By Mike Brown
Step One: Review Your Last Twenty Tweets
Before figuring out what to tweet about, review your last twenty tweets to see:
- -How many tweets were intended to benefit readers (with valuable information, links, highlighting others, etc.)? ___ of 20
- -How many tweets were free of sales-oriented mentions of what you do? ___ of 20
- -In how many tweets were you interacting with others (i.e., answering questions, conversing, initiating dialogues)? ___ of 20
Information sharing is a primary opportunity to create a positive impact on Twitter. While you can squeeze beneficial information into the 140-character Twitter limit, ideally you have a place to point people for a deeper treatment on the information you share. That could be on your blog, website, or other online presence.
The best information sharing comes when you take advantage of the full range of content marketing sources available to tweet:
- -Ideas and valuable improvement tips
- -Information about activities—yours or others of interest to your audience
- -Links to photos and videos
- -Content from other social networks—LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, etc.
- -Updates and content from relevant events
- -Intriguing information and stories from your organization
- -Updates on where your brand or people will be—events, activities, etc.
- -Relevant topics & content you find during online searches
While information sharing on Twitter may largely be one-way, there are tremendous benefits from interacting with others. How to adapt your content marketing strategy for Twitter during these interactions?
- -Participate in conversations
- -Answer questions tweeted by others
- -Retweet relevant and/or intriguing content shared by people you follow on Twitter
- -Share answers, questions, and observations with others during -Twitter chats
- -Swap links to interesting and relevant materials, events, etc.
Twitter is personal (as is any social network) whether you’re sharing as you or for a brand. How you express your personality, however, may differ. Ultimately though, if you don’t have an engaging online personality, it’s much tougher for people to find compelling reasons to follow you. When it comes to personal information, tweet:
- -Intriguing personal news and happenings
- -Rhetorical questions (and maybe even some answer to them)
- -What you’re thinking about
- -Observations about current events
- -Photos and videos from daily life
- -Links to what you’re sharing personally on Instagram, Facebook, or other social networks
Hashtags on Twitter are created by putting a pound or hash sign (#) in front of a word (or string of words without spaces) in a tweet. A hashtag makes similarly themed tweets searchable. Simply clicking on a hashtag within whatever Twitter application you’re using should open a new window with all current tweets containing the hashtag.
Tweeting with hashtags allows others to easily find your content, especially if they aren’t following you already. Using the same hashtag repeatedly signals you’re sharing similarly-themed content. Hashtags are also the underpinning to track what’s being shared on Twitter chats. In this way, hashtags allow you to revisit topics in multiple tweets or link tweets to topics many people are addressing.
What to Tweet About: The Self-Help Magazine Approach
I was on a webinar where the presenter suggested looking at self-help magazine headlines for blogging ideas. This works for ideas on what to tweet also. Select any self-help magazine, especially those related to the three F’s (fitness, finance, food), and review headlines for Twitter inspiration. Some self-help oriented tweet ideas include:
- -Easy Ways to Meet Challenging Goals
- -Ways to Achieve Very Desirable Results
- -The Financial Benefits of Taking a Specific Set of Actions
- -How to Come Out Good While Being Bad
- -Jaw Dropping Benefits from Doing Something Simple
- -Celebrity Name Dropping
- -Things to Not Do (with a Subtle Threat Attached to Doing Them Anyway)
Picking Your Spots for Tweeting on the Sales Continuum
When you’re active on social media on behalf of an organization (even if it’s your solo operation), you’re looking to generate business. How salesy can your content marketing get on Twitter? It all depends.
Setting up a Twitter account that’s clearly going to be all offers / promos can work if your deals are so good that you can attract followers with 100% sales-oriented content.
If you’re trying to balance general and business-building content though, heavily overweight toward general content (i.e., all the other ideas shared so far in this post). When you introduce more business building content, consider this continuum from light to heavier sales focus, determining where you want to be on the sales continuum at any one time:
- -Tweet a non-exclusive promotion or discount
- -Announce a giveaway
- -Feature a link to downloadable content
- -Provide insider information or a sneak peek at a new product
- -Tweet a snippet about what you do with a link to a webpage with more info
- -Provide an exclusive offer for followers
- -Promote a link to your e-commerce page (on your own site or Amazon, etc.)
- -Proactively tweet people whose tweets suggest a need for your product or service
- -Tweet a link to an affiliate marketing program in which you participate
- -Use a Twitter account to tweet promotional offers all the time
Brainzooming blog readers know we’re not big on “There’s only ONE WAY to do this” blog posts. We’re strategists, so we see the importance of variability and aligning with what fits your organization’s strategy. This is a starting point, however, to begin determining what strategic direction is right when it comes to how your content marketing strategy applies to Twitter.
And you thought it was a simple question, didn’t you?