Last week we held a Hangout with smart micro business owners to talk about creating content for social media.
It’s an important topic.
After all, if you’re going to use social media platforms like Twitter to grow your business, you need to ensure you have a regular stream of content to engage your followers and strike up those 2-way conversations.
Otherwise your Twitter timeline will visibly lack interaction and you’ll hear your own echo calling back from the void.
So how do you tweet out content that initiates a response?
Simple. You try these proven ideas…
1. Don’t be a turn off
It’s a mistake to use Twitter to simply broadcast your latest promotion, product or service (believe me, it happens). In fact, do be careful those 140 characters don’t make you and your business look stupid.
Poor tweeting is boring, a turn off and can even damage your reputation.
Instead aim for 95% relationship building and 5% pitching. It’s not called social media for nothing :-).
2. Share widely
It’s not necessary to only share original content.
In fact, it’s a mistake to do so. Twitter is a great place to be generous so get in the habit of promoting and sharing other people’s stuff. You’ll enrich your follower’s experience if you do.
Become a “social media sniffer dog” (thanks to @Honey_Digital for coming up with the term). This means hunting out the best articles, blog posts, infographics, videos etc from your niche and retweeting. Here are three ideas to achieve this on a time budget:
- Google Alerts are great for being among the first to know what other people are saying about your keywords.
- Closely follow the influencers in your field. Read the posts they tweet. You’ll soon get a feel for who reliably tweets out the good sharable stuff.
- Get close to a few tightly focused blogs in your niche and read those. You’re bound to find great content to nourish your timeline.
3. Share an insight
It’s surprising what you can say in 140 characters.
Try creating a series of concise tips and insights that you can schedule. @NigelBotterill and @NeilPatel do this really well. They post thought provoking snippets that align with their core business, get you thinking and most importantly entice a response. It’s great Twitter juice.
There’s no getting away from it. Creating your own “great content” to share is invaluable. And here’s why:
- It will boost website hits (assuming you’re writing stuff that appeals to your target audience).
- It increases your authority and raises your profile within your niche.
- It can encourage comments and further interaction with your audience therefore allowing you to know them better.
- It’s great for marketing your business without trying to sell your products and services.
So blog regularly and use Twitter as one of your blog promotion tools. Tweet out your post 5-6 times a day to maximise the chances of your follower’s seeing it, but mix up the tweets and test which headline initiates the best response. This is a tactic that works well on the Hub.
5. Make it easy for followers to share your stuff
Have your social share buttons prominantly displayed.
And ensure automatic tweets display your Twitter handle, the link and your blog post title.
6. Write eye catching headlines
Twitter is overloaded with interesting, relevant, thought provoking content. And because there’s so much, you’d never have time to read it all. And neither does your audience.
You’ve got to get smart at writing headlines and teasers that stand out from the noise and attract attention. Be controversial. Speak your audience’s language and try different tweet patterns to identify what gets the best results.
You’ll get more from social media if you talk about the things your audience wants to read.
Aim to naturally enter the conversations that are already happening around the kitchen table. Comment on topical issues. Piggyback off news and celebrity headlines. Ask questions. Set up a debate. Whatever you do, break the Twitter ice and get people talking.
8. Watch the influencers
Twitter Lists are the way to do this. @RussHenneberry talks about creating a short list. Fill it with the key people in and around your business who can help you grow, develop and achieve your business goals. Keep a close eye on what they’re saying, model them and read what they are tweeting out.
By modelling the influencers, you can save yourself a huge amount of time.
9. Satisfy Google:
Chris Dyson @RootsWebSol says;
“Social shares such as tweets are used by Google as a signal in news results but have been little to no impact on your organic search rankings. There are lots of unscientific studies which show a correlation between higher ranking content & social shares.
The true potential of Social Media as part of your overall online strategy is to increase the number of people who will find your content & link to it. Twitter is a great way to engage with people who have the potential to link to your website & you can also use it to listen to your potential customers to help you with developing content ideas for your site”.
10. Make time
If you want to build your authority, engage with customers and grow your website traffic, sharing content on Twitter works. But you need to give it the time to get results.
It can’t be all one way. As well as posting content, you need to respond to your @mentions, sniff out those golden opportunities to engage with key people and have an active presence.
And whilst you could manage a lot of your own content in a 10 minute block by automating and scheduling, you’ll still need to dip in and out to see what other people are saying.
If you see Twitter as a one-way conversation, your followers will soon walk 🙂
Over to you…
How do you create content to share on Twitter? What specific tactics have got you the results you’re looking for? Please dip into the comments and let me know.
Today’s Micro Action
Jot down five ideas for new Twitter content you can share.
- A blog post outline
- An insight that aligns with your core business
- A question designed to get followers talking
- Sniff out something from the timeline of an influencer
- Initiate a relationship with someone new on your “short list”