When it comes to promoting your website and generating traffic, there are few social networking sites as effective as Twitter. However, some people worry that they don’t know how to navigate Twitter or maximize the benefits that it can bring to their site. For instance, people may be concerned that they don’t have enough followers and that the things they share will not be noticed. The truth, however, is that you don’t need a lot of followers to make Twitter work for you. If you are a novice entrepreneur, or just entering the social networking world, follow these simply steps, and even if you don’t have a lot of followers, you will soon find that Twitter can still drive targeted traffic to your site, or to your business.
The most important thing on Twitter is NOT how many followers you have, but rather WHO is following. There are consulting firms that boast that they can get you thousands of followers in a matter of days, and while this may be true, if these followers aren’t targeted followers, they are utterly useless. There are people on Twitter who follow literally thousands of people, and if your Tweets are showing up in their Twitter feeds, there is not much chance that your Tweets will be noticed. This is not to say that you don’t want followers, but be sure to develop your base of followers organically, that way your Tweets will have a higher conversation rate. Don’t pay for 10 000 followers and get a 1% conversation rate, when you can organically gain a 1000 followers over the course of six months and get a 10% conversation rate on your Tweets.
TWEET TO LEADERS IN YOUR FIELD
You might be asking: How do I get in touch with my market if I don’t have any followers? The answer is to send Tweets to leaders in your field, or people in a related field. Let’s assume that your niche is cooking. Perhaps you have a website where you share recipes, or you sell food merchandise online, or have a coupon site that offers coupons to grocery stores. Find a popular figure in the field, such as Rachael Ray, go to their Twitter, and send them a Tweet. In the Tweet, include a link to a blog post on a recipe they recently showcased, or perhaps a link to a coupon to an item they use frequently. They may ‘Favorite’ or ‘Re-Tweet’ your comment, which will driver their followers to your site. They already have a massive target audience that you can tap into.
SHOW SOME LOVE TO THE UGLY DUCKLING
More popular figures can be hard to get responses from, so try and pick people who aren’t quite as famous as the top names, as they more likely to respond. Likewise, their followers are usually particularly loyal and are more likely to notice your post. There is a person I coach who has an arts and entertainment blog where he does reviews for music, films and books. He has posted Tweets to celebrities like Spike Lee, Kanye West, and Lady Gaga, each of whom have millions of followers. Despite this huge number of followers, on days when he Tweeted to these celebrities, he saw absolutely no increase in his traffic. However, when he Tweeted a post to music act that was relatively unknown and only had a few thousand followers, his traffic literally doubled because those followers were particularly loyal to the band while the band was happy to see a favourable review on their music, so they re-tweeted it. Likewise, when he Tweeted a post about plus-size models out to a few models in the field, he saw a 1000% increase in traffic for three days. They didn’t have nearly as many followers as Kanye West or Lady Gaga, but the followers they had were loyal, and the models who he sent the Tweets out to ran their own Twitter accounts and favourited or re-tweeted his comments. It is still worth Tweeting to the bigger celebrities, because if one of your Tweets hits, it will generate a flood of traffic, but in most instances you will get better results Tweeting out to less celebrated figures.
TWEET TO THE FOLLOWERS OF LEADERS IN YOUR FIELD
You will find that it may be difficult to get ‘Favorites’ and ‘Re-Tweets’ from some of the bigger names in your field, so you may want to target their followers instead of them. The great thing about Twitter is that everybody’s followers are public. This is like having access to somebody’s client list without having to pay for it. Read through the Tweets others have left, and find some Tweets you like and ‘Favorite’ them and send a reply to other followers. These people aren’t celebrities and will be more likely to interact with you. Follow them, or reply to their Tweets. Send them a Tweet and let them know that you agree with their posts and share a link on your site with them. They will be more likely to follow you and check out your link. Do this two or three times a day, and over the course of six months you could have hundreds of targeted followers who are far more likely to notice your Tweets and read your posts than the ‘thousands’ of ‘followers’ some consulting agency would have gotten you.
USE THE HASHTAG
I know how annoying the ‘hashtag’ trend is, but on Twitter, the use of hashtags can be very effective. Keep track of the latest shows and articles in your niche, and when something popular comes up, use a hashtag already related to it, or create one, and then share a link to related post from your website in that tweet. Perhaps you have a blog about home improvement, or a coupon site that posts coupons for home improvement items. Be sure to follow leaders in the field like Mike Holmes, and the Twitter feeds for companies like Home Depot and Lowe’s. When a new Mike Holmes program airs, or a Tweet comes up from Holmes’s Twitter feed, reply to it, or use a related hashtag in a tweet with a link to your website. If Home Depot or Lowe’s Tweet a new item or sale, share a related post from your website and include the hashtag they used in a Tweet with a link to your website. Including hashtags in replies to Tweets that have a link to your website is an excellent way to improve the chances of having Twitter users visit your site.
Overall, Twitter can be an excellent way to get free, targeted traffic, and you do not have to be a social networking expert to make it work for you. You do no need thousands of followers, and you do not need to pay a consulting agency to get you thousands of followers. Just keep your fingers on the pulse of the market you are involved with, share a few Tweets a day, and be sure to direct your Tweets to leaders in your field, and their followers, and add a hashtag or two. This will gain you access to targeted audiences, increase the traffic to your site, and help you build a list of targeted followers.