Is twitter any good for sharing links and increasing page views?
I recently became active on Twitter. I’m making friends, sharing links and ideas and getting involved in the general community. I must confess that I first joined Twitter about a year ago but never became active because I couldn’t figure out how it actually worked. When I went back a few of months ago I was determined to try and crack the allegedly hidden codes.
On my second Twitterscape arrival I found that couldn’t use my old account because frankly it’d been such a long time since I last saw a Twitter page, that I’d completely forgotten my username and password (I couldn’t even find them by my email address).
Image by luc legay via Flickr
Building a successful newbie twitter account
- Any username is okay, maybe even something that identifies you with your business, but always use your real name in your profile settings because it will be easy for your friends and fans from other sites to find you. Twenty friends (guaranteed followers without first having to prove myself) from my writing site found me in the first week.
- Have a short user name because you’re only allowed 140 characters (including punctuation marks) for each update. A long username takes up valuable space in your tweets.
- Supply all the information you’re asked for in your profile, including your general location and bio. Potential followers will be looking to add people with the same interests as theirs. You want to be found and be identified as an authority (or interested party, at least) in your field. This serves two purposes: 1.You’ll be able to properly target the right market for what you’re offering. 2. You’ll get news and updates about your interests (by following these people back).
- Don’t wildly pimp yourself by following lots of people. Most of the people you follow should be those whose opinions you respect and share (you’re allowed a few merely for the fun of the game). This is the only way you’ll have valuable tweets fed into your own page. If you’re following engineers and your interest is art, how are you going to benefit from news and development in technology and engineering?
- Do put up a picture for your avatar, preferably a photograph of yourself, unless you’re one of the social media’s golden girl or boy with already established sign avatars (in which case you won’t be reading this). People are more likely to add you if they can see what you look like or what you represent. Even a picture of half a face is better than nothing at all.
How does a newbie get tweeps (twitter people) to follow them
- In my case, I started by adding friends I knew from other sites. I was already familiar with these people and what their interests were so I didn’t have to look at a page of their tweets to find that out (going to their profiles and looking at the things they’d updated before). Besides, people who already know you will add you readily.
- Don’t add too many people at the same time because you don’t want a large gap between the number of people you follow and those that follow you. You look a bit of a Twitter prostitute if you follow say, 1,091 people and only have 34 followers. The gap should be negligible (10-20 seems acceptable) so that potential followers can see that people are interested in you, and that you’re not only trying to pimp numbers. Face it, if you’re following so many people and are not being followed back, there must be something wrong with the way you play the game. It’s better to be viewed as exclusive and picky rather than manic and stalking.
- Keep up a good number of tweets (updates). This is another thing potential followers will look for. Again, if you’ve been on Twitter long enough to follow 2,000 people, you should have at least 4,000 tweets to your name.
- Remember you don’t have to add everyone who adds you.
When following others
- Again, it’s good to start with people you know from other sites. They have more reason to add you than others who’ve never heard of you.
- Don’t add those who’re following a huge amount of people but only have a few followers themselves. It’s clear they’ve not got a good reputation of keeping friends interested or maintaining lasting relationships with other people there.
- Add people who have a sound update-to-following ratio. For example if someone is following 1,000 people and only has 35 updates, you can tell that you won’t get any interaction or good links from them.
- Add people whose bios are filled in and in whom you’re interested.
- Don’t race for the people with thousands of followers. They’re less likely to add you back.
Playing the game
- Only share the best links. If you update a lot of great links relating to your field you stand a better chance of being found by people looking for key words in your area of interest/expertise.
- Your updates (tweets) should be a good mixture of the following: 1. Retweets (RTs) from people you follow. You’re helping them to move their message along. 2. Conversation and general banter with the twitter population. You’re showing interest in people and making a connection. 3. Your own links. You’re helping yourself along the way. Anyone looking through your updates should clearly see this combination. No one wants to follow you if all you do is pedal your stuff around.
- Update your Twitter account at least three times a day to make yourself more visible. Remember that the morning crowd (if you live in the UK) will only be the UK people who’re active early in the day. Your lunch time and evening updates will catch people waking up later as well as some of the early risers in the U.S. Updates or retweets will take only a couple of minutes of your time – the time it takes to finish a cup of tea or send a text message.
- Always be friendly and courteous. Answer direct messages, initiate conversations and try not to get into messy arguments. Keep in mind that only the people who ‘know’ you will share and read your links when you eventually put them up. Why would strangers be motivated to click on your link unless it’s extra special?
- Share quality links.
For StumbleUpon users: Twitter is very different from StumbleUpon. At SU you get banned for sharing your own links and penalised for thumbing up the same friends’ links. Your links and thumb ups are worth less and less the more you thumb up the same friends’ materials. Twitter is not so. It’s one of the easiest places to share your own links (this is also frowned upon at Digg) as long as you participate with the community.
In answer to my initial question: Is twitter any good for sharing links and increasing page views?
When it comes to views per Retweet, I cannot say that Twitter has worked for me so far. My blogs get a lot more traffic from my Triond articles and my interaction with other bloggers. My articles themselves get more views from SU and Bing (and to a lesser extent, Facebook) than they do from twitter. I’m still waiting for Twitter to bring me the traffic it allegedly attracts for other writers.
For useful (and more advanced) information on Twitter, check out this site, Mashable: The social media guide.