So, I’ve been blogging for just over a year. I didn’t really get going properly until last spring. Since then, I’ve learnt SO much. Today I’m going to share with you a list of the things that have really helped me when it comes to Twitter.
If you’d asked me about Twitter this time last year, I would have told you I wasn’t really interested in it and didn’t really get it. This year, I absolutely LOVE it. Here are the top 15 things I did last year that helped increase my Twitter following and engagement:
1. Talk to people. I know it sounds silly but I can’t stress this enough. There is nothing worse than receiving automated message after automated message. If I have time, I like to browse through my feed and comment on a couple of tweets that resonate. I also have lists of influencers set up in Twitter and monitor these on Hootsuite. It makes it easy to keep up with content from people I want to follow and chat with. Thanking people for retweets is also nice Twitter etiquette and I try and remember to as much as possible!
2. No automated messages. Some people aren’t fussed, others are insta-unfollow. I choose not to send an auto-message and typically I see these from US based accounts more. Maybe it’s more of a thing over there. I don’t insta-unfollow but I never click through the links in an auto-message. I guess it’s personal choice but I haven’t used these direct messages and have still seen steady growth.
3. Create lists. It may seem like a lot of effort at the time but it’s really handy for filtering out a lot of the “Twitter noise”. Twitter moves so fast and if you want to keep up with your favourite bloggers or PR companies, then lists is the way to do this. I have lists set up for bloggers, blogging groups, brands, PR companies and local accounts.
4. Hootsuite. I use the free version of Hootsuite to monitor lists and activity. I also use Hootsuite to monitor specific hashtags. So for example #bloggerswanted. It’s easy to set up streams and browse though them when you have time. You can also schedule using Hootsuite but I prefer Buffer for this.
5. Join Tweet Chats. At first I found these a bit manic and it was tough to keep up! In the end I found a laptop worked better than my phone. Having two tabs open at the same time also help monitor the real-time convo and monitor any mentions. You can read more here for my tips on twitter chats.
6. Join Blogging Facebook Groups. Facebook groups have been fab in terms of building followers and tweeting interesting content. My fave is the UK Awesome Bloggers Group which you can find here. I really like this one because the tweets to retweet are typically higher content than some of the other groups I take part in. They are also manageable. So you might need to retweet ten other tweets. Some groups I’ve joined have over 40 tweets to retweet per day! It gets a bit manic. And I don’t want to just spam my followers with retweets for the sake of it.
7. Buffer. Buffer has been a complete lifesaver for me. I use the paid version of buffer to schedule all my tweets as well as content to my Facebook page.. I couldn’t be without buffer. You can personalise all your tweets so you don’t spam your audience with the same old. I also love sharing other content using buffer. It auto-grabs the image and will “@” the relevant person. Easy peasy. I use this a lot when joining link-ups such as KCACOLS and also when I find interesting articles on StumbleUpon.
8. Canva. I use Canva to make sure my images are the correct size. I didn’t do this for a while and when I scrolled through my feed, you could see loads of cut off, misshaped images. They just looked crap. Whenever I use Canva to render my Pinterest pics, I also use it to render my twitter picture as well. It takes an extra thirty seconds but is worth the effort. My stream then looks neat and tidy.
9. Images. I try and include images on every tweet I send. There’s loads of research out there that says tweets with images get better interaction…
10. Share other content. I try and share other content as much as possible. Who wants to just hear about me me me?! I join quite a few link-ups and if there are posts I like, I share them. Why wouldn’t I? We are all bloggers trying to get more traffic so why not help each other out. It can be tempting to just promo your own content all the time but I believe my audience don’t just want to hear about me.
11. Co-host link parties. One way of increasing my Twitter following has been to co-host link parties. This is a great way to get your content shared and engage with other bloggers on twitter. People typically tweet their content, retweet yours and use the relevant link-up hashtag. Everyone’s a winner.
12. Hashtags. It pays to do your research and find the right hashtags to use. I spent a lot of time reading through Facebook groups and various blog posts on how to find the right hashtags to use, and how many to use. I typically place them at the end of a post and I use hashtags relevant to my post.
13. @ing relevant people. Now this doesn’t always work and you don’t want to spam people all the time. But if you have a post on something specific and it relates to someone then why not mention that person? For example when my “Bear hunt Roast Dinner” post went live, I shared it with the author of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”– Michael Rosen. He shared it with his audience and views soared! It was my most retweeted content for a while.
14. Unfollows. And by this I mean not getting too hung up about people who unfollow you. Some people use automated apps to follow/unfollow and some people really might not be aware that they unfollowed you. Besides, who cares really?!
15. Crowdfire. I use the free version of Crowdfire primarily to look at inactive Twitter accounts I follow. I clean these up every few months. Other than that, I typically don’t even look at the unfollows. See point 14!
So there you have it, 15 things I did in 2016 that have helped my Twitter following grow. I still have a long way to go. What tips and tricks do you have for growing Twitter? Feel free to share them with me in the comments : )