twitter and content marketing

Twitter is much more than “what I had for breakfast.”

Having said that … “Bacon, eggs and coffee.”

But seriously, Twitter is an essential component of any content marketing strategy, which might seem surprising since we are pretty limited with what we can accomplish in 140 characters, right?

Let’s expand our view of Twitter as an essential component of a content marketing strategy.

Twitter as ignition point

By now, many companies understand they need content. They have established a Facebook page. Maybe they have dabbled in YouTube or a blog.

But what they are missing is the NETWORK component of their marketing strategy. For content to work for you on the web it has to MOVE and to do this you need an active and engaged audience. Here are three reasons Twitter excels as a way to ignite your content:

1. I believe Twitter offers the fastest way to build an audience of relevant followers for your content. The primary reason is because you have an opportunity to interact and engage with the right people for your business even if they don’t follow you back (you can’t do this on Facebook or LinkedIn).

2. There are so many ways to find these relevant people on Twitter. One good resource is Twellow, which is a sort of Yellow Pages for Twitter. Another little secret not too many know about is Advanced Twitter Search. In my book The Tao of Twitter there is an entire chapter with 22 different ways to build a targeted audience through Twitter-related strategies.

3. A third reason Twitter excels as an audience-building tool is that if you are doing a good job really interacting and building relationships on Twitter, people should also be interested, eventually, in the links that you share which lead them to your content, and perhaps engagement.

A source of content

There is a lot of pressure today to relentlessly come up with ideas that result in interesting content. Twitter also helps in this area:

4. News breaks on Twitter. If you are looking to comment on the latest breakthroughs and share the newest ideas, they are probably hitting Twitter first.

5. You should curate a list of your best teachers on the web … the people you respect as thought leaders. If you follow this list, it should be a better source of content ideas than any RSS feed you could establish because you are not only seeing their ideas, but the important links and developments they are following.

6. It can be burdensome coming up with interesting and relevant content to tweet about every day. You can lift that heavy load by re-tweeting the exceptional content of others. This also helps you build your audience of thought leaders because nothing says “I love you” like a RT now and then.

A leading source of social proof

Here is a simple illustration of what I mean by social proof.

Let’s say you do a web search for “Best vacation spots in Spain” and your top two results are blog posts. One has been tweeted two times. The other has been tweeted 250 times. Which one will you read?

It doesn’t matter how good the article is or who wrote it. We will follow the article that has the most social proof — in this case tweets — and choose it. Having people “choose” your content is a pretty important part of a content strategy, right?

7. Tweets and Facebook Likes are probably the most powerful sources of social proof on the web today. However, I believe it is easier to secure “tweets” than “Likes” for a lot of corporate content. On Facebook, people usually only share content that is relevant to their family or friends while on Twitter, they might be a little more diverse in what they are willing to share.

8. It is relatively easy to build an internal network to help you achieve a level of social proof. For example, I receive an email from a client with suggested tweets for the week. If some of them fit with the content I normally share, I’m happy to spread quality ideas and articles. Are you activating your employees and stakeholders in your content plan?

And even more!

9. SEO benefits — Month by month, Google seems to be acknowledging and rewarding the validation that comes through social sharing. And why wouldn’t they? Content that spreads through Twitter is a sign that something good is going on at your place.

10. If you have exhausted organic ways to ignite your content, have you considered Twitter advertising? I have had mixed results in my experiments so far, but no social platform has introduced more new advertising ideas in the past 12 months than Twitter. There is an option for every budget. With their acquisition of MoPub, look for even more creative ways to get your word out, especially on mobile.

Well those are a few of my ideas on how Twitter and content marketing go hand-in-hand. How are you using Twitter creatively to connect, engage, and ignite your content?

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