Regardless of whether you’re a brand-new blogger or a seasoned veteran, you’ve heard the importance of social media marketing.
You must be active on Twitter.
And on Instagram.
And on Pinterest.
And on Facebook, except maybe not so much anymore.
And on Google+.
And on Stumbleupon.
And now on Periscope?
Unfortunately, some bloggers spread themselves too thin on social media. Instead of excelling on 2-3 platforms, you put forth mediocre efforts on 5+ social media networks. Then you wonder why you never seem able to grow your following.
If you’re on too many platforms, I can’t really help you out there. Choose 1-2 platforms that bring you the most traffic and focus your efforts there. If you want to improve your Twitter account, keep reading.
I’ve been on Twitter since early 2009, when I was still in college. I mostly used it to share silly updates with my few friends who were also on Twitter. Eventually it turned into my public online diary, with ridiculous drunk tweets about late-night shenanigans and vague girlish tweets about the boys I liked.
I didn’t jump into social media marketing until I started working for a start-up in 2012 and later a digital marketing firm. When I launched my blog Belle Brita in July 2015, I used my marketing skills to improve my Twitter account.
While my Twitter account is far from perfect and my following is far from huge, I do notice the same mistakes over and over again from other bloggers with their tweets. When you make these mistakes too many times, I unfollow you—so do other potential readers and clients.
You Post the Same Link Several Times in a Row
Yes, it can be a great tool to link Facebook to Twitter, or Instagram to Twitter, or Tumblr to Twitter, or Pinterest to Twitter.
The problem is when you interlink all your social media networks.
For example, if:
- Your Facebook posts automatically publish to Twitter
- Your Tumblr posts automatically publish to Twitter, and
- Your Instagram posts automatically publish to Twitter, to Tumblr, and to Facebook
Then each time you post to Instagram, you’ll have three tweets to the same link, usually within seconds of each other.
Nobody wants to see three near-identical tweets in a row.
Go through your blog settings, your social media settings, and your ITTT settings. Check to see if any will cause a cascade of tweets like the example above. Remove some of the automatic tweets. Your readers will thank you by following you on Twitter.
You Only Post Self-Promotional Links
If every single tweet is a link to your blog, or details about your ad sale, or a link to another social media account, then your tweets are spammy.
Tweets should inform, inspire, or entertain. Yes, promotional links will fall into those categories. If you only tweet your own links, though, your followers will get bored.
Try sharing other bloggers’ links, and be sure to tag them in your tweet, which will improve your odds of earning a retweet.
Tweet inspirational, humorous, or helpful quotations. If you use a tool like Pablo, then you can easily add a photo to your tweet, plus share quotations that go outside 140 characters. If possible, tag whomever said the quotation.
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
– Zig Ziglar pic.twitter.com/a0skgsFHRh
— Brita Long (@belle_brita) January 18, 2016
Tweet your random thoughts. Tweet little snippets from your day. Open up your day-to-day life to your followers.
You will gain more followers, retweets, and favorites by adding more variety to your Twitter timeline.
— Brita Long (@belle_brita) March 13, 2016
You Tweet Too Often
This might be a personal preference. I have recently unfollowed accounts, however, for tweeting or retweeting a few dozen times in an hour, on a regular basis. I follow accounts who join Twitter chats, so I understand the occasional hour of high activity. But when I can’t keep up with other Twitter accounts because of how often you’re tweeting, then I unfollow you.
If you have a million thoughts to say, or just love retweeting other genius people, look into a social media scheduler. I use Hootsuite, but Buffer is also popular. Then you can space out your own tweets over a longer time period. If you really want to retweet an account a dozen times, choose 3-5 retweets, and then just recommend your followers follow that account too.
You Never Tweet
I recently went on an unfollowing spree of Twitter users who haven’t tweeted in at least two weeks. That was actually a generous timeframe. I usually don’t follow new accounts if they haven’t tweeted in at least three days.
You are less likely to lose followers for not tweeting enough than for tweeting too often. You will struggle to gain new followers if you don’t tweet often, though.
If you just forget to tweet, try using a social media scheduler once a week to plan at least one non-promotional tweet a day. If your blog is a self-hosted WordPress, try the plugin Revive Old Post. Once you become accustomed to using Twitter regularly, you can increase your daily tweets.
— Brita Long (@belle_brita) March 26, 2016
You Use Offensive Language
Confession: I totally curse in my tweets. If I go off on a Twitter rant, yeah, you’ll see some swearing. But for the most part, I keep it to a minimum. I don’t have a problem with curse words, but my followers might. While you shouldn’t completely eliminate your personality just to please the masses, you can tweak your word choice to appeal to more followers.
I will unfollow you for using slurs, though. If you tweet gendered slurs or other misogynistic ideas, I will unfollow you and possibly block you. The same goes for racism, homophobia, and other inflammatory language.
If you’re the Rush Limbaugh of Twitter, and your followers enjoy derogatory remarks, then I guess keep at it. Most bloggers are not looking to intentionally offend their readers, however.
You Forget About Your Followers Who Don’t Blog
You’ve figured out the perfect ratio of promotional tweets to non-promotional tweets. You tweet often, but you don’t clog up your followers’ Twitter feed. But you’re still losing followers, or having trouble gaining new followers.
Social media is a huge promotional tool for bloggers. You follow other bloggers on Twitter, and they follow you.
But what about non-bloggers?
I used Twitter years before I started my blog. Many of my returning blog readers are not bloggers themselves. When I tweet, I can’t just tweet for other bloggers.
If your non-promotional tweets center around blogging and nothing else, you’ll struggle to keep and to attract non-bloggers. If your blog or business is solely about marketing, writing, or blogging, that’s probably okay. But if you’re a lifestyle blogger, you need to remember your non-blogging readers when you tweet.
If you’re a parent, tweet a funny quotation from your kid. If you write about relationships, share insightful quotations about love and marriage. If your blog focuses on food and recipes, show a “behind-the-scenes” photo of your messy kitchen or full grocery cart.
Basically, make your Twitter content an extension of your blog content.
You Didn’t Follow Me Back (or I’m a Spam Account)
If you’re still losing followers, even with perfect tweets, don’t sweat it. Many Twitter users* follow a large number of accounts with the “follow for follow” mindset. If you don’t follow back within a day or two, they unfollow you.
A large number of Twitter users are fake accounts or spam accounts. I’ve been followed by so many porn accounts with the same rotation of fake profile pictures that I lost count years ago.
As long as Twitter accounts you LOVE are not unfollowing you en masse, it’s okay to lose a few followers periodically.
*Note: I do this, to an extent. I use the tool Tweepi to find new accounts to follow. I also use it to unfollow inactive users. I use the app Crowdfire to unfollow users who don’t follow me back. I only use Tweepi/Crowdfire about twice a month, though. I give the new users I follow a chance to wow me with their awesome tweets, even when they don’t follow me back.
It’s your turn to share! What turns you off from a Twitter account? What makes you follow a Twitter user? Share your tips with your Twitter handle in the comments below. I’ll tweet the best advice to my followers!
P.S. I’ve also joined a great group on Facebook to grow my Instagram, but it’s helped me grow Twitter and Pinterest as well. I’ve bought a few of the guides which have been key to gaining new followers. Check out Instarevealed (affiliate link).