You took the first step and created your Twitter account. You even have some followers. That’s great, but now what? The next step to building your following on Twitter is sharing content that your followers will find valuable. This will not only help your following grow, but it will also help you to create your voice on Twitter.
There are two types of content that you can share on Twitter. Original content is content that you have created yourself. Curated content is content that you have found from other sources and collected. If you have the time to sit down and create original content, I would recommend a mix of ⅓ your original content and ⅔ curated content. However, if you do not have the time to create original content, you can still create a unique voice that reaches your target audience through curated content.
The next step is finding the right kind of content to share on Twitter. There are several ways to collect content. Set up a Google alert by visiting google.com/alerts and typing in industry-related keywords. You will be emailed a list of current content based on these keywords as frequently (or in frequently) as you wish. Another way to collect content is to use newsfeed apps like Flipboard. You can bookmark, star or send yourself links of articles that interest you. I use both of these methods, as well as the save function in Facebook. When you see a link that looks interesting, click on the top right of post. A drop down menu will appear with the option to save the link for later. I do this throughout the week and then use my bookmarked links for the next week’s content.
The next part is where a little more strategy comes into play. To curate links for a particular audience, you must first understand who your audience is. For 2930 Creative, our audience is small business owners and entrepreneurs. To demonstrate that our Twitter stream is valuable, I look for content that will specifically interest them. I bookmark and save links to my phone that I will use for content later. The next part is important, as it will help your tweets to be found in the endless ocean of tweets.
Crafting a tweet is not difficult, but it is important to take care. Misspellings and grammar mistakes are definitely poor form. Hashtags should be used sparingly. Which brings us to a very important point: use your hashtags correctly. They are an effective tool when used in the right way. Do research about specific hashtags using tools like hashtagify.me or hashtags.org. Since 2930 Creative’s audience is small business owners and entrepreneurs, I often use hashtags such as #smallbiz, #entrepreneurs, and #startup after posting my link.
Another important part of your tweet composition is the message you write before your curated link. If you are linking to a list, pick one of the list items you really like. You may also want to post a question to your followers about what they think. Pull an important statistic from the post that applies to your industry and use it before the link. Here’s an example of a recent 2930 Creative tweet:
— 2930 Creative (@2930Creative) January 14, 2015
Remember, with your username and link, your 140 characters will probably go down to less than 120. Use your words carefully.
Which brings me to one more point about creating a tweet with a curated link: the link itself! When posting links on Twitter, you will want to give yourself the most room possible to write your tweet and hashtag. Twitter does shorten links, but if you need more room or want to track link clicks, use a link shortening service.
Running a business means that I do not always have time to sit down and write a long blog post. Curating links for my followers became a quick and easy way to keep our Twitter stream alive while I was working on other things. Through this method, I was able to increase our Twitter following by 300 followers in 3 weeks, and increase our influence score to 100 (via Sprout Social).
Even without original content, there are ways to create your voice on Twitter. Finding and sharing curated links is a great way to demonstrate your brand’s value online. Curating those links to cater to your audience will help you to craft a strong brand voice.