Recently, I was collaborating with a client to support her Twitter content plans. Her goal was to streamline how to find, create, and curate great content to share with her followers that was the right blend of thought leadership and company promotion.
Well that old 80/20 Rule we all know so well, applies to Twitter when you think about your content strategy. The Pareto principle states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes, and it’s been used in any number of twists over decades.
In terms of Twitter, the rule of thumb here is that 80% of your posts should be content driven about trends or knowledge while 20% should be promotional about your company. (Of course, this varies based on your specific industry.) Now, if you are a content-rich engine, like say our clients @APQC and @Axiometrics, you’ve got ample, juicy, interesting research, data, and insights to share.
However, if you are like most of us, you may often find yourself in a “retweet” spiral…where you simply retweet as your primary posting strategy. Not ideal. Retweets are great within reason and even better if you add an intro as to why you view this as compelling or interesting content.
So, what are some good options to keep your tweet stream fresh and relevant…and efficient? Here are my three tried-and-true strategies:
1. Focus on Your Clients or Customers
I follow our clients’ social media accounts as well as watch what news coverage they receive and what emails they send out. Posts related to clients that generate the most interest on my feed include:
- Research, data points, articles, and infographics
- News coverage secured with external publications
- Upcoming events they are attending or hosting
- Key milestones, awards, new hires, recruiting posts, and celebrations
I rotate through our client list and ensure to highlight a variety of clients weekly. I’ll also provide a mix of my own generated posts as well as retweets of their posts.
2. Read Your Local & Industry Media
I’m an avid follower and reader of several hundred media outlets and reporters. Some are by default as we provide PR services and need to be well-read. Others are by nature of my curiosity and entrepreneurship-bent. To get started with content options for this strategy, follow:
- Your local daily press and weekly business journals
- Notable reporters and thought leaders in your industry
- Your primary industry/trade magazines and associations
- Your national or general business or passion publications
My method of sharing content via publications varies based on where I find the content and if I want to start a new chain versus be tied to a retweet. I may opt to share:
- Directly within Twitter as a retweet with my own content intro. Or, as rarely as possible as just a retweet with no content.
- From the publication’s website using the social share buttons provided. Often, the intro text provided is a great starter point and includes a shortened URL. Some use the cute Tweet This box with quotes embedded.
Most often when our clients receive press coverage, I’ll share directly from the publication’s website. I’ll also like and favorite various content pieces.
3. Create Your Own Content
Certainly, if you create your own original content via blogs, articles, or white papers, do share it out with your followers. As you do so and create the original post, include the value readers will derive if they follow the link to the fuller content.
Post great success stories and quirky finds that relate to your industry and business. This runs the gamut and where you can have some real fun. As we offer marketing and branding services, I’m often on the lookout for great examples that can be shared. This is especially true if it’s got a visual bent to it.
Two of my most recent favorites that I shared on Twitter:
- A picture of a surprise gift of gummy bears with a note inside a mail order package of kids’ swimwear.
- A quick snap in the elevator at Texas Health Resources on how the healthcare organization takes branding seriously with the logo on the elevator buttons.
Neither is promotional for my firm but still promotes great marketing and branding examples. You want to be in the conversation in your industry.
Not into heavy writing? Fun ideas for original content are easier than you might think:
- Tie to a holiday theme or celebration. I loved @CB_FlowerMound’s Father’s Day advice series which featured quotes from the CycleBar instructors’ dads.
- Share key quotes and trends from conferences or webinars. Snap a pic at events. Most events provide custom hashtags to allow greater collaboration (such as #HCMAPQC).
- Post theme days such as Motivational Monday (@gail_warrior does this great) or Throwback Thursday.
** My Favorite Hack: Private Lists **
Once you start following hundreds of folks, managing and pulling out the best content can be overwhelming. Private lists are the most amazing and time-saving tool that I use on a daily basis.
I prefer making my Lists private, so that only I can see the groupings and accounts. I’ve got 12 private lists set up to help better segment our clients, publications, thought leaders, etc. When I’m looking at content to share out, I can quickly filter just those segments.
Many Twitter users elect to share their curated Lists as public. This is a great strategy if you want a follower to be able to quickly follow and collaborate with your employees, topic or functional leaders, clients, event speakers or attendees, etc.
Now, let’s get Tweeting.