Effective Use of Twitter as a Source of Free Traffic
Use Relevant Hashtags
The #hashtag is one of the most basic foundations of Twitter and effective use of it is key to gaining relevant traffic. While spammers often ‘piggy back’ on to trending hashtags, simply using widely used words to try and grab a little traffic, this is not a recommended tactic for long term success – if you pack your updates with irrelevant hashtags, you’ll just annoy your followers. Instead, use meaningful tags which properly reflect the subject you’re posting about, and if you can hook into a trending topic at the same time, so much the better.
Branding and Profile
It’s important to be consistent with your branding across all forms of social media and the wider web. Pay careful attention to your user name, choosing one that looks professional and is either a unique brand or is clearly related to your industry. Avoid user names with numbers or unpronounceable sequences of letters – this looks shoddy, and also makes your name harder to remember. Also consider having your account verified if appropriate, as having that little blue tick on your profile works wonders for credibility.
Optimise Your Updates for Retweeting
Having one of your tweets retweeted can be a highly effective way of gaining new followers and so increasing exposure. Make it easier for your followers to retweet by ensuring your post is well under the character limit, ideally at less than 120 characters, as this will give someone the chance to add their own comment or an extra Twitter account handle or two.
Don’t Go Overboard
Many new Twitter users take to posting with enthusiasm, tweeting and retweeting as the fancy takes them. However, if you make too many posts, you’ll risk turning off your followers, but will also find your more important posts lost within the noise, and possibly not picked up by Google and Bing for their indexes. Stick to high quality, genuinely useful or entertaining posts if you want to build and retain a loyal following, and resist the temptation to post something simply to keep your account looking active.
Although Twitter is sometimes seen as a rather pointless time waster by people who don’t ‘get it’, if you play the Twitter game with care you’ll be rewarded with solid and valuable traffic to add to your existing SEO efforts.
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