If you have been blogging for a while then chances are that using Twitter to promote your content and building a following is a priority. Perhaps you got started with Twitter thinking that it can make content marketing easy by having your readers and followers share your content with their audiences.
But are your readers actually sharing your content? Are you really achieving the traction on Twitter that you expected or deserve?
If the answer to the above questions is no, then chances are that your content isn’t really aligned to your audience and or that the content on your blog isn’t twitter friendly making it easy to share.
In this post we will look at ways to make your blog more twitter friendly by focusing on adding specific elements to each post and to the blog as a whole.
1. Set a title tag for every blog post
As part of the optimization of your blog and blog posts you need to set up title tag and meta descriptions which show up in the search results listings. This impacts the likihood of a user clicking on the link or not. For the search engines the title tag is a factor to consider when ranking your content while the meta description acts as a reference for a person viewing the search results.
Why is this important to making your blog more twitter friendly?
Because most social sharing plugins will pull the title tag of a particular post as the copy to accompany the link to your article in a tweet.
Leaving the title tag blank makes it sharing your blog post on twitter more difficult for your readers and for your article to be found on the search engines.
To ensure you properly optimize your blog for easy sharing from readers, set up a title tag that either matches the headline or accurately describes the focus of the article.
2. Write emotional headlines because they get shared more
To make your content Twitter friendly your blog post headline can play a vital role. Headlines that are more likely to be shared with others tend to have more emotional value than other blog post headlines according to research.
In the research above the emotional marketing value of headlines were analysed. The emotional marketing value is a rating that attempts to measure the emotional value of headlines.
So how do you know whether your headline has a good emotional marketing value (EMV)?
The emotional marketing value headline analyser is a free tool from the Advanced Marketing Institute that calculates the EMV of your post headlines.
Simply copy and paste the headline into the box and it will give you a percentage of your headlines EMV.
3. Add Twitter plugins to simplify sharing
A lot of blogs do include social sharing plugins or a Twitter plugin on their blog without too much thought about how they can be optimized to drive results.
Three key considerations to take into account are – the type of plugin, its placement within a post and optimization of tweets produced by the plugin which should include the business or blog twitter handle.
For WordPress blogs plugins like Digg Digg, Quotable, Flare, SumoMe, Shareaholic or even the official Twitter buttons can be used to optimize your blog posts and tweets generated. Research plugins to find one that will work well for your blog and audience in order to encourage tweeting out of your content.
Once you’ve installed the plugin on your blog, the placement of the tweet button in the right place for your readers is important. Every blog audience is different. Having your Twitter plugin on the bottom of the post seems to me to be the most logical location – after all people are more likely to tweet when they finish reading the post assuming they like your post as well. However it may work well on one blog but not another. So A/B testing the placement of the button is really important.
It could be at the bottom of the post, at the top of the post, as you scroll through the post or some combination of the three.
Finally a common mistake that businesses make on their blog when setting up a Twitter plugin is not inserting their Twitter handle in the auto generated tweets when someone tries to share your article. You would be missing out on using Twitter to its full potential by not having your Twitter handle automatically attributed when the Tweet button is used on your blog. Most plugins allow for your Twitter handle to be automatically inserted by altering the options in the settings of the plugin.
4. Add quotable statistics and other snackables
When writing a blog post it best to add snackable content to each post to make it even more of a shareable and tweetable resource. Just keep in mind the character limit on Tweets. Snackable content can include statistics, quotes and or images that support your argument or points. It is important that these elements do relate back to the subject of the blog post to make them relevant to the topic and of value to your audience.[ctt tweet=”Snackable content are bite sized nuggets of information whose meaning can be grasped quickly http://ctt.ec/9gm7Z+ via @vpkoshy” coverup=”9gm7Z”]
An easy way to do this is to add a visual dimension to the tweetable piece of content throughout your blog posts. Consider adding a clicktotweet image or link to the snackable content to make it easy to tweet directly from the article with the press of a button. When a person clicks on the link or button, a tweet is generated in full with little work on the users part.
5. Include high quality visuals with proper aspect ratios
You probably know by now the importance of using visual elements throughout your posts and on Twitter.
Images can be used in a post to help break up the text and make it easier for readers to read your article without losing their attention. It is also vital to have at least one image that is prominent or is used as the header piece and that also has the right image ratio for sharing on Twitter.
Need a reference guide for Twitter metrics & definitions? Download this quick guide: http://t.co/uuLhSS7nCI pic.twitter.com/TGkltomM2G
— Simply Measured (@simplymeasured) September 24, 2014
So what is the required size of an image optimized for Twitter?
Consider adding images to your blog post with dimensions of 1024 by 512 pixels or at least a width of 440px and a minimum height of 220px.
Also ensure that there is at least one image that describes the article appropriately for sharing on Twitter. If you make your Twitter images stand out, they could also be re-purposed for Twitter ads to drive more interaction to your website.
6. Publish at the right time
When is the best time to publish a blog post?
Kissmetrics along with Dan Zarrella conducted a study which highlighted the following takeaways –
- Most blog content is read in the morning, however men tend to read content in the evenings
- Monday is the best day to publish content
- Most blog posts get the most traffic around 11am
- More comments are left on Saturday and by early morning visitors.
- Most inbound traffic tends to occur on Monday and Tuesday.
So based on the data it would make sense to publish your blog posts early in the week and early in the morning to maximize your social media impact.[ctt tweet=”Publish #content early in the week to maximize your social media #contentmarketing http://ctt.ec/yHak0+ via @vpkoshy” coverup=”yHak0″]
However data from TrackMaven indicates that if you wanted to get the most retweets then publishing on Sundays would be best.
The research should only serve as a potential guide or indicator of when to publish. The bets times and days to publish could be different for your audience. So the only true way to discover the the best times and days would be to test. A tool like Tweriod would help in ascertaining when most of your followers are on Twitter sharing content. So you could time your tweets accordingly.
7. Make sure your content looks good on Twitter
A key element to making sure your content looks good on Twitter is ensuring a bit of code is included in the <HEAD> of your html page. This is a meta-tag code that provides instructions to networks like Twitter as to what image, title and description to use when the post goes live.
There are a few ways to ensure your link previews always look great.
Use the free JetPack plugin or Yoast SEO plugin for Wordpress which will make a best guess at what these link previews should include using data from the post itself.
A tool like CoSchedule allows you to customize your link previews to give you more editing control.
Your turn to make your blog Twitter friendly
How has Twitter impacted the sharing of your blog posts? What would be your recommendation in making your blog twitter friendly to build your blog audience?
Be sure to include engaging visuals to make your blog more twitter friendly and download a comprehensive list of visual content tools and resources (coming soon).