I’ve noticed that many of the writers I admire are developing quite a nice healthy flow of information on Twitter. As such, I don’t feel the need to check out their websites. I wonder if this is a really bad thing or if I’m just one of the rare exceptions. They do post links but with no information, and so many other tweets from other people, who is going to take the time to click on them?
I am no SEO expert, which is why you don’t see well placed google ads here. Perhaps it’s time to slap a few up. With my stead flow of 10 readers a day I really should start cashing in. So this post about Twitter is just going to be general comments and observations.
Twitter is the best PR tool ever invented. It is the best way to sell yourself in clever little bits on a daily basis. I have noticed from my tiny corner of the world, it works best as a news delivery device (“tobacco is a nicotine delivery device”- The Insider). It works best as a way to give snippets of info to your followers that they can use to either retweet or report on their own blog. But if you give it all away you are going to lose revenue at some point. True, you have your personality and your thousands of followers to think about, but if you’re trying to draw traffic to your site – you have to rethink your Twitter persona.
I can think of about five people who use Twitter to effectively bring people back to either their own website or their mother ship. If you work for, say, the New York Times or USA Today or any other major publications or company, you don’t have to bring people to your site unless you want to. Your job is to up your own pedigree as either a clever observer or a news deliverer. But if you are like me and you ARE your site (not this little satellite but my main site, awardsdaily.com), then your Twitter has to act as a way to both engage your followers while also making sure they WANT to click those links to bring them back to your own backyard.
The top two people who use it don’t even need to use it, really. What they do is use Twitter as an extension to what they do on their sites, not as a replacement. By commenting on what they have been involved in and what they are doing and how their real time activities fit into their daily workload they bring their followers and readers into the process.
It goes without saying that it’s a useful tool for celebrities because they haven’t ever had a way to communicate with their fans directly. And it can be surreal to communicate directly with famous people. But Twitter, and the internet in general, has leveled the playing field between “normal people” and those who have been lifted to a higher level. Egads, I’ve completely lost track of my point. Where is the coffee already.
Okay, so the bottom line is this. If your aim is to bring people back to your site, entertain them on Twitter, give them hints about what you’ve been working on but do not make it easy for them by giving them all of your news all day long. Why on earth would they ever feel the need to visit your site?
But if you don’t need them for traffic, by all means, let the news flow. Be mindful of what you need Twitter for. It is a useful tool. It is less useful for just shooting the shit. Facebook is for that. Twitter will help you sell yourself. Okay, I guess that sort of counts as a point.