Twitter should be used to promote the content you produce on your website but it is great for so much more.
Decide where Twitter fits into your Content Marketing Strategy
Think about your goals and objectives on Twitter. How does Twitter fit in with your overall strategy? Are you using it to build your brand and create more awareness? Are you hoping to generate leads? Sell your books and online courses?
Use your listening plan
By now, you should have already developed a listening plan that means you have identified the brands and audiences you want to monitor and connect with and have a good sense of their demographics, their pain points and their current focus.
To develop your Twitter content strategy, look at what is trending amongst those audiences. What type of content seems to get the most engagement? If your ideal organisation is in the financial industry and your buyer is an HR business partner, what trends for that group are different than for an audience of awards ceremony event planners. Take stock of the content that your audiences regularly engage with.
Set the tone and voice of your content
Creating content on Twitter is about connecting with your followers. However, if you don’t understand those followers; their demographics, mannerisms, vernacular, how they operate and what they’re interested in, you will not be able to build genuine connections with them.
To truly connect with people, you need to speak their language and you need to post content that meets and matches the way that they speak and think. How do you do this? Take time to look at how they communicate on Twitter. Beyond the hashtags they use, what jargon do they share? What abbreviations do they use? What is the tone and style of their language? What sort of humour do they engage in?
Regardless of who your audience is and the language and style you adopt to communicate with them, always keep your tone and voice conversational and personable. Make your tweets human and approachable.
Understand your Twitter landscape
Equally, spend some time researching the content that the most influential of your peers and competitors post.
What do they post? Do they use words only? Or are they also posting images, infographics and video?
Do they take advantage of user-generated content? Can you detect a campaign-based strategy that involves a variety of tweets? Examine which posts receive comments, likes and retweets and which ones don’t. Is there a pattern?
Your goal is to identify the kind of content that their audiences engage with and use that as a framework upon which to build your own content strategy. At the same time, consider how you can separate yourself from your peers and competitors. How can you stand out? What can you do better and differently? What else can you bring to the table?
Decide what type of content to produce
Your Twitter content strategy should include a mix of content types. Don’t post text-only tweets. Use images, animated gifs, video, live video and user-generated content. The most important thing to remember is what your audience wants. Focus on content that answers questions that solve their problems, that adds value to their career, their organisations, their industry or their event.
Love them or hate them, animated GIFs are ubiquitous across the social media landscape. Does that mean you should use them?
Absolutely, yes you should. Using animated GIFs give people an insight into you and your personality. They are fun, show that you are personable and approachable and are an excellent way to connect with your audience. I recommend that you use Giphy which is available right in the Twitter platform and is quick and easy to use.
You don’t need to include them in every single tweet – in fact, some organisations only ever use them when replying or responding to other tweets. Be judicious but also don’t be afraid of using them. And, if you think that doing so makes you somehow appear unprofessional, remember that this is social networking not professional networking.
On Twitter, posts that include video currently has the best reach. According to Twitter, tweets with video attract up to 10x as much engagement. Twitter also note that 93% of the videos posted on Twitter are viewed on mobile. This suggests that video that is effective without sound is a good idea (although not always possible). It is also a good reminder that optimising your videos for mobile is something to keep in mind. This means keeping the video short and to the point and filming for Twitter in portrait mode instead of landscape.
In short, video is a great way to spark engagement on Twitter and starting conversations as well as boosting likes and retweets.
In fact, video is an important component to your entire social media strategy across every social media channel. It helps you stand out because you’re taking the extra time to create videos. To be truly impactful, consider varying the types of video that you post. There is a diverse range of video content that you can create as an expertise-based business and a professional speaker. Consider utilising the following video types:
- Video blogs
- Client testimonials
- Live streams
Other people’s content
Include sharing other people’s content in your mix. This is especially helpful if you don’t have the time or resources to generate all of the content for the frequency that you think your audience wants to see.
Again, focus on what your audience wants when it comes to deciding what content to share. Look for content that answers questions, solves problems or creates value. As far as the type of content to share, articles, white papers, videos and ebooks all work quite well.
If your peers or competitors are sharing something that is valuable and unique, consider sharing it even if it seems counter-intuitive.
Why? Because it builds your brand, both in the eyes of your audience and also in the eyes of the influencer. Don’t think about being competitive, instead adopt an attitude of being co-operative.
Sharing valuable content regardless of the source will go a long way toward showing your audience that you are personable, human and approachable.
Finally, always make sure that you give credit when you share content.
Tintup defines User Generated Content (UGC) as “any type of content that has been created and put out there by unpaid contributors or, using a better term, fans. It can refer to pictures, videos, testimonials, tweets, blog posts, and everything in between and is the act of users promoting a brand rather than the brand itself.”
The popularity of UGC is constantly on the rise. The explanation is simple: it puts a brand’s customers front and centre.
It is the ultimate form of social proof; validation from relatable people that a brand is as great as the brand itself says it is. Add into the equation the fact that we all love stories, need connection and crave interaction with other people and the power of UGC is undeniable.
More than 50% of Americans say that they trust content about brands that has been created by users more than the content that the brands themselves publish. Additionally, 84% of millennials say they are influenced by the UGC that brands share on their channels.
This is why more and more major brands are leveraging UGC. But this isn’t something that only brands like Coca-Cola and Virgin can take advantage of.
As a thought leader, you can, and should incorporate UGC into your strategy. Monitor, like, retweet and comment on posts, photos and comments about you and your personal brand; your talks, your books and your content. There’s authenticity to posts that come from real users and followers that no amount of marketing content you produce will ever be able to achieve.
Also monitor posts around your key subject and specifically posts from people who are personally dealing with challenges and problems that you have answers too.
When deciding upon the content you are going to create and share, plan your calls-to-action (CTAs).
Make sure you know the purpose of each type of content that you are going to create. Generally, all content should either inform, entertain, empower or persuade. It’s OK to have promotional content as long as it is no more than 10-20% of your overall output. You want the majority of your content to provide value to your audience as quickly as possible; articles, retweets, solid content or commentary. But by all means, include some content that links back to your website and promotes your services and your products.
Managing your content
Most professional speakers work alone or with a very small team and a common problem we hear is concern that they just don’t have the time or the resources to create or manage a decent volume of content creation.
If this is you, focus on the content that is easiest for you to create. If you prefer to record a video rather than write, do that. If it is easier for you to record audio, do that. Figure out what is the easiest, quickest – and most enjoyable – content for you to develop.
It’s important that the process is both pleasant and productive. If it isn’t, not only will you struggle to maintain it but it will come across in the quality of the content you produce.
One tactic that works well for most people is to develop content in batches. Most podcasters launch by recording several episodes quickly over a short period of time rather than producing one a month. So when they launch their podcast, they know that they already have content lined up for several weeks or months and can focus on promotion and building an audience.
Interestingly doing this, makes it easier to produce further episodes, particularly if they engage with their audience around the content. Feedback and comments generate ideas for further episodes and insights into how to improve and produce even better content.
Adopt the same approach yourself when it comes to producing videos, articles or any other type of content. Trying to produce a blog post a week is stressful. Batch the process and aim to produce several over a few weeks. Create a repository of content that you can draw on before you start posting.