Am I behind the curve by focusing on Twitter?
It seems to me that Twitter has gone somewhat out of fashion with online marketers recently. The focus has been more on Facebook (as always) along with Pinterest and Instagram and, in some cases, LinkedIn. Oh yes - and YouTube for fast ranking of content.
But the way I see it, once you have your blog set up, the next step should be to create and set up a Twitter account. It's the simplest social media account to set up and run, and it's essential if you want to be regarded as an influencer or an authority and to have a serious online presence.
And, it's easy to link your Twitter account to your blog.
That's why, although I have set up Your Digital Ally on Facebook, YouTube and GooglePlus as well, it's Twitter where I've been putting my setup effort.
If you've not already taken a look at my twitter account, go take a look now (and why not follow me - and let me know in the comments below?)
Not too bad, is it? I think it looks quite nice.
By the way, the image is a 100% copyright-free picture I found on Pixabay.com: and I've used the same one on all my social media accounts. I also find most of my blog post images on Pixabay. Add it to your favourites!
I've been developing the Twitter account on three fronts:
Twitter Account Growth - SocialQuant
I'm growing my followers on 95% autopilot using an excellent service called SocialQuant. It's 95% rather than 100% autopilot because I go and check (and adjust) the keywords that SocialQuant uses to select which accounts to follow - in the hope of a follow-back.
I chose this service because:
- It does the Following for me.
Other services just tell you who to Follow, and you have to do the clicks yourself. This is because of Twitter's API limitations, I believe. But SocialQuant doesn't use the API, so can act fully on your behalf.
- It is very selective in who it chooses to follow.
The appearance of a keyword in a tweet is just the trigger to consider the suitability of the account as one to follow. SQ applies quite rigorous criteria before deciding whether or not follow anyone: and I don't have to fiddle around deciding for myself what those criteria should be.
- I get reports on the success rate of each keyword
I then use those report to delete poor performing keywords and test out new ones.
- Excellent free training
When you sign up for the free 14-day trial, you're given an excellent 14-day course with detailed advice on how best to set up a Twitter account for maximum effectiveness.
In a future post I'll explain in detail how I use SocialQuant, and in particular how I find, monitor and track the keywords it uses via a Google Sheet that I created. I'll also tell you the one thing I wish I'd done differently before turning on the service!
Autoposting Collections of Tweets - SocialOomph & Social Motiv8
I'm using SocialOomph - one of the very earliest Twitter (and more) automation tools - to auto-post pre-defined collections of tweets.
I'm using it because it provides the most flexible and powerful facilities - even though its user interface is quite uninspiring!
These are the collections of tweets that I'm auto-posting. Note that in each case, I cycle through each collection repeatedly.
- Motivational Quote Images
I'm using the Social Motivat8 collection of 150 images which I created for myself and now sell as a product.The reason I'm using these is purely to get as much engagement within my account as I can without me having to go in and engage personally! But see below for more about this. It definitely works.
- A collection of humorous one-liners with images.
Exactly the same idea. I've not created as many of these, and not turned them into a product (yet). One day I'll test to see which get the most engagement.
- Tweets about past blog posts.
This is the "business" activity, of course.
Whenever I write a new blog post, I create three different tweets about it and feed them into SocialOomph. To be able track clicks on each individual tweet, I use a unique bit.ly link for each one.
As I write more blog posts, the proportion of tweets that relate to blog posts will increase. At the moment my tweeting is heavily motivational-quote oriented!
Again, in future blog posts I'll explain exactly how I set things up in SocialOomph, including
- How I add my own watermark to all the 150 Social Motiv8 images in one operation using free software
- How I set up the queues of tweets in SocialOomph
- The system (Google Sheet) I created to automatically calculate the posting frequencies for each of the queues
- The process I go through to construct the three tweets and unique URLs for each blog post and add them into the correct place in the queue of other blog post tweets within SocialOomph. Again, I use a Google Sheet to streamline, semi-automate and simplify this process.
Automatically Posting a Tweet (and more) when each blog post is published
As well as adding three tweets about each blog post to the relevant SocialOomph Queue, I also automatically send out a once-off tweet soon after publish the post.
In this blog post I explain exactly how I "syndicate" my blog posts to multiple social media accounts - not just Twitter.
So far, everything I'm doing on Twitter is almost 100% automatic, and my Twitter account is growing nicely with very high quality followers and some quite reasonable engagement.
The engagement is coming mainly from the Social Motiv8 motivational quotes and humorous one-liners rather than from my blog posts. But that is exactly why I am including them.
Any form of engagement is good: it raises your score for various social metrics and increases your likelihood of being found for various searches. And it starts to get you noticed by your followers and should eventually lead to a more business-oriented engagement.
That's why I made the motivational images quotes into a product: ANY social media account will get more engagement (possibly MUCH more) by including these images in their content.
What I Still Need To Do
Automation and auto-engagement is fine: but it can only get you so far.
I need to put a process in place whereby I manually engage with people on Twitter.
Later on, I'll be doing this with specific goals in mind - such as wanting to get the attention of major influencers - but I'm not ready for that yet. For the time being, I just want to "be engaging" with my Twitter followers.
But I want to do this in the most efficient way, using tools that suggest who I should engage with and exactly what form of engagement to use in each case (e.g. reply, re-tweet, like). I've not set this up yet, but when it IS set up, my aim is to spend at most 15 minutes per day on Twitter engagement.
I'll write about this system on this blog when I have it set up.
Other things I haven't done include:
- Make any use of hashtags: not doing this is plain dumb, and is high on my list of "twitter system improvements"
- Make any of use of Twitter Lists
- Make any use of Twitter Momements
- Add my Twitter stream to my blog
So that's the current state of development of my Twitter account.
I could have had quite a few more followers by now (at the time of writing I have 680-ish) if I'd put in some manual effort myself and been more aggressive, but I didn't want Twitter to be a big distraction from the dozens of other things that I also need to be doing.
So - I'm pretty pleased with how it's going, given the effort I've put in.
As for results - I've not even bothered to check how much traffic I'm getting because I know it's going to be minimal until I get more followers, do some manual engaging and ramp up my content posting with another content source (see below).
But this is a long-term project to build a valuable asset, which I'm treating very much as a background activity.
However, I DO have plans to apply a very smart advanced tool which will both auto-post additional high-quality, niche-related content AND get me optins for my list. That will be when this effort will pay off.
As always, I'll reveal what THAT is all about some time down the line.
So - Why Not Follow Me on Twitter?
If you've not followed me yet, please do so - and let me know in the comments box below. If you do that, I'll follow you back. (I let SocialQuant manage all my following activities, so you need to tell me explicitly or I won't notice your follow!)
I hope that's been a helpful post. Let me know what you think of it.
There are a lot of details I'll be filling in during future posts, so to ensure you don't miss any of them, get on my newsletter mailing list to receive notifications of future posts.
You'll be able to copy exactly what I do.