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5 Things Blogging Taught Me About Tweeting

This is a guest post by Leo Widrich.

It was less than 6 months ago that I decided to fully start out on Twitter. I soon got sucked in to a fantastic environment of helpful and knowledgeable tweeps.

twitter

I was blogging for a while before. Vividly I applied some key lessons I learnt and my experience was that it worked extremely well on Twitter too.

The most important part was that it came naturally because I was already used to these techniques.

1.) Don’t Rant – Copy Counts

Fortunately the time when Twitter was a ranting tool you would use to put your thoughts out to no one and anyone is gone.

I like to see Twitter as a microblogging tool in the literal sense. Creating compelling copy that is both attractive to click through and carrying an honest and sincere message is key. Make your Tweets great.

One thing I did right from the start is always write my own tweets. After all my Twitter stream is like my stream of blogposts. Giving them a personal voice is key to create a genuine appearance. What I means I that whenever I am reading a great article I would change the headline so it would suit my voice.

This is a guest post by Leo Widrich.

It was less than 6 months ago that I decided to fully start out on Twitter. I soon got sucked in to a fantastic environment of helpful and knowledgeable tweeps.

twitter

I was blogging for a while before. Vividly I applied some key lessons I learnt and my experience was that it worked extremely well on Twitter too.

The most important part was that it came naturally because I was already used to these techniques.

1.) Don’t Rant – Copy Counts

Fortunately the time when Twitter was a ranting tool you would use to put your thoughts out to no one and anyone is gone.

I like to see Twitter as a microblogging tool in the literal sense. Creating compelling copy that is both attractive to click through and carrying an honest and sincere message is key. Make your Tweets great.

One thing I did right from the start is always write my own tweets. After all my Twitter stream is like my stream of blogposts. Giving them a personal voice is key to create a genuine appearance. What I means I that whenever I am reading a great article I would change the headline so it would suit my voice.

2.) Every Single Comment – Every Single @Mention & RT

When you start out Dino Dogan, a blogger I truly appreciate for his honesty in blogging, taught me that no matter what, replying to each and every comment is key. After all it means people have taken the time to go beyond reading and taken out extra time to expand on your discussion.

In a similar way I try going about any mentions or retweets I receive. Showing gratitude for each and every time someone interacts with you is the least thing I can do if someone is interested.

This leads to an incredible amount of more interactions and helped me immensely to reach my own goals.

3.) It’s Not About the “Me, Me, Me”

What blogging taught me right from the start was that I had to lose the self-centered attitude. Listening to others, learning from others and contributing to other’s sites in forms of comments and guestposts is absolute key to reach any measure of success.

In a similar manner the only way to move forward on Twitter centers around Zig Ziglars

“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

Promoting others as often as possible is crucial I found. Retweet others sincerely, give credit to the author for tweeting posts or simply write tweets of appreciation.

And yes, like magic this leads to you achieving your own goals all by yourself.

4.) Leave Your Home Turf

Building a community and enlarging your readership doesn’t come by staying in your own home all day. Yes, it can be a tricky process to keep up the care for existing people you interact with, whilst you are out making new connections. Yet, it is the only way to move forward.

In a similar manner you have to move out of the safety of your own community on Twitter and make an effort in finding new friends. On Twitter there thankfully exist a ton of valuable directories, such as Twellow and Wefollow, helping me to do that.

Balancing out on these two activities has helped me greatly to continually drive new conversations, especially by making use of mentioned directories.

5.) Consistency is Key

Consistency in blogging is the lifeline to success I believe. If it wasn’t for the advice I read to create promotional calendars, schedule blogposts and learn to find my own zone to create the way would have been a lot harder.

Twitter is one ongoing conversation and I found largely a similar pattern applies. Providing an ongoing stream of high quality content is absolutely key. Making use of scheduling tweets, which are of course still your genuine own ones is one part that helps me greatly. Another point that helped me greatly to start out is to assign writing times to tweets in the same way I did to posts.

Now some of these things might change over time. As you continue to grow, you might not need to leave your home turf that aggressively any more.

Or you just can’t find the time to reply to all tweets anymore. Yet, in order to get things going and to focus on the interaction, these 5 lessons helped me a great deal.

I am sure you too have come across many things in life where you could apply lessons learnt in one area to a new one.

How about blogging and Twitter? Do you think there is something we can apply in both areas?

I would love to hear your views below.

Photo Credit

By Leo Widrich

Leo Wildrich is the co-founder of Buffer who blogs about Twitter tips. Follow him on Twitter.

52 replies on “5 Things Blogging Taught Me About Tweeting”

Hello Leo
I am in the process of learning how to use Twitter and growing my following. I found your tips helpful particularly. needing to be consistent. This is something I need to work on.

Jenny one thing I found useful was using the bufferapp to stay consistent in case I don’t get any time to tweet for the day.

In the morning I’ll schedule a few tweet for the day and POW! I don’t have to worry. Of course if I still get some time to retweet some of my friends and followers posts I’ll do that too when I get a chance.

Great overview. l absolutely agree with first three points – own voice of tweets, using mentions and RTs and not talking solely about myself. My opinion to consistency – I think that blogging consistency is more important than tweet consistency. When somebody looks at your blog and see that there is no new blogpost for last two months, it is a problem. But when you tweet regularly each day and suddenly last month you have some two-day or three-day gaps in your timeline, it is not so big thing.

Hi Leo, nice collection of lessons learned! I wish there was one source to find all of the @ mentions. I try to respond to all of them but I need to check three or four different tools (HootSuite, Social Mention, Crowdbooster, WhoTweetedMe, etc.) just to keep up. I admit there are days when I give up. I’m finding new friends with Crowdbooster too. Thanks for the post Leo.
btw – I just listened to your interview on Social Media Serenity the other day. Can’t wait for Facebook posting to come to Buffer.

Chat soon!

Ileane, thanks so much for stopping by here.

Oh right, yes, that is a great selection of tools, I mostly use WhoTweetedMe these days, they are really awesome.

Yes, absolutely Buffer for Facebook is well under way, so glad you found the interview on Social Media Serenity! 🙂

I agree with Ileane – I would be thrilled if there’s a good way to respond to all mentions at once and still keep them all personal. 🙂 I guess social networking is never easy, which is why every effort counts and people would appreciate it if we try to engage. This year is really challenging for me as due to some issues, I had to be on/off the networking circles and it’s struggling at times.. sigh.. hope next year things will get better.

I do have to compliment on your post, nicely done, and I actually think it works not just on Twitter, but for all social networking sites as well. Personally I’m more active on Facebook nowadays but I love how Twitter still makes it easy to share content and discover interesting posts online. I just wish I can spend more time on it.

Keep up the great work, Leo.

Hi Ching,

Yes, exactly it does take a lot of time to do all that, yet at the end of the day it is networking still! 🙂

Oh yes, you are so right, we could spin of the comparison not only to Twitter, but also for Facebook and other Social Networks. Thanks for stopping by here !:)

All good tips, when people ask me how people should use Twitter, I always ask them what their goal is, and then direct them in the right way, but 99% of the time I just tell them pretend you are speaking to your followers in a small conference room.

Be kind, informative, useful. If you aren’t people will leave, and as for your second point, it’s the same at a conference if I life my hand and add something or ask a question, and you don’t acknowledge me then I probably won’t be too happy.

Hi Jamie,

Wow, that is a great quote, pretending to speak to followers like in a small conference room is a great way to get hooked on Twitter. Can I use this in the future for as a quote?

Yes, so true, being informative and providing value is the most important thing above all!

Thanks a lot for the great comment! 🙂

Leo, thanks for the above tips and lessons you have shared. I still have many things to know and learn before I’ll be able to use Twitter as a microblogging tool. AS of now, I use it as, yes, some kind of a rant and personal stream.

Hi Ron,

Yes, absolutely, it takes some time before Twitter becomes the ultimate microblogging tool, but like with blogging you quickly develop your voice!

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Hi Keith,

Great to see you here again. Yes, this is absolutely what needs to be done, being a the person your followers look out for in their stream, only comes with great, ongoing content! 🙂

I especially agree with replying to every DM and RT. It can sometimes be time consuming but it shows that you care about your reputation and you aren’t just throwing stuff out there and not listening to the responses.

Thanks!

Hi Leo, thats a good list.

I always take time out to thank those that tweeted, retweeted and mentioned me. In my book it’s nice to be nice and people appreciate being appreciated.

It can become time consuming unless we get a handle on it. I do it daily and it takes a max of 30 minutes, sometimes only 5 🙁

I totally agree that it should be about posting other peoples content. I do use tweet old post but have it set up for every 6 hours and just one tweet, then in between times I tweet the blogs I leave comments on and also schedule the tweets via buffer.

If we treat twitter right it’ll bring us traffic and loads of it. Twitter has been my monthly top ten for the past year and quite often in the top five.

Thanks for the list Leo,
Barry

I like what you said about thanking people for their comments. I try to do this. Do you know of any good tools that could help automate the process for really popular tweeters?

Agree 100% with the tips and especially that nearly every valid comment is worth a response, make a reader feel that they are valued for taking the time to leave a comment, also incite and give them a reason to come back and reply and join a dialogue. Bloggers are about engagement, and I so often tell people one of hte differences between journalism and blogging is that in blogging it is all about opinion and 2 way interaction instead of just reporting information period.

Hi Justin,

Great to see you here again.

Oh yes, this is such a great comparison here, it is blogging and not journalism. This is where new media wins and finally empowers the reader. to make use of it, we all have to reply! 🙂

Good post! I agree with the others that replying to comments, retweets and mentions is a time consuming task. So I directly reply only to urgent or specific tweets, while I thank for the RTs, MTs and new follows in groups every few days…That saves me some time 🙂

Leo I need to write an article as in what I have learnt from you on Twitter and Blogging. as always you rock it. To add a few bits I think all the points are valid and one need to be real and open if she wants to be on twitter. thanks.

Thanks so much for this easy guide. I’ve been going back and forth with twitter and was just about to throw in the towel. You see, when I was tweeting regularly about a year to two years ago things were a whole lot different. So as I came back in I was thrown by the tweets I saw. Tweeples were sharing links like crazy! I didn’t get it until now. So, I give it a try and do as the Romans do, that always seems to work.

I gather people get annoyed if you tweet your own blog a lot. What I’ve started to do: I added the tweet button onto my blog. Find it at the bottom of each post. When I click it, I tweet automatically. The tweet starts with “Power is a State of Mind”, the name of my blog, followed with the name of the post. That way, people know that it’s my blog I’m tweeting about (again). My Twitter followers can click if they want, or not. The name of the post should be intriguing enough to draw in views.

One things ive leant is that Twitter is not a numbers game, its more quality than followers, and having a tribe that you can relate to, and that would interact with you is important.

You know, I argue this with point quite often. I whole heartedly agree with you Wasim. What good is having 5000 followers on Twitter if they don’t read a thing you say? I prefer to seek out like minded people and engage them. While it takes more time than using one of the many automated follow sites, I really feel like the quality far outweighs the quantity.

I especially think focusing on the value you provide others is key. Provide value to others and they will appreciate you and recommend you. Stepping outside your area is also valuable. Not only to gain more markets but you can learn from broadening your view.

Awesome. The one that resonates with me the most, and the that I enjoy doing most, is replying to comments. Nothing beats interaction as opposed to just tweeting into the Abyss!

This would have been great advice 2.5 years ago.

Unfortunately, Twitter has become a conundrum for the social media minded. Alone, it’s not going to take you to the big money, fame, and happy places.

Outside of people you meet or work in your industry, friends, friends of friends, family, and friends of family, Twitter is becoming less useful as a marketing, messaging, and conversation instrument. Two years ago, you could still “engage” with lots of interesting people. Now it seems that no one is really home.

Twitter is fast becoming just another unchecked mailbox for the increasing level of spam. I give it another two years and the Library of Congress will even stop documenting it.

That’s a bummer too.

Thanks for the honest and great tips that you have given. I agree with you that we should treat every visitors or a person whj replies to the carefully as we only improve our value and it will only create a positive image of us and will help us to succeed in business.

Fantastic tips here, Leo!

Personally, it always seems hard to do #3. After I write exciting content or a clever tweet, I want everyone to know and reply and tell me how I great I am. However, it’s hard – nay, impossible – to draw true followers to you without reaching out to others.

Twitter really confuses me. I have 2200 followers but I think every single one of them just wants to sell me something. There has been such an increase in businesses getting in to twitter I figured I should give it a shot since I do B2B consulting.

Leo, You are the second person this week to mention reserving time for social media networking and follow-up. I think the universe is trying to tell me something! I’m definitely going to start blocking out time on my calendar to spend in the Twittersphere. Your point about responding to comments is right on the money. What a better way to make a connection by validating someone’s thoughts!

A while back, I decided to delete my Twitter account of about 1,500 followers. Reason? I felt that I was going too far off the topic and treated it as a place to just complain about things that were happening at my job and daily life.

I took some time off and now I’m back but this time with greater focus. I don’t use the service nearly as much anymore but I make sure that my messages and connections are clear vs. ranty (as you’ve mentioned).

Hi Leo,

I have to admit to being less than impressed with the impersonal state of twitter I have been witnessing. I am new to it and only see retweet after retweet after retweet of blog entries. I would like to see more personal tweets, and so I will follow your advice and see where that takes me! Thanks

Thanks for the great tips, Leo. I love the reminder about replying back to every RT or mention. I have had wonderful conversations that began with a simple thank you. Consistency is absolutely key, and I love your idea about scheduling “tweet writing” time. Nice tip! Thanks.

Hey Leo,

This is nice piece of content, I just remember now the tweet we’ve got today from one of my blog followers asking me to increase the intervel time between tweets and recommended BufferApp, that was super haha 🙂

Good to know that people are actually reading my tweets and interact with it!

Hi Leo good tips, I think with a lot of social stuff, you have to add value. If you can link your audience up to valuable stuff, whether it’s produced by yourself or not then it will be appreciated.

I also liked your point about people liking to be appreciated, it all feels a bit impersonal at first but once you get a few replies from people you look up to, Twitter really starts to get interesting so I like your idea of always replying and thanking for RTs etc.

Great tips on using Twitter Leo! I’ve found that when I tweet a blogpost, I change the title to a question to make it more interactive and relate to the viewer. It also intrigues the viewer to read my article since it has been made more personal to them.

As far as retweeting, replying and thanking goes, I’ve found great success with that. I also think uploading pictures here and there and integrating occasional foursquare check-ins to interesting spots makes you more human when you are promoting a business on twitter.

Thanks again for the tips!

Thanks Leo for the tips. I have to remember about the consistancy on twitter and to share/network everyday. It is hard to do only b/c of time.

I would add that within your blog coments you connect to your readers by finding common ground. They respond to you and you realize that they have some commonality to you. Point it out. Likewise on twitter, when I choose to follow back, I look at the persons bio and if there is commonality then I point it out. Commonality is a great way to bond. For example who doesn’t want to link to someon else who is also from some small town in Kansas that they are!

Best,
Rajka

Hi Leo…
I think it’s really great post about tweeting. I rarely use micro blogging to attract visitor to my websites, because I thought that tweeting just to interact with friend. But I was wrong. I think we can also interact to many people about something and direct them to website. I like your post about tweeting.
Thanks fr sharing
Regards
Ery

You’re right on all points… I’d take it one step further and make the point that to make twitter work you’ve got to lead with value. Not what’s valuable for you… but giving value to your followers. Whether it’s the posts your retweet for others, or your own, or even reaching out and answering people’s questions. The more social, and valuable you are the more connected your followers will be to you. That connection truly builds the “know, like and trust” factor and will lead to an increase in your business.

I like #2, whenever you get a RT or some type of mention, you know that there is an actual person on the other end of the twitter timeline. There are so many robots out there that auto-post feeds off the internet that there is a loss of personhood. Responding to RT and mentions shows the commenter that you are also a real person and that can cause more interaction between the two.

Hi Leo! A nice article I would say. There’s a lot of learning for many of us from your experiences, however, the image used with your article is bit … Well I just wonder how you might have related it with the contents?? In my culture, this dark black bird is a symbol of meaningless, irritating noise … did you use it for the same meanings?

Great points, Leo! The only thing I can think of adding would be to *share* — fellow bloggers’ posts, retweeting insightful updates, or commenting on others’ blog posts. I think it helps to quickly create a sense of community and increase the likelihood that they’re retweet your work or share your latest blog post, ultimately increasing your reach.

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