Things change constantly in marketing, and the way that we used Twitter to build traffic a few short years ago is very different from the way it is done today.
If you want to boost your social media efforts and use Twitter as part of your traffic generation strategy, then read on to discover some of the best practices that you can implement right now to drive more traffic to your site.
And the best part?
They’re all backed by data, which means that the odds are they will work just as well for you as they have for countless other marketers.
In the early days, when Twitter first came about, it was so exciting to try and figure out how to get more followers and all the various other things involved with social media.
But a lot has changed since then.
And this isn’t just about the fact that Twitter only allows for 140 characters now as opposed to the previous 280.
There’s so much more going on than that, and in this blog post, we’re going to address some of the changes that have come about, as well as how you can take advantage of them to boost the number of visitors to your blog.
But, as you’ve probably noticed, Twitter happens to be very noisy!
This means that it’s easy to get lost in that sea, and drowned among the voices so that no one ever notices you or hears a thing you say. In today’s world, simply having a massive Twitter following is no longer enough to make a lot of difference.
That’s why all those marketers who used shady strategies like auto-follow to build up their Twitter following are now sitting on massive lists that barely drive any traffic to their sites.
Trying to build up a community of followers from scratch is even harder in today’s noisy environment.
Which begs the question:
What is the best way of dealing with Twitter today?
What are some of the best practices when it comes to building a community around your blog and driving decent amounts of traffic from Twitter?
Is it even worth it anymore to put in all that time and effort on this social media site?
The answer to all those questions is that these days Twitter can be an extremely effective medium for opinion leaders, celebrities, politicians, and other similar individuals.
For instance, Trump uses his Twitter account to make quite a lot of major waves, and other similar people often get their tweets featured and shared in blog posts and news stories.
That makes sense.
But what about ordinary folk like us who are neither politicians nor celebrities?
What do we ‘normies’ do to make an impact with Twitter when we start up our online business?
The actual truth is that if you are getting started with social media and you expect to make big waves with Twitter, then it’s important to read just such expectations before we move forward.
Don’t expect miracles from Twitter. But with the right tactics, you will be able to get a respectable flow of traffic to your site.
But first, consider the following statistics:
The CEO of Social Media Examiner, one of the biggest social media blogs on the planet, stated that they get less than 5% of their blog traffic from social media (and that figure is a lot less when you consider Twitter alone).
This is a huge eye-opener!
You simply have to take a look at your raw feed on Twitter (something that nobody does…) to see that it’s practically impossible to actually keep up with everything that goes on.
Yet another big Internet blogger, Neil Patel, stated that he only gets about 2% of his total blog traffic from Twitter, and he is a firm believer that Facebook is a better use of time, at this point, than Twitter is.
But, for those of us who tweet a lot, it’s actually possible to get satisfactory numbers of blog visitors from our efforts, as long as we do enough of the right things in the right order.
So, the bottom line is that Twitter can generate web traffic, but you’re likely to be able to get the same number of visitors in less time using other mediums for traffic building.
By no means is this meant to discourage you from Twitter.
In fact, you should use Twitter – particularly if you’re just getting started. Building up your blog traffic is not merely about magic bullets. It’s not as if you can pick one perfect strategy and then put everything you’ve got into one basket, and make a killing.
There are various ways and mediums that you can use to build traffic and they typically all work together. And yes, Twitter needs to be somewhere in that mix.
So, my personal opinion is that while you cannot expect miracles from this social site, you can use certain best practices and maximize your use.
Just remember to keep it all in perspective. If you are actually willing to fork out for Twitter ads, you can significantly reduce the number of limitations that you have on Twitter. It’s not a matter of whether people follow you or not.
The average CTR (click-through-ratio) for Twitter Ads is about 2%. We’ll dive a little deeper into Twitter ads in a later post, but for now, it’s important to note that if you want to do things the free way, then you will need to put in a lot of effort on Twitter to get the kind of traffic results that you want.
That does not mean that it’s not worth it. Just that you have to do things in a smart and strategic way to maximize the results that you’re going to get from your efforts.
To that end, we’re now going to look at some of the best practices that will help you make the most of your marketing activities on Twitter.
Get More Visual With Your Tweets
In order for you to get the best possible results from Twitter, you must start thinking of this social platform as more than just a simple text medium.
Gone are the days when you could simply tweet out the headline of your blog post and a link then sit back and wait for the magic. In today’s world, that’s just lazy marketing, and it will never get you any real results.
You need to use more images, and use more videos in your marketing to get the attention of your audience.
Twitter expanded images get almost 90% more favorites, and tweets that contain images get retweeted over three times as much as those without.
Where video is concerned, the stats are even better. Twitter’s own metrics show that any tweets that contain video are six times more likely to be retweeted than those with photos, and three times as likely as those with animated GIFs.
Clearly, sending out a simple tweet with a piece of text and a link just doesn’t cut it anymore and it won’t perform well at all. So if you don’t want your tweets to blend into the noise, then use images in your tweets, or even better – videos.
If you want to include an image in your tweet, then it’s best to pick a good one from the blog post. But instead of using a boring stock photo, rather find a unique, eye-catching image that will make your tweet stand out.
Make sure that you use the built-in image hosting that Twitter provides. All you need to do is to upload the photo directly on the website, and everything else will be done automatically.
Instead of posting a YouTube link, for instance, upload your video natively to Twitter.
Your video should be under 140 seconds long (two minutes and twenty seconds). That’s the maximum length for a video on Twitter. So, if you want to post a video uniquely on Twitter, then make sure that it’s short and to the point.
Use the tips below to help you get it right:
Take a chunk of a longer video that has already been created and re-purpose it for Twitter.
You don’t have to make a special video specifically for the social site. Keep in mind that you can actually put a compelling call to action at the end of it for viewers to watch the rest of that video.
And it’s important to realize that although you can go up to 140 seconds in length, it’s still only a good idea to do so if your video is very engaging. As a general rule of thumb, videos that are between 30 and 45 seconds tend to work best on Twitter.
Start your video off with something that is visually interesting and is sure to grab their full attention.
The majority of Twitter users access the social media site on mobile devices, which means that they’re probably just scrolling by.
Your video will start to play automatically in their app as it comes into their view. If it does not grab their attention immediately, then they’re probably just going to keep scrolling.
So, make sure your video is very visual, and not reliant on sound as most videos will initially be seen without audio. If what your viewers see interests them enough, then they will stop to listen to the audio.
Some ideas for what you can do for Twitter videos include the following:
- Replying to people using video (this impresses the heck out of a lot of people)
- Hosting Q and A sessions and answering your audience’s questions on video
- Doing real-time updates through video (for example, recording behind-the-scenes quickie videos with your phone and uploading them)
- Posting teaser videos about anything you’ve got coming up
- Taking longer videos that you’ve made for your blog or other networks and breaking them up into multiple videos and posting them as segments on Twitter
Tease Your Audience on Twitter
As previously mentioned, simply tweeting out blog post headlines and links is Twitter laziness. You must step up your game if you want Twitter to really work for you.
So instead of using a boring old link, why not try to tease your readers to click?
Basically, all you have to do is to open a loop and spark their curiosity. In order for their curiosity to be satisfied, they must click the link to see what you are talking about.
For instance, you could ask your followers a question that is enticing, that is answered in your post.
Here is an example of what I mean:
One of my recent posts on the blog is about Off-Page SEO for Beginners.
Now, I could simply tweet that title out with a link, but a question will work better to cultivate curiosity. I could say, ‘Which Off-Page SEO Tactics Work Well In Today’s Marketing Landscape? Which Ones Suck? And Why?’
Then I could drop the link so they can get to the post for answers to those questions.
You can take this up a notch by making it so that whenever one of your followers retweets the post using the share buttons on your blog, it uses the question version instead of the simple title which is typically the default.
You can use a plugin like Social Warfare where you are able to customize the text which goes out to Twitter when readers use the share button.
This makes it very easy to override any text so it isn’t just a title.
The Bottom Line
While Twitter won’t make a huge dent in your overall traffic generation, it’s still important to be able to connect with your audience wherever they are. And if some of them are hanging out on Twitter, then you need to be there, too.
So use the simple tactics outlined in this post to boost your traffic generation from the social site so that you maximize the time and effort spent on it.
Just remember that it’s only a small part of your overall traffic strategy, and keep everything you do on this site in perspective.
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Updated: Originally published December 29th 2018