How to Promote Your Business, Blog or Website on Twitter

Twitter offers many ways of promoting your business, blog, or website with interested people in the Twittersphere. Before I get started on the various ways to promote yourself, remember that Twitter should not only be about self promotion. While there are many opportunities to promote your own agenda on Twitter, you have to keep a healthy balance between promoting yourself, responding to others who ask you questions, thanking Twitter users that help you out, and just sharing valuable information with your followers from other websites and blogs.

One thing to do to analyze your usage of Twitter is to simply take a look at your Twitter profile page, which shows your latest status updates. This is a page which potential followers will also be viewing prior to choosing to keep up with your updates, and it will let them know what kind of Twitter member you are. You don’t want people to see nothing but links to your site, advertisements, etc. – you will want people to see that you are contributing valuable information. A nice mixture would be as follows:

  • Status update sharing a promotional link.
  • Status update sharing a beneficial quote related to your niche.
  • Status update with an @reply to someone else.
  • Status update sharing a news article related to your niche (not yours).
  • Status update with an @reply to someone else.
  • Status update sharing a helpful article related to your niche (not yours).
  • Status update sharing a promotional link.

So, without further ado, here are some ways you can use Twitter for promotion, with some examples for businesses and bloggers / article writers.

Direct Messages

Yes, this is purely self promotional, and you should consider best practices with direct messages in terms of sending and setting up automated systems. What you will need to ask yourself is if your link will help anyone who you are sending a direct message. It should be something most Twitter users will appreciate, assuming you are not trying to sell them some ebook or software. If you’re a business, don’t send someone to your homepage or a sales page. Again, think something that is helpful for anyone following you.

Business Promotion: If you’re a clothing store, send a link to an article that describes the latest fashion trends for this season.

Article / Blog Post Promotion: If you’re a social media blogger, send a link to a post Twitter tips.

Not comfortable sharing a link right away? You’re other alternative is to ask a question. If an answer comes back to you that can be solved by a page or article on your site, now is the time to share it! This approach gives you the chance to use an automated DM response, not look too spammy, and prove your a human being, all rolled into one.

Multiple Status Updates

I don’t mean just one status update. Your Twitter followers may be from all around the world – which means influential Twitter members are online at different times. So one update is not going to get the word out to everyone.

How can you do more than one status update for the same link without repeating yourself? One tip I learned at the local Social Media AZ event was to re-write the title three times, then share those re-written titles with the links in various status messages.

Business Promotion: If your business has a Valentine’s Day Sale, mention it in different ways, such as “This Valentine’s Day, treat her to something special,” “Find the perfect gift this Valentine’s Day,” and “Last minute Valentine’s Day shopping? Check out our specials!”

Article / Blog Post Promotion: If I wanted to send this post three times today, I could rewrite the titles as: “How to Promote Your Business on Twitter,” “How to Promote Blog Posts on Twitter,” and “Ways to Use Twitter to Promote Yourself.”

Another way to re-share a link is to thank select people who have retweeted it. Depending on how many share the link, this may not always be possible, but it can be helpful, plus it shows your appreciation to those who have helped in promoting you. One thing to keep in mind is that not everyone who retweets your link / article will include your @username, so if you are going to go with this approach, you may want to do searches for your page / article title as well.

Trending Topics

Keep an eye on trending topics, and use them to your advantage. It’s a great way to breathe life into an old article or post by exposing it to not only your followers, but also to anyone following a particular topic.

Business Promotion: If your business is doing something for the Haiti relief efforts, such as proceeds from the purchase of a certain item is donated to the Red Cross, add the #Haiti tag to your announcement or link to your press release.

Article / Blog Post Promotion: If you see a trending topic for #WaystoAnnoyPeople, and have an article on ways to annoy coworkers in a small office, this is the perfect time to send it out (something I did a few weeks ago).

@Replies

Think of social media as a listening tool. One of the things you can setup in Twitter, HootSuite, TweetDeck, and other Twitter management tools are saved searches. For example, you can do searches on a particular keyword that includes a question (?). Include your link in a @reply to answer relevant questions. Even if the person who asked the question doesn’t get the answer, it gives you the opportunity to share your link again so others can see it as well.

Business Promotion: If you’re a dentist in Scottsdale, save a keyword search with dentist and Scottsdale – anytime someone uses those two keywords in a tweet, you will be able to see it. So if someone asks for a recommendation for a dentist in Scottsdale, your business can @reply with your information and website.

Article / Blog Post Promotion: If I setup a search for the keyword RSS, and see a tweet about someone wanting an explanation of how RSS works, I can send an @reply to them with my comprehensive RSS guide.

Keyword Value

One thing to keep in mind is that, with Google’s new social search capabilities, even though the links in your tweets are nofollow, the tweet itself is being noticed for keyword value. So if your are trying to push keywords with a link, include those words in the link with your tweet.

Business Promotion: If your business is targeting “coffee shop” as your primary keywords, be sure to send out tweets such as “Check out new specials at Kelly’s Coffee Shop” with your link.

Article / Blog Post Promotion: If you’re sending a link to one of your articles using various title rewrites, trending topics, @replies, etc., be sure that the article’s main keywords are in the tweet as well.

Sharing on Other Networks

Want your tweet to go out to more than just your Twitter followers? There are many ways to setup your tweets to also be displayed on your blog, or sent to other social networking accounts such as Myspace, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This not only exposes your tweet to more people, but also keeps your other social networking accounts updated as well. Just keep in mind if you have the same followers on all of those networks, it may be redundant to have the same status update coming out at the same time. Consider only sending selected tweets to certain networks using the Selective Tweet application for tweets shared on Facebook, or the #in tag for tweets shared on LinkedIn.

Twitter Directories

Don’t forget about Twitter directories. WeFollow, Twellow, and many others allow you to add your Twitter user to certain categories, and Twellow even gives you the opportunity to create a more enhanced profile (see my profile on Twellow) including more information about yourself, links, and your other social networks.

How Do You Use Twitter to Promote Yourself?

Do you use Twitter for blog or business promotion? What methods have you found are more successful than others in promoting yourself on Twitter?





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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for writing a clear explanation of Twitter best practices. You’ve proposed a good methodology for executing a Twitter self-promo plan with good tips for creating a valuable Twitter presence.

    • says

      Thanks. It’s all about the balance of offering enough value to your followers that they see your self-promotional items as valuable as well.

  2. says

    Comprehensive, Kristi. :-) I’m glad I gave this a good read before hitting the sack (2:12am now), my mind is again spinning for ideas. lol..

    To me, Twitter is both a promotional and networking tool. Comparing to blogs, it’s easier and more effective to get a message go viral within seconds. I wouldn’t dare to say promoting myself on Twitter, but try to be more engaging and conversational for network building instead. Mixing different styles of status updates is what I like best too. The idea is simple: avoid being monotonous, be as humanly as possible. ^^

    Social media integration is a fantastic evolution and Twitter plays a big part in it collaborating with other social media sites for productivity. You’ve mentioned some really important points to ponder, good job as always, Kristi.

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= New from Ching Ya 6 Status Updates Scheduler for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn =-.

    • says

      Thanks! Mixing it up is definitely important when it comes to distinguishing yourself from a bot and from the Twitter spammers. It only takes a few tweets to turn someone off, so you have to make sure every one of them is as valuable as possible.

    • says

      It helps if someone asks a specific question if you can give them the most specific answer. In your case, if someone was looking for a blue kennel, you wouldn’t send them to your homepage and want them to possibly leave before finding what they wanted – you would send them to the product page or listing of blue kennels. Then you have them right where they want to be, making their purchase decision and pathway as simple as possible, and more likely to convert.

  3. says

    Something to think about is to NOT promote yourself on Twitter but let other people do that for you. The blog post of mine that is linked below this comment has been retweeted numerous times, yet all I did was sent it to Twitter once. The kicker is the majority of the retweets did not begin with me, based on the URLs used.

    One way to think of promotion is by the analogy of a bacteria and virus. Your created content, once marketed, is the bacterium, but forces beyond your control convert it into a virus. When something is viral, it is promoted. Until then, it’s merely marketed.
    .-= New from Ari Herzog 23 Reasons You Should Not Fear Social Media =-.

    • says

      Very good point. I think that, to some extent, you have to market yourself to draw in an audience before you can expect to be promoted by others. Like if you can truly say your @reply is going to be helpful to someone, by being helpful, you may gain a new fan who will, in the future, promote you to others because they know you are so helpful. With great content, you’ll definitely get to the point others are promoting you.

      I also throw in the multiple status updates, because you never know when the right person will be on to turn it viral. I had a post that didn’t seem like it was going to do well, and then I tweeted it at an off time. One user was on, saw it, and then retweeted it to his 100,000+ followers, and it went wild. It’s all about content, marketing, and timing.

      Love your post too, btw. Just retweeted it myself. :)

    • says

      I think of the time zone issue. Just in the US, you have East Coast vs West Coast, people who check Twitter at work vs people who check it in the evening at home, and all other dynamics factor in when you’re trying to reach the most amount of people. Then you have to consider your international readers! Changing the title makes it sound less redundant, and helps you get to everyone.

  4. says

    Thank you for the nice explanation about twitter promotion. Well before I was not active on twitter, but after I have joined in one SEO firm now I am going to active on twitter and also learning different methodology for twitter promotion.
    .-= New from chandan The Super Bowl 2010 =-.

  5. says

    I have used twitter and have reached quite a number of followers and like you said, I see to it that I not only post to promote myself or my website or even my products but also make sure that I am feeding my follower’s thirst for knowledge and also answers to their questions using other blogs or websites. I don’t let them get stuck with me but I try to lead them to where they can learn much. Thanks for this post. It’s really great!
    .-= New from Andrew@BloggingGuide Seven of the Best Methods for List Building =-.

  6. says

    I’ve found that personal magnetism, or celebrity, seems to be key in using Twitter as a promotional tool.

    For instance, if you are a musician or artist then what you are tweeting about is exponentially more valuable to your followers than if you are, say, a restaurant or bar owner tweeting about daily specials and the like. Much like facebook updates, people seem to be drawn to YOU rather than aspects of your business.
    .-= New from Columbia Mo Mortgage Feb 5 – Free Credit Report Websites Under Legal Fire =-.

  7. says

    Good list. I appreciated how your broke it down. Bullet points make it easier to digest. Ari is write, it is always better to let others promote you. The challenge is developing your reach so that people do this.
    .-= New from Jack A Valentine’s Day Fable =-.

  8. says

    The simplest and most effective way to promote your blog is by visiting other blogs that are similar to yours and contributing to them. This is a fundamental website promotion tactic. Try not to make it harder than it is.

    If you have a blog where you talk about physical fitness, would it not make sense to get to know some other people online who also blog about physical fitness? Do you agree that their blog readers be more likely to want to read what you have written also?

    Imagine one of their blog readers coming across a thoughtful intelligent comment that you left on that other similar blog. They are way more likely to click on your name and follow that link back to your own blog to see what else you have to say.
    .-= New from Bowler@Jumbo Mortgage Rates Looking for Jumbo Mortgage in 2010 =-.

  9. says

    great post, i think that there are a lot of different free ways to promote your business and i think it is important to have your face out there.

  10. says

    I find myself spending more time each week culling my followed list. I am for giving anyone a chance but if it is all spam all the time then I can opt out. I think this is the attitude that many have regarding twitter. It holds great promise and is a super way to reach ptoetnial new business, but like any social media you have to establish a friendship or relationship of some sort first. It’s not about an ad a day or ten ads a day, it is about adding value to those who have taken the time to follow you

  11. says

    Thanks for all of the Twitter ideas and advice. As a content writer, I have very little time to get involved with Twitter, but I do occasionally mess around with it when I have time. You have some original ideas I have never considered!

  12. says

    That was one of the clearest explanations on using twitter I think I have read to date. Clear, concise and noteworthy. The one big complaint I have with twitter is all the automated spam accounts I get hit with wanting me to follow them. I wish there was a rating system to sort out the adult from the pg and general type tweet requests.

  13. says

    Ran across your blog yesterday…bookmarked it, and I have already returned 4 times in just one day. You’ve got some great info that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

    I’m just getting started with Twitter, so this is a big help. I had no idea that you could set up searches – thanks for the tip. So much to learn; so little time!
    Nathan just posted Country Rooster Paper Towel Holder

  14. says

    Good list. I appreciated how your broke it down. Bullet points make it easier to digest. Ari is write, it is always better to let others promote you. The challenge is developing your reach so that people do this.

  15. says

    Hi Kristi,

    always appreciate when someone concentrates on valuable content and useful advice. I was lucky to learn how to properly use Twitter from some of the most successful internet marketers and your article is just in line:)

    Mix of entertaining, educating and promotional messages with appealing titles is the key. I like your Twitter formula for publishing different information, will test it:)
    Justyna just posted Little known facts about Feed Generator

  16. says

    Twitter is absolutely efficient, fast and easy. You login, Tweet, and then get out. That doesn’t take you more than 1 minute to do.

  17. says

    Hey Kristi, Once again a perfect post on twitter promotion. With hundreds of millions of users Twitter is one of the best promotional resource out there. You just have to know the ways how to do it and you can achieve a very large amount of visitors without spending a dime. You have listed all effective ways to promote your business blog.
    Jawed just posted The Advantages of Blogging for Business