How to Use Twitter Effectively without Having to Actually Read Your Twitter Feed

twitterbird1Some people dislike sifting through the Twitter feed, but they still need a social media presence. The good news is you can still use Twitter, just as an offshoot of blogging. And it hardly takes any time.

First you’ll need a Twitter account if you don’t already have one. I tell you how here: Getting Started on Twitter.

Once that hurdle is passed, building a Twitter presence is easy, as long as you aren’t in a hurry. If you blog, you probably already know you need to reciprocate visits. When you read a blog post, after pressing the like button, press the little tweet button or bird icon at the bottom of the post, and a dialogue box will pop up.

The one for Google Chrome reads: Share a link with your followers, and then it gives you a tweet already composed, links and all. All you have to do is click.

It will tell you that your tweet has been sent, and then comes the nifty part. If you aren’t already following this person on Twitter, it will ask you if you want to do so. Just click the follow button. Especially since you already tweeted their blog post, most folks will follow you back.

Hint: If you don’t already have your blog set up with social media buttons, it’s a good idea, and it’s super-easy. If you’re on WordPress, go to WP Admin and click Settings. Then choose Sharing. A screen will pop up, asking you which sharing options you want. I chose Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. Make sure you go to the bottom and save your changes, or you’ll have to do it over again. (It’s annoying how easy it is to forget that simple step.)

Maybe you’re thinking: great–but who’s going to care? I have only a few followers. It won’t even matter that I do this.

But it does. All tweets of our posts show up in the notification section, located on the top menu bar of your Twitter page. Every time someone tweets one of my posts, Twitter tells me and posts a copy of the tweet, where I can now retweet it. This ties into the subtle psychology thing called social proof. It’s fine that you tweet your own posts, but it’s even better when you retweet a post of yours that someone else shared.

You don’t have to check your Twitter feed, but you should check your notifications every week, to add folks who’ve followed you (except ones you don’t want–don’t be afraid to block smut). You’ll need to reciprocate retweets. I’ve got five thousand followers, and I can usually get this done in a half-hour.

flying twitter birdDo this over time, and you’ll gradually build up Twitter followers. And they’ll be real people who actually like you, not just bots to fluff your numbers up.

Besides, even if you like Twitter, sometimes we just get hammered. This is a way to keep and build a Twitter presence, even if you don’t have any time to check your feed.

Happy tweeting!

Avid writer and reader, especially of fantasy. Learning about social networking and always interested in honing my writing skills. Contact me at cathleentownsend.com.

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28 comments on “How to Use Twitter Effectively without Having to Actually Read Your Twitter Feed
  1. Great idea Cathleen.

    I love twitter but don’t use it to promote my blog. Should get onto that…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jenanita01 says:

    When we first started blogging, I never liked Twitter. It seemed trite and meaningless to me and I avoided it like the plague. BUT… time has passed and I have learned just how clever that little blue bird is. Everyone should learn how to use Twitter and all the deeper, clever stuff it can do if you let it. Then you need to learn how to schedule your tweets, this saves so much of your valuable time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! I’ve had my Twitter linked to my blog since Day 1, but realise I’ve been sorely under-utilising it. No hashtags, no true comments, and I *always* forget to check my Tweet feed… -__-

    Liked by 1 person

  4. writenlive says:

    This post is very helpful. I have avoided being on Twitter but reading you has convinced me to explore and utilize this excellent promotion and interaction tool.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. aliciagaile says:

    Great post. I’m relatively new to Twitter and haven’t really mastered the balance of blog to tweeting yet so this was very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cecilia says:

    Thanks, I really try to use Twitter the right way …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve been told I need to Twitter. Thank you for showing me how easy it is – (says the one who is techie-averse and a digital doofus.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve got impeccable internet manners, Sharon, so I know you’d be good at this. Using Twitter in this limited way takes little time, and that’s more important than it sounds. It’s important not to become too overwhelmed. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Carl Bystrom says:

    Hi Cathleen! Thanks for this article (and thanks for tweeting my recent blog post!). I am new to blogging and to twitter but I have been tweeting everything I post to my blog (to my one dozen followers). Sigh. My question, after reading this is: in order to garner the “social proof” should I NOT tweet my blog posts in the hope that someone else will? I don’t want to retweet someone else’s tweet of my post when I’ve already sent one of my own, right? I know you’re not necessarily ‘the expert’ but your article makes sense – I’m just not sure about etiquette….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Go ahead and tweet your blog posts without fear. I’m assuming this is all good content, and you’re offering it for free. So, this can only help or entertain folks, right? I’m pretty sure people rarely check feeds looking to eliminate accounts for this.

      I check feeds all the time before I follow, but usually it goes something like this. Is there a lot of explicit sexual content? Inflammatory political commentary? Do they do nothing but promote their book?

      I’ve read a bunch of blog posts because they were tweeted and they looked interesting. I had no other contact with their authors. And I feel no resentment at all about this. They educated me.

      Do add a picture to all your tweets because that improves engagement.

      And if you’d like another fourteen or so good followers with excellent internet manners, go check out the meet-and-greet still on my sidebar. Lots of good links there. 🙂

      Like

  9. Ann Coleman says:

    I’m still not on twitter, but am toying the idea. Thanks for the information!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. With most of the posts I read, I tweet and flip to my flipboard. Great post Cathleen! Twitter just takes getting used to and developing the habit 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have all my social media attached to my blog or my blog to my social media. I tweet the blogs I read to pass them on (instead of reblogging).
    1. I notice bloggers who write to say thanks, retweet their own posts. Is that because they hadn’t tweeted them in any way?
    2. Should I be adding a hashtag on my posts? i.e. #shortstory / #travel etc. Isn’t this how you capture interested parties not just the ones who are following or you are following? Where can I find common tags? Rachael uses a hashtag on the weekly #BlogBattle. See what I mean?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Okay, to answer #1, you can tweet your own posts, and then retweet them. Or do either one but not the other. I’ve never read anyone getting huffy if you do both. I end up retweeting my posts a bunch of times from various online friends. (Same post, different tweeters.) I do try to stagger it, though. Twitter is all about what’s happening right now.

    Hashtags are good. Google common Twitter hashtags and you’ll find a whole bunch. To get the greatest benefit out of them, put a hashtag into the search box in the upper right. It will take you to a virtual room where you can see all the people who use that tag. Then start following, since you share a common interest.

    Since there seems to be some interest, I’ll put out a blog post on this topic. 🙂

    Like

  13. Hashtags are a whole new planet. 😀 ❤

    Like

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