Twitter is so much more than tweeting, you can use it for research, to grow and develop your network as well as being able to keep tabs on your competition. But I’m often asked by people who’d like to start tweeting themselves “what should you tweet about?”
I recommend that they create a simple content plan that allows you to make sure your tweets is not only consistent but also varied.
First think up a list of general topics that you believe your followers will find interesting.
The best way to find out what you should be tweeting about is to look what other people who do the same job as you are tweeting about. If you invest 30 minutes and have a notepaper and pen handy you’ll get a really good handle on what’s popular in your space.
Here are some of the more popular types of tweet: –
- Status update: telling your followers where you are or what you’re doing. Try and avoid the bland stuff like what you’re eating for lunch but sending out status updates saying what you’re up can reinforce your capabilities and credibility. For example “running another sales workshop for one of the big four consultants today” is a pretty big endorsement of your skills.
- Pointer: to a blog post or website page with some text to explain what people will find if they follow the link. If you cut and paste a URL into a tweet Twitter will shorten it for you. This is a very common type of post and its a good idea to use pointer tweets for more than your own messages and blog posts. Try and seek out useful or important sites that you feel your readers would value and publish these too. Become a source of great knowledge and you will be followed.
- Words of wisdom: either your own or quotes from other people. There are loads of quotation sites out there that you can draw inspiration from or you can broadcast your own home spun wisdom if you prefer. These work best in the morning.
- Dialogue: sometimes when you publish something people will reply to you and you may reply to them thus building a dialogue. This is all very well but be warned that all your followers can also see what you are saying.
- News: they say that the people learnt of Osama Bin Laden’s demise seconds after the president because one his attackers tweeted it out just after the attack had finished. Twitter is increasingly the place that news breaks. Try searching on #breakingnews in Twitter.
- Humour: who wants to follow somebody who’s 100% business? Not me, so I also follow people who provide humorous quotes in their streams many of which I will re-tweet. Obviously taste and decorum are important so imagine you’re aged aunt was reading your tweets – if she wouldn’t like them don’t press the tweet button!
- Opinions: obviously one has to be careful here but having an opinion is a great way to establish your character online. Our advice is only publish tweets you would be happy for your best client; keenest competitor; boss; team; Rupert Murdoch and your mother to read.
Once you have this you will then need to figure out how regularly you are going to tweet. It’s important to be consistent, if you say you are going to tweet 4 times a day then make sure you tweet at least 4 times a day every day. You can make this easy for yourself by scheduling tweets in advance by using content managers such as hootsuite or tweetdeck.
You know your followers and your target market, think about what will interest them and work out a balance – if some things are retweeted more then post more on that topic, if you write a blog that you have publicised on twitter gets a lot of hits then write more on this topic. It is a small amount of trial and error but you’ll soon see effects.