It is now impossible to ignore social media as a use for traffic and as a way to help you reach your goals, whether they be newsletter signups, CPC ad clicks, affiliate sales or simply to create further brand awareness. There are constantly new social platforms being released, however not all cut the cheese. In fact, many disappear into the wilderness within just a couple of years, so this is about picking your fights and working out where to prioritise your time.
This is definitely my favourite from a business perspective. The true value comes in the many free tools available to you, such as Tweetdeck and Followerwonk, but we will get to this a little bit later. If you are looking to begin travel blogging, start writing tweets as part of the TwitterChat #TTOT, which stands for Travel Talk On Twitter or Twitter Talk On Travel or Travel Talk On Tuesday…To be honest it doesn’t really matter, it is very well cemented and takes place each week. I have been trying to get involved in the discussions for about 3 years now and it always gets a strong turnout. Inevitably, it does get spammed by advertisers quite a bit.
What is truly remarkable about #TTOT is the fact that it was set up by TravelDudes, who is a brilliant travel blogger (Melvin Bocher), but he wasn’t some high profile celebrity or a huge corporation, it was just a travel blogger that had a great idea and noticed an area where nobody had truly utilised yet. The magic of this industry is at any point you can hit on a genius idea and if you don’t act on it quick, you can be certain someone else happily will! Melvin now has 194,000 Twitter followers, at time of writing, a number which seems to grow dramatically every time we check it.
You can schedule tweets through Tweetdeck, but I actually prefer Hootsuite for this, so I will cover this point later on. The beauty of Tweetdeck is the ability to monitor brand terms and to do keyword targeting. I have hit on some big ideas using this before with previous businesses which has increased their sales dramatically. Just to quickly offer an idea, imagine you worked at a travel firm and you began looking up on Tweetdeck anyone looking to buy a holiday for Greece. You can then ring off a huge number of terms related to this, such as any tweet that includes both ‘Greece’ and ‘holiday’, which will result in a fair few people trying to book a holiday.
Another hashtag which is worth following through Tweetdeck is #journorequest or #HARO for our American friends. This can be a great way to get your blog placed in publications, as well as getting some incredibly powerful links. Just to highlight just how successful this can be, I have got links or mentions from the Guardian, the Daily Mail, the Financial Times, MSN and many more.
We don’t all have time to write tweets all day, let alone Facebook posts, Google Plus posts…well, you get the point! What you can do is sit down at the start of the week or the month and think about what you would like your followers to read about. You can then use Hootsuite to schedule these posts as often as you like. An example I will give is for a sports nutrition company, where I am currently working at (SNC Direct). I spend one day of the month writing up posts to go on all of our social platforms (once a day on Facebook and Google plus, while 3-4 times a day on Twitter). These are mainly useful tips and advice for our followers on great exercises, diet advice, gym facts, workout guides or links to interesting articles. We will throw in a few salesy posts along the way, but I prefer to do that on the day and create a specific banner for the deal, while keeping these continuous useful posts so we are providing a great free service rather than just plugging a product. This has led to our Twitter profile growing from 7,000 to 21,000 in under a year.
This is a brilliant platform which allows you to input your RSS feed and then get involved in tribes. For example, I have a travel tribe set up, with 30 members, all successful travel bloggers, as well as a further 30 people following. These members then share the articles on a regular basis on their Twitter channels (they can share using other platforms, but this is really set up for Twitter). This will greatly further the reach and audience your articles will reach, often meaning you will get about 50 tweets for every post, as well as potential links and interested parties (whether business or just friendly people).
I could literally write all day on marketing, it is certainly a strong passion for me, so for now, I will leave it and continue this article in a couple of days. I hope you have enjoyed reading it!