To content marketers, Twitter presents a unique challenge. We love creating content - lots of it. And Twitter only lets us post a little bit at a time.
Aside from the angst involved with limiting ourselves to 140 characters at a time, it’s so different from all of the other marketing channels we create content for. Sure, other social networks technically have character limits, but they’re so large that you’re never in danger of reaching them.
It’s also more “real time” than most of the other social networks these days. And there are countless other things that make it different from the rest of our content channels.
So, how can you adapt and succeed on the network responsible for introducing hashtags and replies into the social media world? Here are five steps to making it work for your content strategy:
1. Find your ideal customers
The first step to working Twitter into your content marketing is to identify your target audience on the platform. Different segments of your audience hang out in different places online - which of your customers are spending time there?
It’s never a good idea to focus on follower quantity instead of quality, but on Twitter it’s really shooting yourself in the foot. Because of how short each post is, users post pretty frequently. If you go connecting with anyone who will follow you, it’ll become harder to connect with those who matter.
Use a Twitter tool like Followerwonk or Hootsuite to find people that match the buyer personas in your content strategy. Follow them and engage with their content to start building connections. Have real conversations - don’t hide behind your brand logo and website.
2. Get content ideas
Twitter is a veritable landmine for new ideas. In addition to sharing the kind of info they would on other networks, Twitter is also a user’s go-to place to vent frustrations, rant, and contact a company’s customer service.
When you’re following what your target audience is saying on the network, this gives you incredibly valuable insight into what they need. You’ll see what they’re frustrated with, the kinds of questions they have, and what their interactions with your competitors look like.
In other words, they’re basically telling you what content you should create. Content marketing is about entertaining, solving problems, and giving your audience what it wants. Twitter is where people to share their thoughts - in unfiltered, short bursts. You’ll be able to fuel your content marketing calendar forever with the insights you’ll gain.
3. Promote content
Aside from sharing unfiltered thoughts, another staple of Twitter is sharing links. That makes it an undeniable go-to for promoting your content from other channels. While it feels pretty obvious, it’s worth talking about what kind of content you can promote on Twitter. You’re not limited to just blog posts, also:
- Talk about new website pages
- Share marketing offers like free downloads, giveaways, etc.
- Reuse photos and graphics from other channels as standalone image tweets
- Share YouTube videos, Facebook albums, and your most important and effective content from other social media channels
Cross-promoting your other social media profiles - and the content you publish on it - is often overlooked, but can be very effective in speeding up the time it takes to build a relationship that converts, since you’re more connected.
And don’t be afraid to self-promote. One mistake a lot of brands make with content marketing on Twitter is not promoting heavily enough. Tweets have a half-life of about 24 minutes - meaning less than half an hour after your send a tweet, it’s already reached most of the people it’s ever going to reach. You can’t assume your followers will see all of your tweets.
For each piece of content you release on Twitter, you can share it multiple times both in the short- and long-term. For example, when you share a new blog post, you can share the blog post title as the tweet text a few times. Then you can also create additional tweets linking to the post. Like ask a question the content answers, share a quote, or include a part of the post’s intro.
4. Convert followers
Connecting with users and sharing content will definitely take you a long way in building an audience. But we must remember that content marketing is about building an audience and making it lead to action.
You need your Twitter community to convert - into subscribers, customers, anything further down in your marketing funnel. There are many ways to do this either through your content on other channels or directly on Twitter.
One option is creating lead generation cards to include in tweets. They allow a Twitter user to sign up for an offer in just one click. You can use it to sign people up for your newsletter and email list, provide a discount, or any of your other email campaigns.
You can also use your existing conversion-focused content on Twitter to convert followers more indirectly. For example, instead of linking to your website’s homepage in your brand’s Twitter bio, you can link to a landing page for a marketing campaign or a blog post that drives a lot of conversions.
5. Connect with influencers
Finally, you can use Twitter in several ways to build relationships with your industry’s most important influencers and creators.
First, there’s curating content. As we established earlier, sharing links is popular on Twitter. You can start relationships by sharing content from influencers. Include their handle to send them a notification you’re talking about them. Add your own insights to get a conversation going.
There’s also reaching out to people directly. Lots of people like to call Twitter the cocktail party of social media - everyone’s there, everyone’s mingling. Don’t be afraid to send a tweet to the influencers you admire just to start talking. It’s a casual place - as long as you don’t come off as obviously self-serving, influencers will be receptive to replying!
Use these tactics and Twitter will strengthen your content strategy at every stage of the customer journey - all 140 characters at a time.