This is a guest post by Gregory Ciotti, a contributing Buffer Blog columnist. More about him at the bottom of the post.
Bloggers and Twitter have been friends since the beginning, allowing bloggers another medium to build their following and share their awesome content, and also giving readers an easy way to stay engaged with the bloggers that they find most interesting.
But I’ve noticed one trend that has been pretty alarming: bloggers who are on Twitter rarely use the effective tactics that they apply on their own blog.
It might be that people think their blogs and their Twitter accounts are separate entities, when in reality the highly effective blog tactics that many successful bloggers know apply exactly the same on Twitter.
Below I’ve outlined a few of my favorites, including giving out freebies for followers, understanding your readers better, researching topics and problems to solve, and more, so read on bloggers (and regular Twitter users) and start applying these tips today!
1.) Getting More Followers With Instant DMs
You may not be too keen on instant direct messages on Twitter, but this is mostly because they have long been used in a very spammy and useless way by people who don’t know what they are doing.
However, automatic direct messages can be a really useful tool when applied correctly.
The key point here is to treat auto-DMs as you would an autoresponder for an email service such as AWeber or MailChimp.
You probably know that building an email list is much easier when you offer some killer contentfor your opt-in, such as giving people a free e-Book if they sign up for your list.
Why wouldn’t this apply to Twitter as well? Let me give you an example:
Some companies, such as AppSumo, give out special deals to people that follow their Twitter account, building their followers who will then likely check out their daily deals site.
You can do the same thing!
In your profile description, add a quick bit about what you will give away for each new follow.
This can be something as simple as “Follow me a for a free e-Book!” in your bio.
Then, you need to set up an automatic DM service.
I personally use SocialOomph, although I signed up back when this feature was free, and it may cost a slight amount now. You can also use any service that allows you to auto-DM new followers.
Then, when someone chooses to follow your blog, you set your auto-DM to something like this:
Hey, thanks for the follow! Here is your free e-Book as promised – http://shortlink
This is exactly like enticing people for signing up to your mailing list for a freebie, yet it’s on Twitter.
A great tactic that I see few people implement on Twitter for plenty of targeted, real followers.
2.) Get Better Insight On Your Followers
As a blogger, you know the importance of knowing your audience and your traffic with web analytics, and as such you most likely space out posts to ensure that you don’t clog up your subscriber’s inbox, and so that you reach them at good times.
Although most bloggers know this, very few follow this good precedence with their actions on Twitter: generally speaking less attention is paid to when your followers are actually engaging with your content, and more attention is paid to “clicks”, when in reality those clicks might be able to be improved.
So what’s the solution?
With Crowdbooster, you get to check out so many analytics and statistics about your Twitter account and followers, including interested high-profile users who have interacted with your content, how your tweets are doing, and when the most optimal times to tweet are.
You can then take that last bit of information and head on over to the Buffer App, and manually input these optimal times as your “scheduled” post times, so if you input a string of 4 tweets (or more), the Buffer App will send them out at your listed times, spread throughout the day getting your followers when they are most active.
Even better, if you have access tot the Strawberry app (I do, but it’s in Beta, you can get access with invite code “jamwithus”), you can sift through your streams easily and see what’s getting the most attention.
Bloggers know the importance of understanding their audienceand often use analytic tools and will save big important posts for Monday (often the most popular day on many blogs), but how many of us bloggers are using these same easy to replicate tactics on Twitter?
3.) Twitter Search For Blog Topics
Another creative way to use Twitter is to actively look for problems that you can solve.
As someone who blogs, you probably already know about researching post ideas or niche topicsfor your blogs, perhaps using reources such as the Google Keyword Tool or Yahoo Answers.
However, one search engine that you can get real-time feedback for posts ideas that I rarely see used is the Twitter search feature.It does pretty much what you would expect: search a term, and see the related tweets about the subject.
But here is where it gets fun: if you search terms related to your blog’s niche, you can see, in real-time, what people are saying or asking about your blog’s topic.
I can give a personal example, as I run a blog that posts about Tumblr tutorials & customizations known as Tumblr Central.
For a solid month I was stuck about what to post about after about 3 months of posting consitently.
Now, I don’t feel that I’ll ever run into that problem again, as I’ve found so many great post topics by browsing Twitter search about problems and questions that people have about Tumblr.
For an extended example, I saw many questions about how to improve SEO on Tumblr, and how to embed music widgets using HTML, so I posted on both those topics and now get a lot of traffic for each post!
If you are stuck looking for post ideas as a blogger, you may be seriously underestimating the usefulness of Twitter search, so try out a search and see what problems or questions you can answer for others.
Speaking of Tumblr…
4.) Driving Twitter Clicks To Tumblr Blogs
I mentioned in another post about benefits of using the Posterous platform for posting pictures, instead of services like TwitPic which are ugly and just want to generate ad revenue.
I’d like to expand upon that tactic here and show you how to drive traffic from your Twitter clicks to a secondary blog, which can in turn garner a following and send more traffic to your main blog, which is just all-around goodness for your brand.
So let’s step into the power of using Tumblr & Twitter in cohesion.
As was the gist in my section covering Posterous, one of the easiest ways to implement Tumblr to build a followingon another platform is by posting personal pictures to the platform, and then sharing these links on Twitter.
This allows you to post pictures on a controlled, completely brandable space that represents YOU, not some 3rd party application that will spam your followers with ads on the page as they are looking at you most recent photo.
Posting from this source also allows you to grow an audience on another platform, which in turn allows you to further spread your brand.
If you post a picture from Lockerz, TwitPic, etc., someone will click, say “Hey nice pic!”, and then leave.
On Tumblr, you have the chance of someone clicking through to your picture, and saying “Hey, I didn’t know [YourAwesomeBrand] had a Tumblr! I’m gonna follow them!”
Thus you are able to grow a presence on another platform, rather than sending Imgur & YFrog more ad revenue.
However, the use does not end there, as you can sprinkle in your Tumblr blog content from your main blog, which will help you to get more followers on Tumblr quickly as long as your content is sound and you know how to properly use Tumblr search.
Using content from your blog is easy: I’ve often used quotes from posts, chats that I’ve had, and even repost audio such as podcasts and interviews.
By far the most effective, however, is if you create custom images for your blog.
If your blog has any of these great graphic creations, reposting them on Tumblr with the proper tags will get them “reblogged” (think retweeted, but in entirety) on Tumblr in now time, growing an audience that you didn’t know existed.
You can then funnel this traffic back to your main blog, or even to your Twitter.
Bloggers know the benefit of multiple traffic streams, and Twitter users should too know the benefit of multiple streams of content when building an online presence.
Over to you now. Have you tried some of these tips yet? Do you think they can help making your Tweeting and blogging more efficient too?