As with most things I write and talk about, blogs and podcasts are quite interchangeable in this subject.
1. Refine your Twitter identity (branding)
Pick three words or terms to describe your “brand,” write them into your bio, and tweet within those themes. It's okay to occasionally break from this mold, but these should be your focus. For me, it's comedy, web design, and my podcasts' themes.
2. Decide whether you need a separate Twitter account
Building a Twitter audience is tough. But keep in mind that your current audience may not like your new content. If you have a lot to tweet about your new blog or podcast, consider a separate account for the majority of it.
Never tweet the same thing from both accounts at the same time. Either rewrite the tweet or stagger the timing.
3. Don't make anything totally automatic
“Automatic” tweeting is:
- impersonal—usually not targeted toward your audience on Twitter—
- inefficient—automatic tweets can easily be at the wrong time or contain not-compelling text—and
- irrelevant—”new post” doesn't matter to your audience, but writing a tailored tweet to them will be enticing.
4. Schedule or “buffer” tweets about your content
When you post new content, write a few tweets about it and schedule them to send one each day for about a week. Then schedule some more tweets about it later in the future.
Similar to this, don't spam your followers by tweeting a lot in rapid succession. Use Buffer to throw your tweets into a queue to be posted at customizable times throughout the day.
You can also use If This Then That to setup actions to automatically pull items from your RSS feed and schedule them for later tweeting. But still look over your Buffer and optimize your text.
5. Search for your audience
Don't automate this or spam people! Reach out to them in a friendly way, create a connection, and then tell them about your content that they may like.
6. Add tweet buttons to your site
Social-sharing buttons make it easy for people to share your content on social networks (duh). I currently use the ShareBar WordPress plugin (and may change that soon), but there are many other great services, too, or you could add the official Twitter buttons.
Also consider adding the Twitter Blackbird Pie WordPress plugin UPDATE: paste a Tweet URL into a post on WordPress 3.4 to embed your own tweet about the post within the post, so others can retweet you.
Which leads int0 …
7. Be retweetable
Make it easy for your followers to retweet you to their followers.
- Keep your tweets to fewer than about 120 characters (140 minus “RT @yourtwitterID: “), or shorter if you want to allow commentary.
- Write your tweets to be less about “me.” For example, you could change “I just posted the newest episode of my podcast” to “Check out the latest episode of The Awesome Podcast,” or something more informative.
- Tweet when your audience is looking at Twitter. This is usually afternoon to evening, but tools like SocialBro can help you determine when your followers retweet you the most.
- Write stuff that your followers would want to say, too.
8. Write compelling titles and tweets
There's nothing compelling about “Episode 13.” There may also be nothing compelling about “Episode 13: [Episode Title],” unless you write a great title.
Write a title that sparks curiosity or sounds interesting. “My Secret Audacity Recipe for Great Audio” was a terrible title. Now, I refer to it as, “How to use Chris's Dynamic Compressor to make you audio sound great,” or, “How to use an audio compressor plugin to fix your volume problems.”
9. Tweet your content, not just your title
Your content is more than a title, so don't just tweet the titles. Pull quotations from your content or subpoints that you can tweet.
For example, your podcast episode may be, “10 Ways to Be Awesome.” You could tweet:
- “Are you awesome? Here are 10 ways to find out! [link]”
- “Wearing cool T-shirts makes you awesome. Here are 9 other ways. [link]”
- “Did you know that awesome people get better food? [link]”
- “Don't tuck in your T-shirt if you want to be awesome. [link]”
10. Track your success
Trying new things is pointless if you don't know whether they're working! If you use Google Analytics for website stats, add the following code to the end of your URL before you shorten it.
Yes, this is ugly. Here's what it means.
- SOURCE is where web visitors came from. You could say “Twitter” or you could be specific with “theramennoodle_twitter” (this and other fields can contain dashes, underscores, and capitalization, but no other special characters or spaces).
- MEDIUM is what kind of link it was. I use “tweet” for tweets, “banner” for banners, “qr_code” for QR Codes. As you can see, I don't have to be creative here.
- CONTENT is an optional field, but works great for when you want to tweet different messages about the same thing, and you want to compare the success of each. CONTENT could be specific like, “10_ways_to_be_awesome” and “are_you_awesome”; or it could be general like, “a” and “b”; or you could remove “&utm_content=CONTENT” from it completely.
- CAMPAIGN is what you'd call this marketing campaign. Keep in mind that this will be reflected across a visitor's entire time on your website, so what kind of content attracted them may be best here. You could write your episode's abbreviation, or the name of the movie that you talk about across multiple posts.
11. Be human and relationship-focused
Act like a human, not a spamming robot. Focus on building a relationship with a person first.
When I watch Twitter for people having problems with Audacity, I try to help them first, and then I let them know that I have a website and podcast with more help.
Do you like it when Twitterers only tweet the same links over and over, or only promote themselves, or flood Twitter with a dozen links at a time?
Although your goal is to grow your audience or connect people with your content, think about turning people into raving fans who are passionate about your content. That comes at a higher price than mindless subscribers, but their value is far greater.
What do you wish you did differently when you started and can't change now?
I'd like your feedback and stories for a future episode to talk about the things podcasts need to get right the first time. These would be things that can't be fixed later. This would be stuff like using a free website that gets shutdown without redirection, or many other things.
Please retweet this post!
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— Daniel J. Lewis (@theRamenNoodle) February 6, 2012
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