Twitter is a useful form of social media, as it allows the user to impart quickfire tidbits of information. But this simple format shouldn't be mistaken as easy. Finding engaging and valuable content can be hard, especially when you need to constantly update. For Twitter to be truly effective, it requires regular tweeting.
Coming up with interesting and varied content for your Twitter stream is the key to better engaging your followers. You are catering to a target demographic, whether it is those who already follow you, or those who might in the future.
Here are some simple ways to find and post interesting content that is properly narrowed down for your interest group (Mind that this article is NOT about talking back to your users which is by far the most important social media interaction type. This article is only about finding great content to post on your Twitter stream; Interacting will be one of the next topics.).
1. Look At What's Trending
(No more than once a day: By just broadcasting hot news you have a good chance of boring your followers)
This is the easiest way to find content that appeals to your followers. Twitter has a section on your home page that shows what is currently trending. Sometimes it will be something directly related to your industry, though usually not. The point is to find something you think your followers will want to discuss.
Quite often you will find these trending topics already being posted by your followers, and you can just join in on the conversation. You can also see what is trending elsewhere, like on Google, or other social networks. Even if it hasn't become as hot as some other topics on Twitter, it still has a buzz going.
5 Ways to *Quickly See What's Trending:
- See Twitter trends
- Search Google News
- Look at Google Plus /explore section. Here's how trending hashtags work on various social media networks.
- Look at your most favorite / relevant subreddit
- Search Google Insights
2. Use Multiple Types Of Media
(No more than once a day: Visual updates are attention-grabbing but you many social media old-timers still hate them)
Don't just focus on text tweets or posting links to your blog. Twitter is acceptable for all types of media. Photos, videos, comics, infographics, and even audio clips and podcasts can be shared there. They might not get that many retweets, but you can usually count on a fair amount of favorites, and plenty of comments. Plus, you have the added benefit of drawing new potential followers who have found it through search.
Here are some ideas for visual Tweets
3. Have The Right Tools
There are plenty of tools out there that are meant to help you find relevant, well written content to share specifically on social media. One good one is Viral Content Buzz.
(You can use the tool to throw stories you liked into the "Buffer" feature which will spread them throughout the day so that your followers are not overwhelmed)
What makes that a great social media tool is you aren't just sharing your content on your own Twitter. You are having others share your content out for you on multiple social networks. Then you can take fresh content from the people who shared you, and share what they have to offer (Are you still with me? :)). It helps you both ways (share + get shared): It gives you plenty to show your followers, and gets your content out there on the wider social web.
Screenshot courtesy of Infobunny
4. Search Hashtags and Keywords
(A few times a day: Hashtags may annoy some of your followers)
Sometimes you just have to manually go looking for whatever you want to find. Twitter makes that easier than most, thanks to their live update and search features. Hashtags are a good place to start, though don't forget to also look for general keywords. You would be amazed by what you can find with nothing more than the on-site Twitter search feature. Be sure you look for loosely related keywords and tags, as well. Sometimes the best content is only somewhat affiliated with your industry.
5. Look At What Followers Like
Spending a couple of days gathering some info on what your followers usually retweet, favorite or post is important. You can get a measure on what it is they are looking for. But there is some content that is more shareable than other types. Humor is probably the most popular, as everyone likes to laugh. Asking (and of course answering) a question is another highly engaging Twitter update, just don't overdo!
A few tools to help you better understand your followers:
- Twitter analytics inside Twitter ads lets you see your "Best" tweets in terms of interaction. Check back a few time a week to learn from your experience.
- FavStar lets you see your recently favorited+retweeted Tweets and your most favorited+retweeted Tweets
- Both SocialBro and Tweriod let you better understand which time your followers are listening
You don't just want to share content on your Twitter, you want to share content that is then going to be reshared by the people who are following you. You want content that will attract new attention and gather more followers. You want to make content work for you. A bit of thought and stretching our sights away from the usual links and tweets can help you do that.
Do you know of any good tools or tricks for finding interesting content for your Twitter stream? We would love to hear about it, so let us know in the comments.