Among social media, Twitter is one of the most addictive and it’s the best suited to ever-increasing mobile use—with 200 million active Twitter users sharing more than 100,000 Tweets per minute. It has also become the medium of choice for countless celebrities, brands and experts to gain and engage a following.
You had a quick introduction to using Twitter to promote your Yola website in our post, “Drive Traffic to Your Yola Site: Get Social!”. Now, in this post, you get more guidance and tips on how to use Twitter to grow traffic. For further instruction, go to the Twitter Help Center.
New to Twitter? Need a Refresher?
Twitter may be less intuitive than other popular social media, but it’s simple to master. If you aren’t already familiar, take the Twitter Tour and skip to the end of this post for a cheat sheet of basic terms and concepts.
There are five main ways to increase your website traffic using Twitter:
1 – Create a distinctive Twitter presence that ties into your website.
– Connect Your ID with Your Website
Provide your Yola site URL in the Website field in the Profile section under Settings. It will show prominently on your company Twitter page, like Yola customer Panacea Records’ URL does:
TIP – Like Treehugger, you can give your website address as your profile name so shows on all listings and activity.
– Achieve Your Brand Look
You have three opportunities to align your appearance on Twitter with the look of your Yola website: your profile photo, header photo, and page design (background).
1. Your profile photo is what everyone sees with your name and Tweets. Companies often go with their logo. However, you may want to use an image that represents your company spirit. If space allows, you can overlay your website address or logo, like Greenpeace does:
2. Your header photo fills the box behind your profile photo on your Twitter page. Default is textured black, which goes well with many page designs.
Puny Pixel, a Yola customer, is using a super-cute kid pic for a header.
3. A customized background design replaces the default cloud imagery on your Twitter pages—most importantly on your profile page. It’s easy to change, but be sure that you don’t go overboard and distract visitors from your content.
Yola user Kid Toc has introduced its logo and tagline into this custom page design.
TIP – Go to COLOURlovers and the Themeleon tool to create a custom Twitter background and color palette or select from millions of existing combos, free.
– Point your Yola website back to Twitter.
In addition to sending people from Twitter to your Yola site, intensify customer engagement by integrating Twitter into your website:
- Add the Tweet This widget, which allows visitors to your site to easily post your site content to their Twitter feed.
- Add the Follow button to your website so visitors can click to follow you on Twitter directly from your website.
- Embed fully functional Tweets on your Yola site so visitors can engage you on Twitter without going to Twitter.
TIP: Got Facebook? Tweet it up!
Further deepen the audience relationship by clicking during your Twitter profile setup to connect your Facebook account:
2 – Reach Out and Build a Targeted Audience
A quality group of followers is worth doing a little legwork. Search Twitter to see who is engaged in topics related to your business and who is following your competitors, then start following them. Even if they don’t follow you back right away, you will be able to see their Tweets in your timeline and learn from them. Show support by adding a comment here and there or retweeting (sharing) strong posts. Eventually, without even counting, you can build a sizeable targeted following interested in what you have to offer.
TIP – Stay on Top of Your Twitter Accounts with New Tools
Twitter announced in March 2013 that it will retire the popular TweetDeck console. If you were a fan, don’t despair. Twitter is building two replacements: a web application and a Chrome app. They plan to follow those with Mac and PC apps. You may also consider third-party apps like ManageFlitter or, for integrated social media management, HootSuite.
3 – Do More with Less, More Often
As you probably already know, Tweets must keep to a maximum of 140 characters. Links count towards the total plus you should leave room for followers to comment if they retweet. This leaves you closer to 110 characters to play with. Here are four ways to get more out of little:
1. Save space by shortening URLs.
Keep your character count down with any of a number of free URL-shortening services, like Ow.ly, TinyURL or Bit.ly.
TIP: Make a Short URL Even Shorter
Once you’ve shortened a URL, cut it down even further by deleting http://. With Bit.ly, you can pare another two spaces by replacing “bit.ly” with “j.mp”.
2. Post regular, timely Tweets.
Easy to dash off on the fly, Tweets lend themselves to ongoing updates, news flashes and as-it-happens communication. Followers will be more likely to tune into your Tweets if you keep them fresh, with the latest on your company, offerings and related topics.
For instance, whenever you publish a new Yola site or make changes to your existing one, announce it on Twitter. Just click the “Tweet this” button on the Yola Publish My Site confirmation page:
3. Make Tweets catchy.
Remember that you don’t have to “say it all” in a Tweet. It’s more important to entice your audience to engage, for instance, by joining you in conversation, retweeting or clicking a link to your site for more information. A teaser, humorous comment or provocative question are good attention-getters. You can also add a photo or video to lend visual interest. In fact, Tweets with photos garner twice the response.
4. Keep Tweets relevant.
A teen said in a recent Microsoft Research study, “Facebook is like shouting into a crowd. Twitter is like speaking into a room.” People tend to engage on Twitter around a specific topic, interest, person or company. These focused discussions provide an excellent opportunity to establish your expertise among interested audiences.
Keep your Tweets centered on topics related to your business. Search Twitter for associated discussions and chime in with advice and, when appropriate, a helpful link to your site.
TIP: Lead or Attend a Tweet Chat
A Twitter Tweet chat is a prearranged virtual discussion starting at an appointed time. All participating Tweets are bound together in one Tweet chat by including a designated, hashtagged term (e.g., #claptrap). Manage Tweet chat participation more easily using tools such as: Tweetchat.com, Twitterfall.com, TweetGrid.com, Twubs.com and Hootsuite.
4 – Give People Perks to Follow You
Twitter users are more likely to become followers if there are direct benefits.
– Regularly offer goodies.
Five great ways to win followers and send users to your Yola website is to include links for:
- Discounts and promos
- Announcements about upcoming sales
- Access to exclusive content
- Preview info about new products or services
– Provide help.
Immediately address queries directed at you on Twitter. You’ll not only gratify them, but may answer questions for your other followers too. Stay on the lookout for mentions of you or your company, so you can jump in to provide support or clarification. Include links to your website for more info when helpful.
Yola provides customers with direct answers and support links on Twitter.
TIP: Answer Complaint Tweets without Delay
A 2012 Edison Research study showed that 50% of social media users in the U.S. expect companies to reply to a complaint within an hour, 24 hours a day.
5 – Advertise on Twitter
Studies have shown that shoppers exposed to a brand’s Tweets were about one third more likely to visit the company’s website and, when they get there, nearly two-thirds more likely to “add to cart.” With consumers spending more than $272,000 per minute online, you can see the value of Twitter for promoting your Yola Online Store or website!
Twitter offers three paid means of promoting your business and ultimately sending more traffic to your Yola site:
- Promoted Accounts – Highlight your account under “Who to follow” for users who share account traits with your current followers. Pay only when they follow you.
- Promoted Tweets – Call out a promotional Tweet in the Twitter timeline of users targeted by criteria such as geography, interests, sex or device type. Pay only when people click on, favorite, reply or retweet it.
- Promoted Trends – Draw attention to your offering, event, announcement or company at the top of the Trends list. Users click to pull up your promoted Tweet with more info.
A promoted account, Tweet and trend all show in this user’s timeline view.
The 2013 Twitter audience is…
- 16% teens, 29% 18-29, 14% 30-49, 9% 50-64
- 15% of online women and 14% of online men
- 57% of all companies on social media
- 27.4% American, with the next seven in descending order: Brazilian, Japanese, from the UK, Indonesian, Indian, Mexican and Canadian
Social media like Twitter can be a powerful part of your website promotion strategy. Check back for our upcoming post about also leveraging Pinterest to drive traffic to your Yola site. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, check out this post about using Facebook for website traffic.
- “216 Social Media and Internet Statistics” by Cara Pring, The Social Skinny, 9/15/2012
- “Data Never Sleeps” by Shea Bennett, AllTwitter on Media Bistro, 6/25/2012
- “Does Social Media Really Work?” by Sam Laird, Mashable, 5/23/2012
- “How to Participate in a Tweet Chat” by Janet Fouts
- The Ingenious Guide to Twitter by Steve Eason, Copyright 2013 Ingenious Internet Income Publishing
- Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen, Copyright 2011 McGraw Hill
- “Revealed: The Top 20 Countries and Cities on Twitter” by Shea Bennett, AllTwitter on Media Bistro, 8/13/2012
- “Shifting Twitter Demographics” by D. Bailey, The Content Standard, 1/14/2013
- “Teens migrating to Twitter – sometimes for privacy” by Martha Irvine, Associated Press, NBC News Today.com, 1/30/2012
- “Tweets Increase Brand Purchases and Twitter’s Updated Ad Center Helps Track It” by Mary C. Long, AllTwitter on Media Bistro, 3/14/2013
- “Twitter Marketing: How to Use Twitter for Business” by Michael Steizner, Social Media Examiner, 1/18/2013
Cheat Sheet – Twitter Basic Concepts & Lingo
Tweet The name for a twitter post, a Tweet is limited to a maximum length of 140 characters.
Follower A person who has subscribed to your Tweets is your follower. The relationship is only reciprocal when you follow them in return.
Mention Use the “@” symbol to refer to another user, whether addressing them directly or mentioning them. On their own homepage, on the Connect tab, they will be able to see that you mentioned them.
@Reply A type of mention, an @reply is a public response to a Tweet, which you send by clicking the Reply button.
Direct Message (DM) A DM is a private message that goes only to one specified recipient who is following you. You start a direct message with “DM username,” eg, “DM yola” or select “Direct messages” from under the gear icon dropdown then click “New message”.
Retweet (RT) You retweet when you share someone else’s Tweet with all your followers. Be sure to credit the original poster by beginning the retweet with “RT @” + that poster’s username, eg, “RT @yola Fancy new Yola upgrades!” Alternatively, click “Retweet” at the bottom of the tweet you want to share.
Hashtag (#) Place a hashtag before the topic, keyword or key phrase (no spaces) of a Tweet to enable the post to show up more easily in search. Clicking on a hashtagged word in a Tweet shows you all other Tweets with that keyword hashtagged.
Trends A “trending” topic is one that is extremely popular on Twitter in your selected geography. It will show in a list on the left side of all of your tab pages under Trends.
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