Twitter: A Bloggers Experience
“The idea is ridiculously simple. But the benefits — and the enjoyment — are incredible” — Joel Comm
After creating my blog to discuss and explore journalism in the digital era, I was aware that in order to get my blog posts out into the public eye and entice people to read them I was going to have to promote my work in some form.
“The fast-pace, information-sharing culture on Twitter makes it an ideal platform for bloggers … to get their content in front of the right audience.”
Considering the studies I found prior to my Twitter activity and having been a keen user for many years, the platform appeared very beneficial to support my blogging.
By setting up my Twitter account, I was very keen on using the platform to my full potential being to: promote my articles, engage with other Twitter users, comment on journalistic topics and follow a number of individuals relating to the field of study.
Twitter has proven to be very effective and as such I will continue to use the platform as my blog activity progresses. Here’s how I’ve been making use of the platform to date:
Promoting Blog Posts
One of the most vital purposes of setting up a Twitter account was so that I could promote my blog posts, entice people to read my articles and build awareness over the topic.
Dugan in her article ‘How to Promote Your Blog Posts on Twitter’ highlighted some clever top tips which came in particular useful when using Twitter to promote my work:
- Tweet your blog posts often and strategically
- Write creative headlines and CTAs.
- Always include an image
- Tag influencers
- Use hashtags when appropriate
When promoting my blog posts on the social media platform, I always ensure to include the title of the post in order to quickly inform my readers of the topic. In doing this, my readers are able to make quick and efficient decisions as to whether they wanted to go onto read.
In addition to the blog title, in all promotional tweets I make sure to include the URL of the post. This is a vital aspect in aiding my audience’s ability to read my work — if this is not included in my tweets I become at risk of loosing the call to action and therefore not gaining a reader.
Making my posts look visualling appealing is another element I focus on in all promotional tweets. This is done by including a range of images and graphics. Through doing this, I not only again increase my chances of gaining a higher readship but it also allows my tweets to stand out more on individuals’ Twitter feeds.
As well as promoting all my blog posts through my Twitter account I also feature a range of tweets consisting of ‘did you know?’ facts, recommendations of different readings, what’s coming up on my blog and polls for individuals to vote on.
Prior to posting my own tweets formed from background reading, I completed some research to find out more about the platform. ‘Twitter Power’ was able to provide me with the knowledge required whilst also making me very excited to begin composing my own tweets!
“Twitter is surprising. The idea is ridiculously simple. But the benefits — and the enjoyment — are incredible… The results can certainly be impressive, but perhaps the most surprising thing about Twitter is just how much fun reading and writing 140-character posts can be.” — Joel Comm
Composing these tweets certainly is very fun and not only enhances my own knowledge of journalistic topics, I am also able to teach others! The response to one of my tweets below is a prime example of how I have been able to teach others new and interesting facts:
Within these tweets, hashtags and Twitter handles are very effective in broadening my audience. Including hashtags means that people who aren’t following me are also able to see my tweets and get involved in conversations.
Polls are another tool that I find effective. Polls also increase the engagement I have with my Twitter audience and allow me to find out whether my audience agree with the background reading completed.
Retweeting and Commenting
Getting involved in the Twitter discussions are very enjoyable and allow me to have a bit of fun whilst also learning about new issues, topics and opinions. Two primary ways I do this is through the retweet function as well as the comment tool.
Twitter’s retweeting tool can be defined best as:
“A form of information diffusion since the original tweet is propagated to a new set of audiences, namely the followers of the retweeter.” — Suh, Hong, Pirolli and Chi
As the article ‘Want to be Retweeted? Large Scale Analytics on Factors Impacting Retweet in Twitter Network’ explains, retweeting via the social media platform can be for many different purposes:
- To entertain a specific audience
- To comment on someone’s tweet
- To publicly agree with someone, or
- To save tweets for future personal access
To share existing tweets to my followers, I retweet from other journalists, articles from news publications, as well as findings other students.
Whilst retweeting their content I also comment to share my own opinion on the subject. Within this I often ask my readers questions in order to engage them further and to generate discussions over the platform. This has been very successful and I’ve been able to get people involved in the conversation! Through sharing and commenting on information I’ve learnt not to be afraid to express my own opinion on particular topics.
Creating a Twitter list is an effective way to gather information.
“A List is a curated group of Twitter accounts. You can create your own Lists or subscribe to Lists created by others. Viewing a List timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that List.” — Twitter
By following a large number of individuals and creating Twitter lists of relevant journalists, publications and topic areas I am able to find out the latest news as well as recent studies and work in a quick and efficient manner.
Not only by following individuals am I able to find out the latest stories, the search tool on Twitter provides another easy way to find out information related to my study area. This is very effective if I want to research more about a specific topic area or find a certain Twitter user.
Not only do these functions work well in helping me to find relevant and up-to-date information, the tools are able to provide me with relevant examples to contextualise my blog posts. A prime example is in my blog post ‘Fake News: Is Social Media to Blame?’ whereby Demi Lovato’s Twitter activity supported and contextualised the points made in my post about Twitter being used as a tool to combat fake news.
While I am still using Twitter as a tool to promote my blog posts, enhance my own knowledge of journalistic areas and engage with the wider community this so far has been very effective! Through using the platform I have been able to increase my blogs readership and discuss the field of journalism with a wide range of people.
As I carry on with the work on my blog I will definitely continue to use the platform. Through doing so, I can be sure to further both my own knowledge as well as the readership of my work.