By Lori Ferguson, Encourage Your Spouse
Why would you want to use Twitter for your marriage blog?
According to a 2014 Pew Research study, 23 per cent of adults online use Twitter. That’s up from 18 per cent in 2013. Twitter is an effective method to reach adults, with usage just behind Facebook and Instagram.
However, twitter isn’t a good medium for every marriage blogger.
I’m going to cheat here, and use Chris Taylor’s list of three questions from last month’s post about Facebook because they’re just as relevant when deciding to be – or not be — on Twitter! (If you haven’t read that post – check it out here: http://www.upliftingmarriage.com/marriage-ministry-matters-may-2015/ )
- Is Twitter likely to expand the ministry that happens on my blog or distract from it?
- Do I have time to add Twitter on to what I am already doing in social media?
- Am I interested in interacting with readers in a new way, or do I prefer it the way it is?
If, after prayer and pondering, your answer is yes – or you already have a twitter account – then read on!
Just as a note of interest, some bloggers, like Jason My Beloved Is Mine! @SongSix3, use Twitter as their main method of promoting a healthy marriage through daily tweets of marriage wisdom. Don’t assume that writing a blog post on your own website is the only way to do marriage ministry online!
A tweet is 140 characters. That’s not much – and yet some people are masters at the art of brevity.
Perhaps embracing the challenge of saying a lot with a little might make us all better writers?
What are 5 “must haves” to begin to be effective on Twitter
- Complete your profile. A complete profile includes a picture! (get rid of the egg) A profile also includes your URL, a bio, and a header photo. (yes, you can also do a background photo) Here’s a link to explain the basics and photo dimensions: https://support.twitter.com/articles/127871-customizing-your-profile
- Follow people. To begin to follow others on twitter, check out the List of CMBA members here: https://twitter.com/UpliftMarriage/lists/cmba-members/members Lists are a useful aspect on Twitter to allow you to segment those you follow, and those who follow you. Learn more about Lists here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/76460-using-twitter-lists Some CMBA member using Lists are Tom and Debi Walter @TheRomanticVine and SheilaGregoire @sheilagregoire and One Flesh Marriage @1FleshMarriage In addition to creating your own lists, it’s also possible to subscribe to other people’s lists.
- Invite others to follow you. Include a link to your twitter account on your blog, in the signature of your emails, and whenever you guest-post. However, don’t automatically follow everyone who follows you.
- If you’re going to be on twitter… please be actively social. Don’t just post links to your posts! Respond to questions – retweet other people’s posts or tweets – comment on tweets. It’s not necessary to be on Twitter all day, every day – that’s where a scheduler comes in handy. (see #5) Also – use Hashtags to connect with like-hearted posts and posters. Learn more about #hashtags here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/49309-using-hashtags-on-twitter You could use #CMBA or #marriage to start with… but no more than three hashtags, please.
- Use a scheduling App. Twitter is actively social, but it also can be a way to touch people all through the day. One way to manage your tweets so you don’t need to on Twitter all day long, is to use a scheduler. Yes – this may seem contradictory to #4, however you don’t want to flood your follower’s streams with a string of your posts. Posting all your twitter links all at once is very annoying to your followers. Solve this by using scheduling apps – some apps are BufferApp https://buffer.com/faq/getting-started (full disclosure – this is my favorite!) or Hootsuite https://hootsuite.com/plans/free Both have free plans.
What else is there to know about Twitter?
Wow. There’s a lot to know about Twitter and the Twitter community of tweeps! Some are serious, some are fun, some love to be quippy, and some are quixotic. And sometimes they’re all that in one 140 character tweet! If you do decide to dip your toes into Twitter, I’d love it if you’d connect with me on twitter – I’m Lori Ferguson @Ready2Encourage .
Like most everything in blogging, research is good, but doing is better. Follow some of our CMBA members, and connect. Ask a question. Respond to one of their posts. Try it out!
Lastly, Twitter chats during a prescheduled specific date and time are fun and a great way to interact and learn more with your followers and those you follow. Perhaps we’ll try a #Marriage twitterchat some evening – anyone up for that?