HOW TO Use Twitter Successfully If You Are Just Getting Started

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This is a guest post by James Mignano. More about him at the bottom of this post.

Of all forms of social media, blogging is definitely my favorite. It gives people the chance to really show off what they know in an easily readable and shareable form. The key to maintaining a blog, though, is engaging an audience.

If nobody reads what I’m writing, my blog becomes nothing but a personal diary… except without the need for a good hiding spot.

I’ll even go one step further. It isn’t enough for me that people read my blog; the right people need to read my blog. I want an audience of like-minded people that are in the industry. In other words, begging my friends and family to read my blog doesn’t really cut it.

The power of Twitter for finding the right audience

Twitter is the perfect way to start and build relationships with the people that are important to what you are interested in that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to meet. For example, I have a relationship on Twitter with founders of social media applications, authors of best-selling books, and executives of PR agencies.

That’s not exactly something that I could do on Facebook, or any other site for that matter!

These are the people that I can learn from and be mentored by, and they are the people that will be my future colleagues when I graduate from college. These people compose the audience that I want to reach with my blog.

I am not conceited enough to think that when I post a new blog and tweet about it all of my followers immediately click through to see what I have to say. I’m just not that much of an influencer yet.

Therefore, my strategy has been pretty simple so far: use the influence that other people and organizations on Twitter have to my advantage.

Get other people to endorse you

It’s simple, really. Before writing a new post, I think about what I could write, and how I could include other people in it, so that they will share my post with their followers. When I tweet my blog to my small amount of followers, it doesn’t get a ton of hits.

However, when I get an endorsement from a larger organization or individual with more credibility, experience, and followers than I have, my blog stats spike! After writing a post, I usually use Twitter to pitch the post to other people that I have a relationship with that would find it interesting.

Let me clarify. I do not directly ask 40 or 50 random people to read my blog in hopes that they will ReTweet it. It’s more like asking 3 or 4 people that I know would enjoy the content or have some investment with the material to read my blog.

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t want people to see that I had basically said the same thing to four different people, one right after the other. That would appear to be slightly spammish! It’s similar to the reason why we use the “blind copy” feature of email to send press releases.

The power of combining Twitter and Buffer

With Buffer, I not only make sure the tweets about my blog post are posted at the times of highest traffic volume, but I also make sure that my pitch-tweets are spread out throughout a day or two, giving me time to tweet other things in-between.

When Twitter and Buffer meet at center stage, here are a few things that I observed happening to my blog:

  • Increased traffic to the blog
  • Increased comments on the blog
  • Increased longevity of the article as I could post it a few more times
  • Increased Twitter followers
  • Increased engagement and building of relationships on Twitter

Now I would love to hear from you. How do you primarily use Twitter and Buffer? How do you primarily promote your blog?

Please share your tips in the comments below!

About the author:

James Mignano is a student at The College at Brockport, State University of New York. He is interested in Public Relations and Social Media. He blogs at Millennials Marketing and you can follow James @J_Mignano.

Want to guestpost for the Buffer blog? Email me leo@bufferapp.com

About the Author

Leo Widrich

Co-founder and CMO at Buffer. I enjoy writing about lifehacks, social media tips and updates to Buffer. For some more personal posts, check out leostartsup.

  • http://twitter.com/LeoWid Leo Widrich

    Awesome post James! I particularly enjoyed your tip on getting other influential users to endorse you. I feel, there is so many great people you can learn from and if you simply engage and show what you have learnt from others, it is a great way to get them to support you as well!

    Hope to have you back here on the Buffer blog real soon again! :) 

    • http://twitter.com/J_Mignano James Mignano

      Thanks so much, Leo! I really appreciate the opportunity.

  • Anonymous

    A very helpful post.  I am going to keep these ideas in mind.  I am a lawyer, and I blog as a matter of course.  But I don’t really think about who I am reaching out to.

    • http://twitter.com/J_Mignano James Mignano

      I’m very glad you found it useful, Mrs. Deland! Best of luck on your blog :)

  • http://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/blog Mandy Kilinskis

    Really great post, James!

    You’re spot on about the power of Twitter. It’s helped me connect with people I never would’ve met on Facebook or even offline. And it always surprises me how much people are willing to help each other out. 

    I’m amazed at the amount and quality of Twitter followers I’ve gained since curating more content through Buffer. Like Leo contacted you, I’ve had authors of articles reach out to me for thanks. A couple exchanges later, and now we’re Twitter friends.

    I think networking is a much stronger way to build engagement and increase readership on your blog. Even much more so than getting one of your posts to go viral. 

    • http://twitter.com/J_Mignano James Mignano

      Thanks for the great review, Mandy! I completely agree that people online generally help each other out much more frequently. Everyone is truly friendly and willing to chat, and it makes for such an awesome sense of community that I think is hard to find anywhere else.

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

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  • http://twitter.com/littlecaspper Mahmoud Awara

    James, you are really doing an awesome work here, I’m still new in using Twitter (fell like I’m strange lol) I was referred by a friend called Christine @openbuds to this article & I want to admit that it was really helpful to me & enjoyed reading it, once again you are doing a great effort here,
    hope we can follow each others & it is my honor to have new friends like all of you I’m @littlecaspper on twitter

    • http://twitter.com/J_Mignano James Mignano

      Very kind words Mahmoud! Thanks so much. I really believe in social media and how it can connect us to a whole new world of friends, colleagues, and role models. I really enjoy blogging about social media at http://www.MillennialsMarketing.Wordpress.com so I can spread how great tools like Twitter and Buffer are, and get more people to use them! Thanks again for reading :)

  • Hanna_haidar

    I guess I’m echoing some of the others who’ve commented here.  I am relatively new to twitter as well (2 months).  I too have been blown away by the types of connections I have made both personally and through my blog.  Thanks for your post, I’m passing it on to some friends who are even newer to twitter. @hannahaidar:twitter 

    • http://twitter.com/J_Mignano James Mignano

      I’m glad I could give you some good advice, Hanna. Like I said in a previous comment, I’m always amazed by how friendly, helpful, and generally social people on Twitter are. Keep exploring and building relationships!

  • http://twitter.com/CatalystPart Jorgen Poulsen

    Here is how I got 1.8 million followers in 3 weeks and a speaking engagement. http://thecatalystpartnership.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/how-to-get-your-first-speaking-engagement-in-just-3-weeks/

  • http://www.thatsblog.com/ Thatsblog

    Hi, thanks for your submission to Blog Carnival: Blogging: Hundred and Third edition. Your post is now published:

    http://thatsblog.com/blog-carnival-blogging/blog-carnival-blogging-hundred-and-third-edition

    -ThatsBlog.com

  • Kit Campbell

    Hi James (love your ‘baby steps’ image :) ) Thanks for your above information, great for a start for me. Even though I have had a twitter account for a while now, I haven’t really used it at all. My concern is getting a whole heap of messages coming in that have no relevance to me and what I’m doing, but I ‘followed’ a few people to get myself going and accepted pretty much anyone that requested!! :) I have written a book about how I got rid of Crohn’s disease after 40 years of suffering pain and operations, The Irritable Brain Syndrome :) and I would like to work out how to create folders if that’s possible? So that I could direct tweets that were relevant and a separate folder for some that aren’t so relevant. Many thanks James! Warmest regards Kit