Twitter is a great tool for blog promotion, using hashtags in your post title might be the key to driving more traffic to your site via your auto-tweets. But, is it a good idea? Does it work or is it just another fad that will fade fast?
Twitter is taking over the social media market. Television shows are now asking you to use certain hashtags while watching their shows, news engines are sending out surveys and asking people to respond via a hashtag. Twitter is in everything and is going to get even more all-invasive. You don’t believe me…? Check the stats.
Social Media Today states that there are over 100 million ACTIVE Twitter users worldwide that log onto twitter every single day. Half of those reside in the United States. That would put this at about 1 in 6 Americans read tweets, tweet and Retweet on a daily basis.
Facebook is still considered the number 1 social media site, but the the majority of us are seeing our “views” declining on our fan page. I know it is just getting steadily worse and worse for me. I used to have an average of 10 likes per post, with a view count of about 200+ — now I’m lucky to get 1 or 2 likes and a viewing of 50. This decline is because of Facebook’s new policies and the way they deliver feeds to their users. Pushing paid advertisements and targeted posts to your timeline. This is why all I see are about three users over and over again on my timeline because that is who I obviously click “like” on the most. In my case it is my sister in law, I know this is because she just had her first baby and I’ve done a lot of liking of baby Heidi’s very photogenic new life. But, just because I’m in like of baby Heidi doesn’t mean I want to ignore all my other Facebook friends and fanpages. But, Facebook takes that decision out of my hands. Even when I view Most Recent instead of Top Stories, I still do not see the majority of the updates I want to see. Censorship is a big buzzkill in Social Media and these new Facebook changes are pushing a lot of experts to predict the fall of the blue giant and Twitter and Google Plus taking it’s place.
Because of this, do we, as bloggers, abandon Facebook and focus more on Twitter and Google Plus as a promotion engine? There are a lot of great benefits of Twitter when it comes to promoting our blog posts (the only big plus for Google Plus is the picture you get in the search stream). I’ve tried a few… don’t get me started on the Tribrr debacle. But, what seems to work in the Twitter world are personal tweets. From me, not from other people, that have meaning behind them. Or if they are automated to acknowledge their auto status, by adding a hashtag or comment that it is an archive post.
The question then, what about all the auto-tweets that go out the moment we hit POST? I and a few other bloggers have taken to adding hashtags in our Headlines. Tailoring our post titles so they look good via search engine and twitter. I’ve always tried to have good headlines. Or at least straight-forward headlines. But adding a hashtag is something new. Have I seen a difference in stats? Nothing that would make me think it’s working any better then what I was doing before. But, damn doesn’t it look innovative?
The point of the hashtag in the post title is the awesome twitter search.
My post title will then come up if someone searches that hashtag. This in turn makes my post go out to more Twitter users then just my followers. If someone happens to search that hashtag — viola — there is my post.
Hashtags in the post title also allow users to get a “quick” view of what the post is all about. If you title your post #Review of The Taming of the Shrew, trained social media users will quickly see the #Review tag and know that tweet is publicizing a review. Use a hashtag that they are looking for and they’ll click yours easier. The average user is getting a barrage of tweets streaming constantly, this method will make it easier for them to find your tweet. If you are delivering the content that they want.
Downsides of using a hashtag in your post title?
It is not that pretty. Hashtags are glaring and stand-out, they STOP the user from reading easily. This may change in a few years. We’ll get used to reading sentences like:
Using #hashtags in your #blog is #easy and #promotes your #content #likeaboss.
But for now the eye stumbles over them.
Some people have hashtag aversion syndrome. There are some people that just do not like hashtags. Or probably, they don’t understand them. So, when they see them within your post title it might turn them off from reading. There are also users who want to retweet your post titles but don’t want to use hashtags in their tweet. This means they have to edit your tweet, which they do not want to do. It is one more step that might prevent them from retweeting your post title. Obviously, the users that don’t understand the hashtag are more prevalent then the people that are offended my them, so most likely an explanation of hashtags on your site if you are using them often would be in order.
Finally, the too much to click paradox. When you tweet your post title you now have the hashtag link and your blog post link. Which one will they click? Will they accidentally click the hashtag link and drive traffic away from your blog? It could happen…
For now, I’m giving it a try. I’ve had no one complain about them, but I’ve also not seen an increase in blog traffic via twitter. It’s stayed the same, increasing slightly, but my followers on twitter have also increased, so my statistics are inconclusive. And then again, I didn’t make it through my statistics courses in college – which led me to changing my major to Graphic Design.