or something similar. Include a “follow me” button so that people who find your site can subscribe to your Twitter profile. You can also include a widget that displays your latest tweets in the sidebar to boost interest.
While there is still much to learn, this guide should put you farther ahead of the game than most people who try to use Twitter as a promotional tool. Remember, Twitter is a social network, so use it as a networking tool.