When I started using Twitter, everything seemed disorienting – like trying to pitch a tent in the dark. But over time, I began to see Twitter’s incredible potential in sharing content in real time with people across the globe.
Becoming a Twitter user made me think about what it means to build a personal brand in the era of social media. What would make people want to follow my personal story and click through to my content? In time, I understood that most users want to follow real people to whom they can relate — people who write openly about the thrills of victory and agonies of defeat we all experience in our lives. And at the company level, Twitter users want to follow brands that give them resources to help solve problems instead of a hard sell.
Today we live in a world of digital noise: competing agendas, interruption marketing and spammy content geared only to sell. Our attention becomes fragmented between the numerous channels through which we can consume media. And social has a plethora of channels of its own, all vying for our attention.
So, what’s so special about Twitter, and how can your company use it to drive traffic to your blog?
First: Twitter has a pool of more than 140 million global users who send more than 340 million tweets per day. And it’s hard to overemphasize Twitter’s social impact, whether it’s the Presidential Debate, a college football game with its own hashtag or an episode of Survivor with multiple hashtags shown over the course of an episode.
Second: There are many ways to use Twitter to drive inbound traffic, but much of it comes down to encouraging your employees to build their own distinctive personal Twitter brands and then using your employees’ collective influence to draw visitors.
Tips for building an influential brand on Twitter:
- Build a trustworthy personal brand: Express your individuality in creative ways and build relationships. Once someone follows you, reach out with a “thank you” mention or direct message.
- Create a company brand that accurately describes your company’s DNA: Is your company an engine of innovation, or a business that’s dedicated to “helping the little guy”? Whatever the case, tell your company story in a clear and compelling way.
- Follow and engage expert influencers: Twitter has a “Who to Follow” section that makes follower suggestions based on who you follow and other metrics. Other social channels can help you as well. LinkedIn recently added the ability to follow thought leaders.
- Select your hashtags well: When you tweet about a blog post, use hashtags strategically to get in front of the right groups of people. Take the time to search hashtags to see what conversations are taking place within them.
- Engage employees: Send out an email that notifies employees there’s a new post on your blog and encourage them to tweet out a link. Suggest hashtags if there are certain elements you want to emphasize.
- Add an idea to the mix: It’s easy to just retweet something you find interesting. But it’s more valuable to readers if you add your own thought, whether it’s affirming a major point, voicing skepticism or posing a question.
- Invite guest posts: Reach out to influencers about writing for your blog, and then expand your way out to other potential writers. Whenever someone writes for your blog, make sure you promote their post and encourage your employees to send social signals.
- Write on other blogs: Look for other blogs where your business can post. Cultivate content partnerships with other companies in your industry and give them Twitter love when they publish one of your posts.
- Optimize your blog’s calls to action: Make your social icons easy to find and convenient to use. Link your new blog posts to other relevant posts and encourage people to comment on all of them. Well-written posts can generate comments from thought leaders, who can in turn promote your posts and drive additional traffic to your blog.
What am I leaving out? I’d love to hear what you think about Twitter’s value in driving blog traffic.