By Elana Lyn Gross (Illustrated by Danielle Eckert) I owe a lot to Twitter. Twitter played a large role in finding the job that I love. When I first started blogging, I made a Twitter account which Levo League then followed. I liked their articles and mission and asked how I could support them during their launch. I spent a few months as a brand ambassador before getting hired to manage their social media. Because Twitter helped me find a career in marketing, I'm "paying to forward" and sharing the best practices I've learned.
Here are my top 12 Twitter tips for bloggers.
1. Choose a descriptive handle and write a descriptive profile.
I recommend having your handle be the name of your blog. People are more likely to search for your blog title than your name. Write a descriptive profile so that people can quickly learn more about you.
2. Customize your profile.
Customize your background, header, profile picture, and link color. Choose images and colors that match your blog branding and personal brand on other social media outlets.
3. Follow and engage with other users.
Follow and engage with other bloggers and brands that you love and write about. Share other bloggers' posts, let them them know you liked their content, and start conversations. If you write a blog post about various brands, write a tweet saying that you’ve featured them.
4. Use Twitter search for social listening.
Use search to find out what bloggers and brands are talking about. You may want to use search terms like: blogger, fashion blogger, preppy blogger, fitness blogger, lifestyle blogger, preppy, and fitness (depending on your blog’s primary focus).
5. Post images and GIFs.
Posts with images do better than posts without. Include images and make sure to size them correctly. Horizontal images look better on Twitter. Have fun with GIFs (because you can post GIFs to Twitter now!) and avoid posting Instagram pictures to Twitter (because people have to click the link then wait for it to load). You can crop, edit, add filters, tag people, and add more than one photo directly from Twitter -- the images will be visible in both the feed and in the photos area of your profile.
6. Utilize lists.
According to Twitter, “A list is a curated group of Twitter users.” Group brands and people into lists. For example, you might want a list of beauty bloggers, fashion bloggers, and your favorite brands. You don’t have to follow everyone on your list; they won’t show up in your feed, but you’ll be able to click on the list and read through all of the their tweets.
7. Use hashtags.
It's a great idea to have a dedicated hashtag for an event or company, but you should also use broad hashtags that you know will be popular or trending. But don’t jump on a hashtag bandwagon just because everyone else is. It’s important to research a hashtag before you use it. If it’s trending, read through the tagged tweets in order to understand the hashtag’s context. It's also helpful to know current events (I read The Skimm on my subway ride to work every morning). You don’t want to tweet about something that could be seen as inappropriate because of timing.
8. Maintain a consistent voice.
Your voice on Twitter should be the same or similar to your voice on your blog. If you are friendly and humorous on your blog, be friendly and humorous on Twitter. Be yourself (in 140 characters or less).
9. Provide value.
Provide value with almost every tweet your write. Are there times when I tweet saying simply that I love NYC? Yes. But I make sure that a majority of my tweets provide value to the people who follow me. I want them to discover something new -- whether it's an article I just read, a blog post I wrote, or a great new restaurant I found in NYC. I’m unlikely to tweet that I just got a Coke Zero.
10. Share relevant content that is not your own.
You should definitely use Twitter to publicize your blog posts, but you should also share content that is not your own. I follow the 80/20 Rule: 20% of what you share should be related to your brand and 80% should be engaging with other brands, influencers, and Twitter users or sharing content that is not your own.
11. Abide by the New York Times Test.
When I'm deciding what to share, I use something I call the New York Times Test: If I would be embarrassed if it ended up on the cover of the New York Times, I don’t post it. I also know someone who doesn’t post anything she wouldn’t want her grandmother to see. You are what you tweet so tweet responsibly.
12. Schedule your Tweets in advance.
I use Buffer and Hootsuite. These platforms allow me to schedule tweets that go out while I'm at my full-time job. It is important to tweet during times that people are on Twitter; Buffer and Hootsuite allow me to tweet at the times that a majority of my readers are likely to be scrolling through their feed.
What are your Twitter tips?