10 reasons why Twitter is content marketing’s best friend

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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  • Twitter is the one network I need to concentrate more on. I have a half decent following but other than thanking people for RT’s and the occasional re-tweet of an interesting update, I don’t really engage with the Twitter audience, which is bad.

    I’ll have to put more effort into starting proper discussions and interacting more 🙂

  • The connections I’ve made on Twitter have changed my life personally and professionally. Look forward to helping you with this when we meet next year Barry!

  • Azeem Azhar

    I agree with you Mark. We see a lot of companies thinking about Facebook as well.

    However, our take on this is that Twitter is much closer to a global zeitgeist. News does break on it. Influencers collect on it and various strata. There is a much larger chance that the topicality of your content will get picked up and amplified again and again on Twitter relative to other platforms.
    best
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  • Kristine Allcroft

    Oooh! So glad you posted this! Especially #4. When Bin Laden was killed, I first heard about it on Facebook, and then verified it on Twitter! And then I heard it on the radio. I remember that day so well because I recognized the complete shift in the Zeitgeist for the way I got the news. And #9 as well. I was having an argument with a corporate muckety muck two weeks ago about the important SEO benefits of having the Twitter share button on each and every blog post. It is one of the best ways to support and ascertain “thought leadership” – which Google Hummingbird really wants. Of course Google is still trying to get people to tweet AND use Google+ – but Google+ came late to the social media game and is still trying to catch up a bit. So they have to look at Twitter to verify the signals.
    In a future blog, will you be comparing the two? Quantitative + qualitative benefits of Twitter and Google +? 🙂

  • As do I! 🙂

  • Social signals are now important ranking factors. Content that is shared on Twitter and other social sites also gets indexed faster by search engines.

    I agree with #7. These days people check how many times content has been shared before deciding which one to read or use.

  • Holly McIlwain

    Mark, I’m almost finished the Tao of Twitter and highly recommend it to anyone using Twitter or who wants to start. It’s such a great book that I’ve read every chapter twice as I’ve gone along. It helped me to put new ideas into practice, but mostly validated for me that my own ideas about Twitter were good ones, which gave me more confidence using the tool. I have an unusual challenge to learn the tool for an established 10-year-old local service company and a national dot com start up. I knew I needed expertise quickly and your book was the ticket for me. I would like to know what analytical tools you are using for Twitter and do you send any timed Tweets?

  • RandyBowden

    Twitter opens something new to me everyday. I have just scratched the potential opportunities.

  • useradvocate

    Mark,

    Your timing on this one is excellent for me. As you know I’ve just launched a new YouTube channel (called UXrevu) and now I’m looking at building a systematic Twitter strategy. I haven’t had a chance to re-read The Tao of Twitter yet so I have some key questions at the moment:

    First, I created a separate Twitter account (@UXrevu) to focus on thing
    directly related to the YouTube channel. Is this a good idea or will it lead to complications with my other twitter account? To clarify a little, I see my ‘main’ Twitter account (@useradvocate) as reflecting more of my personal commentaries, and the @UXrevu to be primarily about sharing posts. Is it spammy to be that tightly focused?

    Second, I’m still reluctant to send out repeats of links to specific posts/videos.
    My concern is that it would become annoying to current followers. But at the same time I know, logically, that there can’t be nearly enough coverage from a single tweet. Do I bite the bullet and repeat the tweets anyway?

    Michael

  • Thanks for the suggestion on creating a “best teachers” list. I’d already been following them all (and you are one of “them”), but not really doing RTs with any consistency. I’ve now got a list and have added a task to remind me to do this each day. Wonderful post, thanks Mark 🙂

  • Hi Mark,

    I have been using “intensively” Twitter for 8 months with my personal account, after reading “The Tao of Twitter”. Next week probably I will hit the 10,000 followers mark.

    I have launched my blog a month ago, and the first source of income traffic is Twitter: so it’s kind of working!

    But as you say in your book, I’m not sure about the power of Twitter for corporate accounts… let’s say a small and local company.

    What do you think? Is it worth all the effort of using Twitter and building your audience if you are running a small company?

    P.S.- Good point searching the web for “Best vacation spots in Spain” 😉

  • I was very interested to read about Twitter advertising. It is something I’ve been wondering about. I love Twitter (and love Tao of Twitter). I have to say, too, that my Twitter followers really started to grow after I read your funny Twitter bios blog posts and updated my bio. It seems a sense of humor is important on Twitter. LOL

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  • Sounds like a plan!

  • Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts today Churchill!

  • My main Twitter – related tool is Hootsuite. I sometimes schedule tweets if I am sharing a lot of content so I don’t overwhelm my readers!

  • I feel the same way! Thanks Randy!

  • Twitter is fun, but it’s exhausting in the same breath. I agree on just about every comments on its great features. I just wish I could monitor it like I did when I started back in 2008.

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  • I love me some Twitter. If it wasn’t for Twitter I would not have met many of the people I know now when I moved abroad, blog, marketing and tech wise!

    One question. I’ve heard a few people say, oh well, you can do the same things in a forum and get more hits and build relationships too. What do you think about this? I still love and prefer Twitter. Forums are sometimes ANOM and other ones like Reddit have so many users not sure where you build the relationship.

  • Awesome Trent. Thanks for putting me on your list!

  • When you read the book, be sure to look at the chapter on Professional versus Personal. I believe that for most businesses the real value of Twitter is for networking. You want to build an emotional connection that leads to strong ties and business benefits. I’d recommend on account that has a friendly personal picture and something like your real name.

    Repeating posts occasionally is ok. Most of your followers will miss it the first time so this is a way of being helpful.

  • Wow. Congratulations on your progress!!

    Of course any strategy depends on the type of business you run, but I think small businesses usually have an advantage over big businesses in this space if they “get it” and execute consistently.

  • Humor is always a bonus!

  • If it is exhausting and not any fun any more, it will probably show up to your followers. Maybe you need to re-think your approach or maybe you are putting too much effort into it. Maybe it would help to re-virtualized your lists and follow some fresh followers … Maybe even some fun celebrities. Good luck Hubert!

  • I think you have answered your own question : )

    The cool thing about social media is there are no rules. You can do whatever works for you!

  • useradvocate

    Mark, thanks for the advice – actually I’m going to say ‘guidance’, because that’s what it really seems to be. So I’ve just taken a second pass at The Tao of twitter (first time was probably a year ago) and what struck me this time was how Taoist your approach really is! That was a pleasant surprise because I like that philosophy.

    In keeping with that I’m going to simply take a relaxed approach to this and stay present to the human dimension of Twitter. As you say “Social Media is P2P”.

  • Well said Azeem. Always an honor to have you comment!

  • Hey Mark, a tootsie roll of a post. Tasty, sticky on the mental teeth and fast. I enjoyed the whole thing too…

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  • Loved #8 will give it a try.. Definitely agree with #7, at least that is my policy…Looking forward to more great posts!

  • Chelsea Adams

    I’ve never been to your website before but I am here now commenting because I found this article through Twitter.

    Case in point.

    🙂

  • An instant case study. Boom.

  • Cool. Go for it Ben! Thanks for reading my blog.

  • Kinky.

    I prefer to think of my blog as a perfectly cooked steak. Meaty, juicy, yet tender : ) Of course, I would serve it with a side of Tootsie Rolls if you were visiting buddy.

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  • Made me chuckle deep inside. Hope you are well.

  • Pay attention to what your target audience is already talking about, and then tailor your content to contribute to that conversation.

    I’ve used ManageFlitter to help find that targeted audience based upon keywords relevant to our industry, or based upon followings of people I respect in that same industry.

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  • Twitter is the first social network I really got into. And it remains my favorite. The reason I like it so much is that it’s so much more distilled than the other sites. It’s pared down to absolute essentials. So you can find relevant people and businesses superfast. You can get on their radar and build fruitful connections quickly too.

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  • Brian, you make a great point about listening to your audience to see what they are talking about.

  • If they are already having the open conversation, you may as well listen in and see how you can improve your products/services/communications.

  • I strive to use twitter like a recipe that can change based on tastes and needs. I’ve experimented with tweeting my own thoughts and words, RT’d, RT’d with my own comment/opinion attached, and it’s clear there are no “rules”. What works and engages one day might not the next. And that’s the fun of the ride. So I continue to mix it up, see if any cream rises to the top in terms of tactics, but the overall strategy is to realize: like any recipe, the ingredients (tactics) can be changed and altered in a never-ending fashion. Cheers! Kaarina

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