Twitter is becoming a must-have blogging accessory. If you’re not familiar with Twitter, think of it as instant global SMS. It’s both a social networking tool and a mini-blogging application.
My first impression of Twitter was “it’s stupid”. What could you say that’s worth saying in just 140 characters?
However, I’ve changed my mind. I’ve been using Twitter for several months now and enjoy using it and being part of the Twitter community.
Three ways I’ve found Twitter useful:
1. Tweeting about your blog posts increases your traffic
Yes, “tweeting” (posting on Twitter) about your latest blog post will get you more traffic. However the amount of traffic is based on how many followers (friends) you have.
You’ll get more followers if you tweet about a variety of topics, so spend a little time building up your Twitter profile. You will start attracting followers quite naturally.
Tip: if you want followers, follow others. Many of the people you follow will start to follow you, and their followers will follow you, and so on.
2. Twitter helps you to build a community around your blog
Twitter lets you “blog” wherever you happen to be. You can take Twitter with you and can tweet on your mobile phone. This is handy if you have a great idea you’d like to blog about and are away from your computer. Just tweet your idea to save it.
Many of your followers will tweet you when you post, and lively discussions can spring up around a topic on your blog, with almost-instantaneous reactions as people respond to each other’s tweets.
You can also use Twitter as an IM service, by tweeting your friends with the “@” symbol in front of their Twitter name.
3. Twitter helps you to network with other bloggers
Once you know someone’s name on Twitter, you can follow them to see what their interests are, and you can send them a message too. This makes it very easy to network with other bloggers.
Approaching someone to network with them via Twitter is relaxed and informal, and you’re more likely to get someone’s attention if you tweet them than if you send them an email message.