Twitter is an excellent marketing tool and it can be used to drive traffic to your forum FREE.
The first thing to do is build a good Twitter following after your forum has a certain amount of relevant content.
Twitter users can help keep your forum rich with content (and even help create new content) because Twitter users tend to be highly interactive and topic / interest driven. BUT if they visit your site and no content is there, they will quickly click away as most visitors will.
This is good baseline information about doing building your Twitter following:
@OurMomSpot has over 10.1K Twitter followers. This number was built organically - using brief instances of person to person engagement. This means that most of the followers are real people in the parenting & family niche and not phony or spam profiles - which you should avoid. This is information which I have found to be very true / useful:
Many of your Tweets need to add value. This means that you Tweet a snippet of information or ask an interesting question about your topic.
Hastagged Keywords puts eyes on your Tweets. The importance of using Hastagged Keywords cannot be overstated: Each Tweet you send out should have at least one Hashtagged Keyword which is relevant to your niche. Using Hashtagged Keywords is how you get attention on Twitter & how you will be able to make connections with people who are interested in your forum topic. If your Tweet has no Hastagged keywords, you can almost be assured that no one read it. Be sure that the most relevant Hastagged Keywords are included in your Twitter User Profile description.
Links drive traffic. Be sure to include a link to your forum content & an invitation to visit & participate in your forum in at least 75% of your tweets. (Again, you'll need to make sure your forum has worthwhile content.) Be sure to include a link to your forum in your Twitter User Profile.
Some people on Twitter follow & then quickly unfollow other Twitter users.
You need to keep the number of people you are following but who do not follow you as small as possible.
*Tweet All Day Every Day!
Use a Social Media Manager such as Hootsuite (free!) to schedule a certain number of Tweets in advance. Spread the tweets out so they look organic. You can expect to spend about 30 minutes a week scheduling a week's worth of Tweets in advance. Important: Be sure to personally respond to any Twitter user who replies to any automated Tweet you send. My recommendation is that you dedicate 5 minutes a day towards personal responses to your auto Tweets, especially when you first begin. This is a low time investment activity which usually results in a big reward.
*Add a personal touch
Some people use an automatic Direct Message to welcome / make contact with new followers; however, a live personal note in the public stream may go further because people tend to ignore Direct Messages, especially if they seem to be automated. Show your interest & make a real connection with your new followers, particularly those in your niche, by visiting their site and using Twitter to send them a brief comment about what you saw. You may also want to leave a comment at their site or subscribe to their newsletter. Visiting sites from new followers in your niche also gives you ideas about how to improve your own site and puts you in contact with other people within your niche.
*Attend Twitter Parties
Meet new people in your niche by attending relevant Twitter Parties. You can attend Twitter parties directly on Twitter or you can use a platform like Tweetchat to attend Twitter parties. You log into Tweetchat and enter the hashtag* for the chat you are attending. All attendees make comments in the chat window and all the comments for the chat are linked together in a virtual conversation. Formal Twitter Parties are arranged in advance and occur at a specific day and time. They may include a formal agenda with a specific leader or "speaker", or they might involve a free flowing discussion between all participants. Be polite, follow the party rules, and engage with people.
Your tweets are limited to 140 characters including empty space. Use Twitter lingo, abbreviate NON key words, and use a link shortener such as bitly to say more with less characters!
You Can Do It!
I recommend dedicating just 20 minutes each day to working on Twitter. You will be able to gradually & organically build a following. You'll probably begin with a small number but week, by week you'll see progress. In 2008, @ourMomSpot had just 16 followers. By 2012, @ourMomSpot had 1,100 twitter followers. Today, @ourMomSpot has more than 10,000 followers. We experienced rapid growth in the past year & a half by using all of the techniques described here and tailoring our interactions on Twitter to meet our goals. Be sure to see the samples & additional information at the bottom of this article.
I hope this is helpful to you!
Please feel free to post questions
More about Hashtagged Keywords: A Twitter Hashtagged Keyword is a keyword preceded by the # symbol used in a tweet. Hashtagged Keywords help Twitter users quickly find content related to a specific subject. For example, a Twitter chat about the Olympics might use the Hashtagged Keyword #olympics.
Sample Tweets: Examples of tweets which contain Hashtagged Keywords, links to the forum which have been shortened, and other key tweeting techniques described in this article.