Friday, July 6, 2012

How Do I Use Twitter to Improve my Blog Traffic and Have Fun Too

That is a damn good question and I think I'm finally beginning to work it out.  This is going to be quick girls, as I don't know alot more than how to get started and how to improve your traffic with Twitter, but when I signed up about 6 months ago, I wish I could have read a quick post like this to explain what it was and how it would benefit me and my blog.  So here are my humble insights for Twitter virgins.



So Twitter is not all that new......it is now mainstream and believe me, from one computer dunce to another...with all due respect, if you are not making use of it, you and your blog are missing out.

So what is it??

It's a real time messaging system that allows you to share information as it happens.  Telling  your followers what you are doing right now, what you are instagraming now, what your latest blog post is about, or for that matter posting old ones.  OK so you might already know that but......

How does that work as I have no Followers?

I only realised the power of this thing when I was at Blogopolis 2012 last weekend.  There was a big screen up on stage and many of the conference attendees started tweeting stuff the presenters were saying. Which at first I thought was strange, but then realised they were sending out messages to their followers who were unable to attend. Others were joining in and it just became one very informative, intersting and entertaining conversation. 

I asked the girls on my table, how do I join in this conversation?  Well apparently you had to put the hashtag in your tweet.  Oh really what does that mean I asked?  Well the hashtag for the conference was #nnb12  which stood for Nuffnang Blogopolis 2012.

So I did it and all of a sudden my tweets began to appear on the screen.  OMG I was up there under the bright lights, or at least my tweets were.  Then something really funny happened someone tweeted the following....... @desireempire are you here?  They actually wanted to meet up with little ole me'. I began to realise how powerful this thing is as a communication tool.  I have to confess that I didn't see the tweet....it was from Lilyfield Life...... until the next day via email, somehow I missed it, which I very much regret, as I didn't get to meet her.  I told you I was a novice. But if you click on the @ icon in your twitter tool bar, you will see how other tweeters have interacted with you.  I know that now!!!!  They may have reposted your tweet.  That's called retweeting.  They may have quoted you in their tweet or they may have just favourited your tweet, which means they have basically saved it to their favourites list.

Another funny thing happened, all of a sudden I started to write stuff people liked.  @edenland  was on a panel and was talking about how her writing had at times hurt family members.  This struck a chord with me, as you know, I am pretty hard on Mr Beach House on this blog, and I tweeted     #nnb12 father in law reads blog and advises husband not to, fine with me.  People must have thought this was good because all of a sudden I had lots of new followers.  

So I have been rocking Twitter since last weekend and I have over 50 new followers since then.  I have journalists and famous writers following me, hell even the Prime Minister's on board.  Yep that's right, I have  a direct line to the PM via Twitter, or at least her social media staffer.  And all probs because I followed them, but if I ever have anything interesting to say, they will possibly see it and who knows where that would take my blog.  So what I am saying here people, is get into it.  It doesn't take up much time and is lots of fun. Tweet often to get noticed. If you don't know who to follow, have a look at other peoples' lists of followers for inspiration.  If you follow them you will see all their tweets, when you hit the little house icon or the blue bird icon in your twitter tool bar.  I'm following the Dalai Lama, Ricky Gervais, Steve Martin and Megan Gale and maybe it's just a PR firm, but what they say is interesting and in real time.  And I just bid Ricky Gervais goodnight.  He probably thinks I'm a psycho, but what the hey!!!!

Here are some icons and a quick explanation of how to use them.

#......if you use this hashtag in front of a group of characters it means your tweet will be part of a conversation on a particular topic.  I've already given you the Blogopolis example as #nnb12 and if you search that on twitter, you will see all the tweets that were made on the day and beyond about the conference.  But say I wanted to talk to people about my IVF journey and follow theirs, I would search for a group using #IVF.  I might want to see how others have lost weight like I have, so I would search #losingweight.  If you post something on a topic, say for example in my case a Beach House.  I could put  several hash tags in the tweet such as #beachdecor or #interiors so others who are interested in these topics may see my tweet if they search those words and then follow me.  Once you get into it you will see how the savvy bloggers use lots of hashtags. Just follow their lead and have fun.

@.........if you put the @ icon infront of a tweeter's account name (known as their twitter handle) then they will get a message directly from you.



This arrow pointing left is a quick way to reply to a message without having to type out the @desireempire handle.  If you hover over or click on a tweet, the arrow will appear at the bottom of the tweet.  Click on the arrow and box will come up, in which you can write your reply.  You will see the 'handles' of all the tweeters in that conversation appear in the reply box as well  They and their followers will also see your tweet.



If you see something profound and you want to retweet it to your followers.  Hit this little square pair of arrows. Again, it will appear by hovering or clicking on the tweet in question.  Your tweet will come up with the letters RT in front of it meaning it's a retweet.  If someone retweets you, then as always, it is just good manners to thanks them using the @ icon 

How to grow your followers

This is one thing I would not ask for.  That is, don't ask people to follow you.  Follow them if they are of interst to you and don't worry about a follow back. The main way to generate followers, is to follow others and get involved in conversations.  You will find if you tweet or upload twit pics, which is a whole new post in itself, they will come..  Even the big ones.  People are by and large social creatures and they love to talk.

My Twitter handle is here.  Have a look at who I Follow and you will find some interesting people and see that I seem to be into movie and TV stars and politicians.

Post script

If you want to use your social media time more efficiently then I suggest you link your Facebook and Instagram posts to your Twitter account.  This looks like you are across both social media platforms, when really you only need to post on Facebook or IG, if that's all you can handle time wise.  I'm sure there is a way to do that without going to the help desk, but this is how I did it for FB and it was easy.

Type this question into the help window on FaceBook, which will appear if you click on the drop down arrow in the top right hand corner of your page and follow the links.  

"How do I link my face book to my twitter account?"

You will be asked to switch back to your admin account, but you get the choice as to which FB account you want to link to Twitter.

When you get there make sure you link up your blog/website FB page and not your personal FB page.  It will give you the choice.

I hope this post has helped you become a little clearer on this fun and informative social medium.

If you have any more tips I'd love it if you'd add them in the comments to this post.

Have a great weekend ladies!!

I'm going vintage hunting and hope to check out The Ultimate Beach House Oh and I'll be tweeting it for anyone who cares!!!!

Today I am linked up here
Chic on a Shoe String
Cowgirl Up

36 comments :

  1. Great post Carolyn,
    Very helpful for a novice like me! ;o)
    Tania xx

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  2. Great tips, Carolyn!

    My biggest twitter thrill (so far) was when one of the US magazines I like re-tweeted a picture of one of their cakes I had baked. It was a thrill to be recognized!

    I don't have a lot of followers, but I don't mind - the thing I love about twitter is that tweets are public; it's not like FB where your updates are only seen by your friends or people who "like" you.

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  3. thanks for the info on twitter, carolyn. i don't think i could get my head around doing that as well as everything else though.
    x

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    1. It's true you can't be across all the social media but this is one I think is a must. And it's real time, easier than FB and takes a lot less time to manage.
      Carolyn

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  4. Thanks! Im a new blogger and just signed up for twitter for my blog. At first, I only had porn stars following me, and it certainly wasn't anything I was saying, lol. Slowly getting followers of the "crafty" type.

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  5. thanks I came over from chic on a shoestring this will be a big help

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  6. Thanks- I will think about this- still trying to get me head around facebook!

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  7. As much as I want to, I still don't get it. I have had a Twitter account for maybe a year now, but still don't have a clue what's going on. I don't text (Yes, you heard me right...I don't text!!! Don't even have the feature on my cell phone!!!), so I don't see how it could possibly work for me. I understand that it could likely be a very powerful tool for generating more traffic, but I'm like Deanne...I'm still trying to figure out stuff like Pinterest. Heck, I didn't really get into the Internet until about 4 years ago, so you KNOW I'm behind the times!!!!! :-) Good luck, and keep us posted on how it goes!!!

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    Replies
    1. Have a go at posting old stuff from your archive. Foe example, last night I tweeted Are you having your peeps over for Sunday lunch well here's a rustic tablescape to put together from things around the house. then attach the link. believe me it drives traffic.
      carolyn

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  8. Thanks for all the tips. I signed up for twitter a while ago because my 24 year old daughter insisted! Still haven't used it yet but your post has helped me understand much better than my daughter's reason (just because...)!

    Robin
    Robin Flies South

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  9. Thanks for the tips--don't know if I'll ever start tweeting! My son set up an account for me about 2 years ago and I have yet to even make the smallest sound on it!!! I'm thinking about it, however, and you have inspired me to explore it a little more. Linda

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  10. Ok, so I did know that simply auto tweeting my new posts probably wouldn't cut it... I did get a kick one after mentioning @mishbridges after she'd featured in the 'child abuse' article... And she tweeted back! Didn't get me any followers but it's something I totally should have followed up- mentioning celebs in your niche area (in a relevant way) and hope they share or reply :) I had thought hash tags were just for tv show updates and trending topics so now I can work on that too!

    Thanks :)

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  11. You covered so much ground there! THanks so much for explaining the hashtags a little more. I struggle with them.

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  12. OK, I think you just talked me into joining Twitter! Thanks for the post! I enjoyed it!

    Shelley from Piggy In Polka Dots

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  13. Me again- So I joined! I mentioned your blog on my recent post about finally joining Twitter! ;) Thanks again for the inspiration to finally take the little plunge!

    See it here- http://piggyinpolkadots.blogspot.com/2012/07/i-finally-joined-twitter.html

    Shelley

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  14. I never understood the hashtag thing. Thanks!

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  15. Thanks for such a great post on Twitter, I have an account but haven't used it much because I didn't know how. At least now I know what some of the icons are for:)

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  16. I just started tweeting about a month ago because I just didn't "get" it. Boy, was I missing the boat!!! I'm going to start following you because you sound very interesting yourself!

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  17. Brilliant post! (I wish I knew all this when I started tweeting 6 months ago!) I swore years ago I was never going to get into the 'twit' thing, but ended up joining up earlier this year because of frustrations with Facebook. I slowly learned the whats and hows of twitter and once I got the hang of it I deleted my facebook account because twitter was so much easier and less time consuming :) Thanks for following me too!!

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  18. Thanks for the info....I have been struggling with Twitter....

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  19. Yay Carolyn!! What a great informative post! Yay for Twitter :)

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! :)

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  20. You're tips worked a treat Carolyn!!! I now have Lisa Curry following me!! I AM STOKED xxDani

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  21. love it!! have been playing around with different words in the hash tag lol. how do i add a link to my blog though?

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  22. sorry to bombard you. i tweeted something , with a # in front of a keyword. go to that topic and my post isn't there :(

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    Replies
    1. Yes that can happen if there are lots of posts on that list. You need to go into the tool bar on that page where it says Tweets Top/All/people you follow and click on All. Don't be discouraged. The more you use it the more you will be seen.
      Carolyn

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    2. Ps To add a link into your tweet, you copy and paste the link in your tweet.
      Carolyn

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  23. I'm fairly new on twitter. At first I didn't get it and didn't really like it. Now I have grown to like it and like it even better than facebook. Thanks for the additional information and tips.

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  24. thanks for all the tips :)

    New follower from the Blog Hop
    -Buffi
    My Wonderfully Dysfunctional Blog

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  25. I really enjoyed this article. It was my pleasure to feature you today in my Fabulous Friday Favorites. Please feel free to take an "I Was Featured" button & I hope you'll come back again next Friday!

    Warmly, Michelle

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  26. Wow, I LOVE YOUR HELP TIPS!!
    I've been on Twitter for a few years and still didn't know all these little details. I've just blundered along and constantly felt frustrated with Twitter! I've even called myself Twittarded!

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  27. Informative post, thanks:) I am now following you twitter!! I tend to follow on twitter now than google or FB as I find it easier.I am also just 'really' understanding the twitter thing too.

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  28. you know,this is a great article from the heart. i love it. ~ rose

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  29. I'm at the "techy" end of the spectrum and I had no idea how to use twitter. This is perfect. Just the informatation I need at the moment.

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  30. Found you through Chic on a Shoestring link party. Thanks for posting your blog tutorials and this article on Twitter. Being completely honest and opening myself up to ridicule - I'm PRE virgin! I don't even know how to get to Twitter. I think I have a Twitter account because I used to follow Lance Armstrong and Barack Obama! But past that - not a clue! Do I do it on a website on my computer, my iphone, what???? I'm so damn confused!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Just go to www.twitter.com and try and sign in using your email and a password. If the password is incorrect they should give you an opportunity to reset it. That should get you back into twitter. To me twitter is the best way to make social media contacts.
      Carolyn

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