A few of us have been talking about Twitter hashtags and instead of posting a really long reply, I thought I would just start a new conversation. (Hashtags are the words and phrases you see following the # symbol on Twitter. People add these to their tweets when they want to be found by people searching for those phrases). Here are some tips on how to use hashtags to help get blog traffic.
1. To participate in a conversation about an event that is happening right then. For instance, if you followed the #balloonboy hashtag over the last week, you'd find people talking about that incident. Sometimes when I'm watching a Rockies baseball game (I'm in Boulder, CO), I will follow #Rockies and end up connecting with other Rockies fans who are also watching the game. I went to the Blogher conference in July and followed #blogher for the entire conference - I totally connected with people who were also at the conference that I hadn't met in person yet!
2. If I am looking to share my blog posts with people who are interested, I might add #blogging to my tweet. Or if my blog post is about teens (I have three teen boys), I'll add #teenagers or #teens to my tweet. I often blog about search engine tips and will add #SEO to the tweet when I tweet a link to my post. That means the tweet shows up for people actually looking for tweets about SEO (search engine optimization).
3. To follow new people. Maybe I'm not posting a link to my blog but I just want to find new people to follow who might follow me back and see future links. I might search #blogging or #parenting or #marketing or whatever topics I usually blog about. When I see interesting tweets from people, I follow them. I try to tweet info, articles, or activities that might be interesting to that group. I also make sure I re-tweet their tweets (if they're interesting) and then those people usually start to retweet my links, too!
4. Another tool for finding new followers is www.wefollow.com. Its basically a huge Twitter directory and people can add themselves and assign themselves to three "categories". You could add yourself under "blogging" "mom" and "technology". Or pick from hundreds of relevant categories. This way, you will show up for others searching for new people to follow!
5. Bing is a new search engine recently launched by Microsoft. They have just cut deals with both Twitter and Facebook that will integrate tweets and updates into search results. This means if someone is on Bing and searches "parenting advice", your tweets or Facebook updates that include those phrases will show up in search results. This could be another great way Twitter can help you get more exposure for your blog. But this is really new so we'll have to see how it works out.
6. Adding #blogfrog to your tweets. BlogFrog is a huge network of bloggers and I add #blogfrog to some tweets because I know folks searching that hashtag are also bloggers and there is a culture with that community to retweet and help each other out. But I don't add it to every tweet, just the ones I think are useful to bloggers. I definitely get re-tweets when I add this.
I am one of the co-founders of BlogFrog but please know I include that last tip because it really does help generate traffic. I work with thousands of bloggers and we are constantly discussing how bloggers can best use social technologies like Twitter, Facebook and many others to help their blogs.
I hope these tips are helpful! Do you have any to add??