I guess it’s true, Twitter is confusing.
Originally conceived as a simple way to post quick updates to your friends, the social networking site developed into a powerful marketing tool. But not everyone caught on the transition. Many brands and individual users still think that Twitter is just a tool for merely posting quick messages and responding to customer queries.
Or worse, automatically reposting random content found online.
(A generic Twitter feed with posting set on auto-pilot. Note lack of any engagement.)
That’s not a way to show personality and build authority, two main precepts of content marketing.
If used correctly however, Twitter offers enormous possibilities to take content marketing to a completely new level.
Run Twitter Chats
Twitter chat is a live event you can hold on the social network. It is moderated and focused on a specific topic.
All you need to do to run it is pick a hashtag your audience will use to filter out any other conversations. To participate, they need to be on Twitter at a time of the event and follow conversation marked with your hashtag.
It’s that simple.
(an example Twitter chat using #contentchat hashtag)
How to Run a Twitter Chat.
Here is a short guide on setting up your first Twitter chat:
- Pick the time. Just like with any other live event, you need to set the time for everyone to join in. Pick the time and let everyone know when the doors will open. Just remember that unlike a physical event, on Twitter you are no longer restricted by location. Your audience may be scattered across different timezones. Therefore schedule your chat for when the majority of them can participate.
- Come up with a hashtag. You also need to pick a hashtag you will use for the chat and communicate it to your audience before the event will begin. Your hashtag shouldn’t be too long. With each tweet allowing for 140 characters only, you don’t want a big chunk of it being taken up by the hashtag.
- Pick a topic that will engage your audience. It has to be something that will get them to participate. Find the angle that engages your community and focus your chat on it.
- Specify the type of your chats. There are different types of chats you could run. You could organise a Q&A session for instance and invite a known figure in your industry to answer questions from the audience. You could also hold a discussion around a specific topic in which everyone can make comments and add to the debate.
- Promote the chat ahead of time. Let your audience know about an upcoming chat ahead of the event. This will give them time to make up their mind about participating. Of course the most effective way to promote it is to announce your chat on Twitter. Apart from that, consider emailing your newsletter subscribers about it as well. And mention it to audiences on other social networks you use, chances are they might be on Twitter too.
- Capture the Conversation. Lastly, make sure that you capture the whole event. It could become a resource of some invaluable content. You could write a summary post about ideas shared during the chat, present the entire event or turn some of the ideas into posts, Slideshow presentations or even eBooks.
It comes no surprise then that tweets with images perform better that those without.
According to data by Buffer, such tweets on average receive 18% more clicks. Moreover, tweets which contain images receive 89% more favourites. And lastly, they receive 150% more retweets.
Sharing or including visual content in your tweets can result in a much greater audience engagement and reach.
Tweet Your Content More than Once
The same data from Buffer reveals that tweeting your own content more than once offers some benefits too:
- It gets you more traffic. By sharing your content more than once you increase the chances of more people seeing your posts and clicking back to your site.
- Allows to target users in different time zones. Similarly, not all of your audience members are in the same timezone. Posting your content a number of times helps you to reach out to users across the globe.
- Helps to reach new followers. Using hashtags for instance and experimenting with different headlines can help to increase your content’s reach to new audiences.
In his guide to content promotion, Neil Patel suggests to tweet the content three to four times on the day of publication and then slowly reduce the frequency over the next few days until you reach one a day.
Use Different Headings for Tweets
Your audience might get bored seeing the same message posted over and over again. Similarly, a single headline will attract only one type of your audience members. Using different headlines helps you vary your content a little while experimenting with new ways to gain your audiences attention.
Neil Patel in the aforementioned guide suggests few ideas for headlines:
- A quote from your content
- Your thoughts about the content
- Big benefit of reading your content
- A comment on your content
According to QuickSprout, people are 21% more likely to respond to question. Therefore, tweet questions relating to issues your audience feels close at heart with.
If you are looking for a guide to asking questions on Twitter, Twitip has some tips.
Ask for Retweets
Whenever you post new content, you want your audience to retweet it. After all, that’s how content spreads. And the more your community members retweets your post, the greater its reach.
But most of the time you simply hope they will retweet the content without asking them to it. However, if you do ask, your chances of having people retweeting your content will grow 4 times.
Twitter can be confusing. After all, it was conceived as a personal social network. Today however it is more of a powerful marketing tool than anything else. And for a reason. Twitters offers some invaluable ways to engage your audience with content while showing your personality and building authority, the two key goals of any content strategy.