In the world of content marketing, creating great material is only half the battle. If enough people read your content and like it, their shares, links, and engagements could easily propel a piece to viral status — but what if you can’t generate that initial audience of readers? Even the best-written content can be dead in the water.
To maximize your reach, you need to harness the full power of a social media or other syndication channel. There are a ton of options for this, but today I’d like to focus on Twitter. It’s an underrated platform because it doesn’t have as many raw users as Facebook or as specific a niche as something like Pinterest, but if harnessed properly, it can maximize your content’s potential audience.
Here’s how to do it.
What to Post
If you’re using a Twitter account to boost a content marketing strategy based elsewhere — like your company blog — some of your tweets should be dedicated to promoting that content. You only have 140 characters to work with on Twitter, so you’ll have to make it count. Include a sharp, concise title or lead-in for your post, along with the link. It’s also highly beneficial to include an image or video — visual posts tend to achieve higher visibility than text-only posts.
You should complement your content promotion by including other types of social posts, such as personal comments, brand updates, or live tweets of speeches or events. This won’t build visibility or traffic to your content directly, but it will increase the visibility and trust of your brand, which will draw more followers to your account and more eyes for your promoted content links.
How Often to Post
Just posting isn’t enough — you need to post at a good frequency and at the right time. According to Adweek, Twitter is far more active and engaging on weekdays then weekends, so prioritize posting Monday through Friday. The noon hour sees a lot of traffic, so make at least one post during that time. Twitter moves fast, so you’ll want to post more often than you would a traditional Facebook account — five times a day is a good target. Space out your posts so your users don’t feel bombarded, and to maximize your potential visibility in newsfeeds.
It’s also a good idea to work your posts into syndication. Emphasize new posts when they come out, but once its first wave of attention dies down, you can add it to an ongoing rotation list. Revisit older posts on a regular, rotating basis to spark new interest in your older material (and help you reach that five times a day quota). Neil Patel has a great infographic illustrating a social sharing schedule timeline.
Influencers are noteworthy personalities on social media (in this case, Twitter). They command thousands of followers, and generally see a lot of interactions whenever they post new material. If you can get an influencer to share one of your posts, you’ll get a sudden boost in visibility.
There are two ways to take advantage of this in your Twitter campaign. The first is for the early stages of your account development, when you won’t have many followers to see your content. Influencers will serve as a gateway to new followers, increasing the reach of your early content and feeding you some new followers to start your audience building. Start sharing their material in the hopes that they share yours in kind, or ask them directly for the favor.
The second way is more of an ongoing strategy. Engage with multiple influencers regularly by commenting on their posts, engaging them in discussion, and sharing their material — eventually, you’ll have a small network of influencers peripherally promoting your brand, giving you more authority, more followers, and of course, more reach.
Building a Following
First I want to emphasize that more followers isn’t always better. You need dedicated, attentive people — not just blind follower accounts. That being said, a greater number of dedicated, attentive followers will earn you greater visibility. You can encourage more followers to engage with your brand by maintaining your posting schedule, injecting personality into your engagements, interacting with influencers, and personally responding to individual users. The more you engage with your followers and the more you involve yourself in discussions, the more people will want to be a part of your audience.
Twitter also offers a convenient way of organizing your followers (and people you follow) in the form of lists. You can make these public or private, and include any and all Twitter users you see fit to include. For example, you can segment your customer base into different categories or identify key influencers to engage with. You can then open these lists to see content from these groups of Twitter users, or access the lists directly. Either way, making good use of lists can make it easier to build and maintain a following.
With these strategies in place, you should be able to tap into a ready, loyal audience with every new piece you publish. That initial audience will help you achieve a baseline visibility for your work, practically guaranteeing successful syndication so long as the quality of your material is sufficient. The best part is, like with many social media platforms, the more time you spend using it and engaging with your followers, the more powerful the platform will become for your brand.