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Twitter Prowess

By Jennifer James

If you haven’t heard the good news yet, everyone uses Twitter. Well, that is, most people who are tuned into the newest and most effective social networking sites on the Net. To not use Twitter is akin to blogging suicide. Essentially, if you’re not on Twitter you’re nowhere.

So, what is Twitter? Twitter is a simple online conversational tool that allows you to keep in touch with your family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances, update what’s going on in your life, and join and start conversations across the Web. The great thing about Twitter is it only allows you to use 140 characters in each tweet (post) which forces users to make their point quickly and concisely. Users can follow others in order to read their tweets and if two users follow each other they both see each other’s tweets as well as gain the capacity to communicate with each other through Twitter.

You’re probably wondering what is Twitter’s appeal especially when you can contact people via email, IM, or lo and behold, on the phone. Twitter’s appeal, at least for me, is you can see several conversations going on at once and you’ll always be in the know when breaking news or controversy breaks out in your field. As a mom blogger, Twitter helps me keep up with whatever is going on the microsphere of moms who blog. Instead of reading my feed reader for hours, I simply check into Twitter throughout the day to see what’s going on.

For those who are serious about building their blog readership or site traffic I have found no better social networking site to achieve this goal besides Twitter for one reason and one reason alone: Twitter fosters relationships. Relationships are essential for building brand awareness (yes, even your blog is a brand), attracting loyal readers and actualizing repeat site traffic. There are, however, rules and tactics for using Twitter that will help you utilize it to your advantage.

Follow: So many people are on Twitter now that it is easy to follow people who you already know or whose blogs you are a fan of. If you want to follow your favorite mom bloggers chances are she has her Twitter URL or Twitter feed somewhere on her blog. Once you have become a member of Twitter, click over and follow fellow Tweeters. Most Twitter users are very cordial and will also follow you. To easily find other mom bloggers on Twitter, join the Twitter group right here on the Mom Bloggers Club.

Talk: There’s no use joining Twitter if your intention is not to talk. I know; Twitter can be a little intimidating at first glance because everyone seems to know each other and conversations are flying, but if you don’t take that initial step to talk to others, no one will even know you’re a Tweeter yourself. Make sure to jump right in and respond to questions or even start conversations of your own.

Stay Consistent: Once you have joined Twitter, don’t forget about it. Log in at least every day and chime into one conversation or respond to someone else’s tweet. It will keep you visible and also help you gain more readers or traffic because invariably someone will read what you’ve written and will want to learn more about the person behind the tweet.

Avoid One-Sided Conversations: If there is one thing some people don’t understand about Twitter is it is not a place to simply tell people to visit your site over and over and over again. That turns Twitter users of very quickly. Instead, have more organic conversations with others and every once in awhile you can point people to an interesting post you’ve written, a giveaway you're conducting, or a sale on your site.

Retweet: If someone has posted a tweet that you think deserves more play, then it is perfectly fine and even suggested that you retweet the message to your followers. It is considered an act of goodwill among Twitter users and will bring back good social networking karma.

Don’t Spill the Beans: Even though there is an air of spilling the beans about every part of your life on Twitter, still be cognizant about what you tweet. Keep in mind that at some point you may meet some of your followers in person and they will remember most of the things you’ve written even if subconsciously. You don’t want to badmouth anyone or cause controversy in the Twitter community because the world is too small and someone will remember you one day. In general, do not tweet something you wouldn’t want your parents to read or any future employers to find on Google. That should keep you relatively safe.

Above all else, get in there and have fun. Experiment with your level of commitment to Twitter and your comfort level talking with others. Follow me and I will follow you. Here's my page on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mombloggersclub. See you there!

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