Content providers, whether on Associated Content or on other websites, need good tools to promote their writing. The recent explosion in the number and use of social networking sites has given these writers the tools that they need. Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and other sites have all given writers new venues to promote their work, but none is as fast and easy to use as Twitter.
After creating my profile, I immediately added as many contacts as I could. I used networks of family and friends to start, but also added members of other on-line communities I participate in. The idea here is to get as broad a base of followers as you can. As they mention you in their own tweets or retweet your links, your account gains exposure to everyone who follows them. This, however, is only the first step.
The next step is to add local digests to your list. First, these digests, like ColsUnderground, will give you ideas about events and trends that are popular in your area. This will help you create local content that is in line with what the local community is already talking about on the internet. These digest also have large followings, so if you get your content featured on these feeds, you will again gain a larger exposure and garner more page views. One example of these digests are the happn_in feeds, which have both national and local pages. Currently, happn_in is holding a contest to increase local content submitted to their sites, so there is even more reason to add this digest and gain the exposure for your local content.
Using hash tags to call out key words can aid providers in getting their tweets noticed by potential readers. This can also help the writer get their links retweeted by groups that are interested in a particular topic. Twitter account aboutdignity, an account for a group that argues for the idea of assisted suicide as death with dignity, recently retweeted a link I posted to an article about Chris Packham’s comments that the giant panda should be allowed to go extinct.
Finally, grouping two or more articles on a common, timely topic has given me the best success. Promoting an article on local apple picking locations and one on apple cobbler recipes in early fall caused a massive spike in page views in both articles. A similar effect occurred recently when I grouped two articles on Halloween date ideas and a top 10 list of Halloween movies. By grouping these articles together, you give readers a one-two punch of clicks to gain a more complete experience.
By using Twitter in these ways, content providers can increase their exposure in the local and worldwide community. Those who use Twitter, or indeed any social networking site, should be careful not to only post links. Engage in the community. Become a full-fledged user and the acceptance of your promotional efforts will be much higher.