Want to learn how to use Twitter for your business marketing? Facebook drives me nuts, Instagram’s fun but it doesn’t bring me any blog traffic or business and the jury’s still out on Google+, though I am keeping a close eye on that one. But I love Twitter. I really do.

It’s the only social media outpost I’ve ever written about it because the simplicity and instant gratification it delivers have made me a confident, happy Twitter user. Better still it gets results.

Twitter is the fourth referral site for my travel blog Get In the Hot Spot, behind StumbleUpon, Facebook and this blog. Over here at Successful Blogging Twitter is the second referrer site after StumbleUpon – up from seventh the last time I write about Twitter almost two years ago.

I’ve been on Twitter four years but didn’t use it strategically until last year when I got smarter about using Twitter marketing to grow my blog or business. I still find Twitter fun but it’s also become a powerful marketing tool.

Now I’ve got 8,000+ Twitter followers on two accounts which isn’t huge but it’s enough to provide a good testing ground for these Twitter strategies and to make a difference to my business. But no matter how many or how few Twitter followers you have, adopting these strategies should boost your blog traffic and help you get more sales.

If you’re new to Twitter, blogging or social networking or think Twitter’s a waste of time check out these posts:

Or read on for five winning Twitter marketing strategies to help you better grow your blog and boost your business.

1. Push Push Push

I shied away from being too pushy in the beginning until I saw a blog post by Robin Dickinson which was a break down of how salesman extraordinnaire Gary Vanderchuck gets more sales. It’s a simple solution. When he has something to promote he plugs it hard, tweeting again and again throughout the day.

I spend between four and eight hours writing my blog posts but hardly any time promoting them so it makes sense for me to start pushing them more. So now on Twitter I:

  1. Send multiple tweets when a new blog post is published. Between 3-12 tweets over a 24 hour period.
  2. Schedule the tweets using Hootsuite. You can sign up for a free account or get a free 30 day trial on the pro version. That’s an affiliate link because I always sign up for affiliate programs if it’s a tool I love.
  3. Use Crowdbooster to see what are the best times of day for you to send tweets. For me it tends to be 8, 9 and 10am then 2pm and around 7 or 8pm. Crowdbooster has a free trial too so you can find out for yourself.

Don’t be ashamed of plugging your own products or blog posts. That’s why you’re on Twitter and why you’ve worked hard to build up a following. But do make sure those tweets that are plugs are interspersed with other more human offerings.

2. Be human, be helpful

If someone’s thinking of following you on Twitter they’ll probably check out your timeline first. So make sure you’re not only plugging your own stuff. Here are a few ideas for tweets:

  1. Auto-retweet other people’s posts (only people whose work you can guarantee will be great). You can set this up automatically on Hootsuite.
  2. Spend 5-10 minutes each day interacting with people on Twitter. Thank people who retweeted you or brought your product, reply to questions or retweet tweets that catch your eye.
  3. Share tips. You can easily create a list of tweetable tips like “Have you backed up your work lately? I’d hate you to lose it,” then schedule one a day each month on Hootsuite.
  4. Keep the focus on your topic 95% of the time.

3. Connect

Who you know counts and it’s ridiculously easy to make connections with people on Twitter. I use it to get people’s email addresses, let people know I appreciate their work and thank clients for their support.

People are always asking me for email addresses of popular bloggers who I’ve guest posted for but I won’t give them out. Instead I tell them to send a tweet which is generally how I get email addresses. Some people tell me they already tried Twitter and didn’t get a response. If that happens send another tweet and rephrase the request.

These tweets are a good way to get an influencer’s email address:

@BIGBOY I’ve got a GREAT guest post idea for you. Interested? Please DM me your email address :)

@HOTSHOT Just thought of a fab way to get more people to read your book.  Interested? Please DM me your email address.

It’s easy to see what I’m doing – piquing people’s interest, offering to help them out and definitely not asking them for help to make sure they don’t think I’m just another Internet desperado.

4. Pimp your profile

But remember less is more.

  1. Use keywords and phrases that will attract the clients you want. I got my first job in Australia from Twitter because I had the word copywriter in my profile.
  2. Make sure you follow no more than the number of people who follow you so you maintain your influence.
  3. Have a smiley photo unless you’re confident that people who don’t know you won’t mistake that cool, sultry, philosophical gaze for grumpiness.

5. Use smart formatting and keywords

Format your tweets so they’re quick to read. That’s proven to get more people reading them and more retweets.

  1. Make your tweets scannable – I often preface them in uppercase so they stand out:
    COMMENTED I Name of blog post – link
    LOVE THIS I Name of blog post – link
    NEW I Name of blog post or product – link
    WRITING TIP I Quick tip that will please your followers
    THANK YOU I @SoAndSo For buying my Product Name – Link
  2. Use words which are proven to increase retweets – adding the word new helps as does asking people to retweet or RT. You can do this in a tweet (Please RT :), on your website or at the end of your blog posts.
  3. Use arrows like this —–> to encourage more people to click the link.
  4. Keep tweets as short as possible.

Those are the main Twitter marketing strategies that work for me. Have fun on Twitter, play around with it but stay focused on growing your business. They say love is blind but if it boosts blog traffic and business sales then you’ll fall in love with Twitter too for all the right reasons.

Which of these Twitter strategies do you like best? Have you got any more Twitter marketing strategies that have helped grow your blog or business? 

Please leave a comment and feel free to include your Twitter handle so we can follow you there.

You can connect with me on Twitter @AnnabelCandy. And why not circle Mucho on Google+ for digital marketing tips too. Thank you.

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