Wednesday, 13 May 2015

T Is For Twitter

Day 20 of my A to Z Challenge. T is for Twitter.

If you don't know how this works, I've posted the link back to the rules of the challenge at the end of this, along with a link to yesterday's post. If you want to read my full alphabet, just keep following the links. Each day has a link back to yesterday's post.

Twitter is the most amazing tool to promote your blog - I’ve touched on that briefly here: http://myrandommusings.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/facebook-vs-twitter-big-debate.html.
As I’ve spent more time on Twitter, I’ve learned how to use it a lot more effectively, and I really wish I had known some of this stuff when I first started out, so with that in mind, I thought I would share 8 things I’ve learned about Twitter:

1.Tweet your links regularly
In hindsight, this one sounds so obvious, but when I first started using Twitter, I made the mistake of thinking it worked like Facebook, where you post a status and hours later it’s still easily visible. This is not the case. Depending on the number of people you follow, there can be hundreds of new tweets per minute. One tweet a day just isn’t enough to ensure a decent percentage of your followers see your tweets. There’s no hard and fast rules of how many times to send your tweets out - experiment and find what feels right for you. For new posts, I usually do 1 tweet an hour from 10am – midnight, UK time.

2.Schedule tweets
There’s not many people who have the time or inclination to sit at their computer all day watching the clock so they can tweet. Even if this achievable some days, there will be times when it just isn’t – work commitments, family time or actually going outside and talking to people!
On an average day, where I haven’t written any extra posts, I have the following tweets to send out:
1 new post to promote – that’s one tweet an hour from 10am to midnight, 15 tweets
Up to 4 posts across one or more linkys so that’s one tweet an hour for them too (I alternate them) from 10.30am to 11.30pm, 14 tweets
2 themed tweets eg Follow Friday, 2 tweets
If I need guest posters etc for themes that’s another 4 tweets
I do a thought of the day tweet, 1 tweet
And lastly, at the end of each day, I do a tweet with my main blog link rather than a specific post link, 1 tweet.
(I’m so tempted to add here “For everything else there’s Mastercard!)
That’s a daily minimum total of 37 tweets! That’s a lot to remember to post! Also if I feature anything from another blogger, I do a shout out tweet to them. It soon adds up! So how do you schedule tweets? That leads me onto my next point.
3.Tweetdeck
I use Tweetdeck to schedule my tweets, and it has been an absolute life saver for me. There are other options out there for scheduling, but the front runners seems to be Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. I’ve never tried Hootsuite, so I can’t comment on how good or bad it is. I chose Tweetdeck mainly because it’s free to use. There’s no sign up process, you just use your Twitter login.
I only really use it for scheduling tweets, but if you want to know more about what it does, Jemma over at Dorkface Blog wrote a brilliant post about its functions, which you can read here http://www.dorkface.co.uk/2015/04/a-guide-to-tweetdeck.html.
I load all my tweets daily, but you can go further ahead than that if you want to. It takes me about 15-20 minutes on average. Just make sure when you do this that no 2 tweets are exactly the same, as if they are, Twitter kicks them back as duplicates! With that in mind, there is still only so many ways to say “come and read my new post” especially with the 140 character limit, so I tend to try and mix up which hashtags I use.

 4.Hashtags
It’s only recently I’ve learned the importance of hashtags (#). I always thought of them as a quirky way to sum up a tweet, but they are so much more than that. Hashtags give you the chance to have people who aren’t following you see your tweets, by searching for topics that interest them. Say someone searches for New York. Anything anyone has tweeted with #NewYork wil be visible to them. Think of them as a sort of e-filing system. You can use them to target a specific audience, eg #bloggers, or by subject #whateveryouwroteabout (most hashtags don’t have spaces). Have a search about and find ones that are relevant to what you are posting or who you want to view it (#everyone anybody?) They are also used to group things together, eg linkys, challenges or blog chats.

5.Linkys
Whilst technically linkys aren’t a Twitter thing, I discovered them through Twitter so I thought I would touch on them briefly.
Linkys are a brilliant way to connect with other bloggers. You get your posts seen by a larger, and often new audience, and you find some gems of blogs to read that you otherwise may not have found. I have found some of my favourite blogs through linkys. If you would like to learn more about how they work, Al over at The Dad Network explains it much better than I could here http://www.thedadnetwork.co.uk/2015/04/what-is-a-linky.html. If you would like to take part in them, Aby at You Baby Me Mummy has put together a brilliant list of what’s on when here http://youbabymemummy.com/ramblings/linky-list/.

 6.Be sociable!
Talk to other bloggers! If you follow a link to a great post, retweet it! – this basically means you are sharing it with your followers. If you see another blogger asking a question you can answer, answer them!
I wasted so much time wishing I had the courage to talk to strangers like that, wondering if it was cheeky to answer things that weren’t specifically directed at me. It’s not! If someone asks a question, it’s fair to assume they want an answer!
If you just bang out promo tweets all day without any personal interaction, you’re followers will soon get bored.
And a bit of a no brainer, but if someone tweets you directly, or mentions you in a tweet, have the common decency to acknowledge them! If the tweet really doesn’t warrant a reply, at least click favourite so they know you’ve seen it and appreciate the mention.

 7.Blogger chats
Blogger chats are a fantastic way to communicate with other bloggers. Join in when you can. There are loads running throughout the week, about various areas and topics about blogging (I have a list saved that I can send over to anyone that wants a copy. I’m embarrassed to admit I can’t remember which blog posted it so I can’t link it up).
You can learn so much in these chats, and really get to know other bloggers, so it’s worth joining in. Each blog chat has its own hashtag. Use it on every chat related tweet so everyone involved can see it.
I would say there are two rules which are pretty simple to follow:
*Be courteous, and if you disagree with someone, by all means say so, but be respectful about it! Don’t resort to personal attacks.
*DO NOT use the # of a chat to send in your blog’s link if you haven’t been involved in the chat. It’s just rude!

 8.Set up a separate Twitter account for your blog
If you haven’t already done this, and are just using your personal account, I would really advise you to set up a separate one. I know a lot of bloggers far more experienced than I am will disagree with this point. There’s no real rule, this is just my opinion. I would advise it for three reasons:
*If you are sending out a lot of promo tweets, blog chat tweets etc and your friends aren’t into blogging, it’s going to annoy them pretty quickly. Whereas if people follow you as a blogger, presumably they are interested in your blog.
*It helps potential readers find you, and helps them mentally connect this Twitter account with your blog, because the name is familiar to them. This is assuming you use your blog name as your user name, rather than your real name. Again, this is just my opinion, and is probably another point people will disagree on.
*This last reason is mostly if you want to work with brands. It’s great to put a bit of your personality into your blog related tweets, but do you really want brands you will potentially be working with to look you up and see you were #smashedallweekend?

Do you agree Twitter is the best promo site? If not, which do you prefer? Is there anything you would add to the list?

Follow me on Twitter @randommusings29 and feel free to comment :)


The List
Stopping at two
The Dad Network
Zenas Suitcase
Let's Talk Mommy
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com
Life with Baby Kicks

33 comments:

  1. This is great - dedication doing a whole alphabet!! :) I've only been on twitter for three weeks and had no idea about the hashtags - thinking the same as you. Thank you for sharing this will be really valuable going forward :) xx

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    1. Thank you :) I'm glad you found it helpful. It's a few of the things I wish I'd known sooner!

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  2. Brilliant tips on how to use Twitter effectively. I love joining in on the blog chats 😊

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    1. Thank you :) Me too, I've learned so much from them and met some lovely people.

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  3. Great post! I actually use my proper twitter account but to be honest, this is because I have always used my twitter account differently and not added a lot of friends but more associates. I am friends on there now with a few friends from Uni but the majority of my FB friends have no idea I have a twitter account, or that I blog. I know what you mean about it being annoying lol. Looking forward to the final few letters! Xx

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    1. I didn't even have a Twitter account until after I started blogging so for me it made sense to start an account in my blogs name. Like I said in the post bloggers with far more experience would disagree with me. I think its just doing what's right for you! Thank you :)

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  4. I use buffer for scheduling my tweets. It also allows you to rebuffed a tweet without having to change the wording..
    Great post. I'm fairly new to this Twitter thing, but there are Lists. Think they help you keep track of tweets from people you follow by grouping them into Lists. That's all I have to say on that.

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    1. I think I'll be looking into buffer - that's one I've never heard of and it is so annoying having to reword tweets - I think using the same one more than once would save a lot of time. I think lists could be useful too. Thanks for commenting :)

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  5. Great post and advice - i totally agree on getting a twitter handle for your blog, it makes it so much easier for people to remember your handle off the top of their heads! Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

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    1. Yeah I think it does - a few times I've talked to a blogger on Twitter and its been a while before its clicked in my mind that I read their blog! Thank you for hosting :)

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  6. Great list, some really good advice here!

    #myfavouritepost

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you found it useful! :)

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  7. I love Twitter! Some really great points here for anyone new to it.
    #SundayStars

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    1. Me too! Thank you and thanks for hosting :)

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  8. I love Twitter! Some really great points here for anyone new to it.
    #SundayStars

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  9. Fab tips, love tweetdeck and buffer.

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    1. Thank you :) I'd never heard of buffer until after I wrote this, something I will be looking into! Tweetdeck is a total life saver!

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  10. Great post. If only I read this 8 months ago. I had to slowly learn all of this. Buffer is good for scheduling tweets as well as other social media sites. Which is great.
    The only thing I haven't done us join in with chats. There's a lot of mummy chats and they've all to me I can't join in :( and the night when there's a parent chat I'm working. I'd like to do one though. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there this week

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    1. Thank you :) A few have mentioned Buffer, I'm definitely going to check it out. Have you thought about joining in a general blogging chat instead, they are great fun and I always come away feeling I've learned something new. Thanks for hosting, I will definitely be by next week:)

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    2. Just popped back from #blogstorm this time. Great read again. It's still something that took me far to long to realise these points. There's one general chat that I join now. Sadly the others are mum chats and a couple have said they want to keep it mums :(

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    3. Really? That's not very welcoming is it! The main one I do is #bdibNA, I work daft hours so this one works out well for me time wise because it's an American one. Everyone is welcome if you're ever about it's at 1am UK time Monday and Friday night :)

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  11. Fantastic twitter advice and tips. I really need to get on and be more social to new followers and not just a small group. This is great. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round #sharewithme

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    1. Thank you :) I love Twitter - it's not always easy to find the time for everything though is it! Thank you for hosting, see you at tomorrow's linky :)

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  12. I love this, and that you like me have learned things a bit at a time and often by accident like with hashtags. Thanks for linking up with #MyFavouritePost

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    1. Thank you :) It's sure been a learning curve! Thanks for hosting :)

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  13. Hello, I must come back to this post when I am a little more awake...
    Twitter is a crazy place. I have just opened a tweetdeck account and it does look rather scary... I will need to look at it in the morning with a cup of tea :-)

    Many congratulations on taking part and completing the A-Z Challenge!

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    1. Twitter is totally crazy, but fun though! Tweetdeck looks horrifying at a quick glance but it's really easy to use once you get used to the look of it. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  14. Really interesting! I haven't tried Tweetdeck, but use Hootsuite. My only issue was that I couldn't schedule enough tweets for my 2 week holiday! I always wonder how many tweets to do, so it's really interesting to hear what you do. Thank you! :) x

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    1. As far as I know there is no limit on Tweetdeck. I schedule weekly and I haven't reached it yet if there is! You're welcome!

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