Engage Craft Blog Readers Using Twitter

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I just read an article over at problogger that has inspired me to write a new post - thanks to Georgina Laidlaw who wrote the original post. Georgina talks about how many bloggers are using twitter in a very mechanical way to just tweet out links or the opening lines of our blog posts. I know I'm guilty of this, so what can we do about it?

How do you use twitter to promote your blog in a more exciting way?

It's time we changed how we tweet about our craft blogs to really engage our followers and help to spread the word about our beautiful hand-crafts.

As craft bloggers sometimes the kind of techy or corporate advice from problogger and other social media experts can seem very far removed from our friendly crafty blogs.  However, if you want your blog to be found by others and your handmade products or crafting supplies to sell, then your marketing strategies have to be effective.

To help you all capitilise on the good advice from Georgina's post, I thought I'd talk about how it can be applied to your craft blog in order to help increase subscribers and traffic to your blogs. I've used the original bullet points from the problogger post. 

Update - You can now embed tweets into posts to further engage your readership with your twitter following and it saves lots of time - read this post here on all of the advantages of embedding tweets.

Tell the story of blog content creation
Georgina talks about asking fellow tweeters for input into the post you are writing in order to pique their interest.  Getting people involved in the creation of your blog content will ensure they visit, read and share the final product.

Maybe you could ask tweeters to help you design a piece.  You could blog various options over a period of a week, offering pictures of swatches, sketches, stitch types, sizes - by the end of the week your readers will have created the piece for you and will feel like they have learnt about your processes and the decisions and care you take with each piece of your creative work. (and it will have been alot of fun!)

Another crafty application of this idea would be tweeting for help with creating a treasury, like a Folksy Friday. Or simply starting up a converstation and asking your followers to help you brainstorm post ideas.
Tweet interesting comment responses
This is a great idea that really doesn't need much explanation. Tweeting peoples responses is a great way of showing not only that you appreciate the effort that people have taken to comment but also it is a subtle way of inviting comments from more of your social network. Lots of comments doesn't make a good blog but lots of really interesting comments, discussions and additions to your post does make for a good, engaging read. Tweeting comments will encourage this kind of interaction with your blog posts.

Run a Twitter competition tie-in
This is fairly well covered ground in the craft world - we all love a good giveaway! I used to run 'giveaway HQ' on my personal blog and it was so popular, but alot of work keeping it updated as there were so many giveaways being submitted!

Georgina recommends setting a quiz for followers to have to find the answers within your posts - much more fun than the 'please follow me I'll have a giveaway when I get to 200 blog followers' type tweets. More like a bloggy treasure hunt. You could still make blog folowing or subscribing to your mailing list a requirement.

Create a Twitter conversation around an event
Georgina talks about creating events around product launches - again with crafting a product launch sounds a bit grand but we really need to celebrate our new designs in this way rather than 'I listed a new xyz on folksy'.

Write posts which discuss how you got to the design, your influences and any snags you came accross. Show sketches and the process along the way, build up to the finished piece rather than simply snapping it once and posting I made this today. You did much more than that!

Tag your posts carefully so you can link to this collection of design ideas. Schedule a blog post for a time when you think your followers are usually online and let people know that it's scheduled to go live at 8pm on Sunday evening for example. Remind them about the big reveal through the weekend to really ramp up the excitement and hopefully maximise the tweets, comments and blog views you will receive. Don't do this too often!

I'd love to know how you get on :)