How to make your blog post Twitter-friendly

The author is astonished by the number of business bloggers who ignore the simple steps that will make their blogs easier to read, find, and share on Twitter.

Many elements make a blog post more likely to be distributed widely, like optimizing content for easier sharing on Twitter.

Most businesses understand the value of marketing on Twitter and sharing content on it, but most don’t have any idea of how to put together blog posts with Twitter in mind from the beginning of content creation.

There are two ways to make your blog more Twitter-friendly from the beginning. The first: Change the subjects you cover to what will fare better on Twitter. The second: Fine-tune the elements of your blog post and your entire series to be more easily shared on Twitter.

Let’s dive into the second: Make your blog more Twitter-friendly by adding elements to each blog post and setting up your whole series for success on Twitter:

Set a title tag for your post

It’s important to optimize your blog series for SEO, but also to optimize each individual post to ensure that search engines looking for keywords find your content.

One necessary component of every post: a title tag and meta-description. These both appear in the search results, and both affect the likelihood of a click-through to your content.

Search engines take the title tag into consideration in ranking your content, while the meta- description serves as point of reference for the person viewing his or her search results.

Title tags are important for the search engines to properly rank your post, for readers to identify your article, and for seamless sharing on Twitter to increase the distribution of your posts. When you share an SEO-friendly article on Twitter, most social sharing plugins use your title tag to accompany the link to your article within a tweet.

If you leave your title tag blank, you make it more difficult to share your post on Twitter and more difficult to find your article. The absence of a title tag requires that readers copy and paste your headline or come up with a tweet about your article. Most won’t make the extra effort.

To properly optimize your blog for sharing, write a title tag that either matches the headline or accurately describes the article-just be sure the tag makes sense as a tweet.

Incorporate Twitter plugins to simplify sharing

Many bloggers got the memo that to use social-sharing plugins to distribute content is a way to build traffic and interactions for their blogs. Still, many companies simply add a Twitter plugin to their blog without giving much thought as to how to optimize it to get results.

Three things to keep in mind when you add a Twitter plugin to your blog: (1) which plugin to choose, (2) its placement in a post, and (3) are the tweets the plugin produces optimized with your company’s Twitter handle?

The first step: Choose a Twitter plugin that best supports your blog, is widely used and supported, and can be easily integrated into your website.

Choose from plugins like Digg Digg, AddThis, Shareaholic, Flare, and the official Twitter buttons to optimize your posts and generate more tweets. Compare plugins to see which will work best for your blog and its audience. You’ll ensure more of your content gets tweeted.

Once you’ve selected a plugin, it’s important to display the tweet button so your readers can easily use it. Every blog audience is different: Your Twitter plugin at the bottom of your posts on one blog will increase tweets, but it won’t do that in the same place on another blog.

It is important to test where plugins work best: at the bottom of the article, at the top, or in the middle as the reader scrolls through your article-or some combination of the three. Try A/B testing to see which placement gets the best results.

Last, one of the most common mistakes businesses make when they set up a plugin: not auto-generating their blog’s Twitter handle with the tweet when someone shares your article.

You fail to take advantage of Twitter if your readers’ tweets don’t automatically produce your Twitter handle every time a reader clicks on your blog’s Tweet icon. Most Twitter plugins make this easy to fix simply by changing the settings of the tweet button.

Add quotables, statistics and other snackables

Make sure to add snackable parts to each post to make it even more shareable, since Twitter bases itself on 140-character text updates.

Include compelling quotes, statistics that support your argument and important lessons in less than 140 characters. Never force the inclusion of these elements. Always relate them to the subject of your blog post.​

To highlight tweetable content in your post, add a ClickToTweet link or image to the snackable words to make it effortless to tweet them from the article.

Include high quality visuals with proper aspect ratio

It has always been important to include visual elements in your blog, but the rising number of images on Twitter necessitates incorporating visuals more strategically in your post.

Images in your post break up the text. They make it easier for readers to get through your article. The first image in your post should be larger, more prominent, especially if it’s the header of a piece that has the right image ratio for sharing on Twitter.

The ideal size of an image optimized for Twitter is 1024px by 512px. The minimum size: a width of 440px and a height of 220px. Make sure that at least one image illustrating the subject of your post is optimized for Twitter sharing.

These photos can be repurposed into Twitters ads to get more interaction and traffic to your website. Optimized images in your post best represent the quality of your content and best sum up the topic of your article when tweeted.

How has Twitter affected the success of your blog to date? What your best recommendation for using Twitter to build a blog audience? Let us know in the comments.

Brian Honigman is a marketing consultant, freelance writer, and speaker. You can follow him on Google+ or Twitter @BrianHonigman. A version of this article first appeared on SumAll blog.

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