Every month more than 400 million people open their phone or computer and log into Twitter. It can be estimated that millions more actually browse the site in one way or another to gain insight, entertainment, information or news.
Twitter is a communications juggernaut.
While it’s easy for marketers to embrace the latest trends in the social media world, there’s no question that Twitter continues to shape the world around us. Whether it’s the websites impact on breaking news or giving direct access to public figures – Twitter has changed the marketing and the world.
In today’s blog post, I’m going to share with you some of the easiest yet smartest ways to drive marketing success on Twitter. These marketing ideas are meant to help any brand or individual capitalize on Twitters huge audience to drive meaningful results for their business. Let’s get to it…
Embrace Twitter Threads
If there’s one recent phenomena on Twitter that has taken on a life of it’s own, it’s threads. A thread is a series of Tweets that link together to tell a story that is longer than 140 characters and connects using a thread. Here are a few examples:
I’m probably going to lose a bunch of followers after *this* thread, but Imma go for it anyway. So let’s talk: Bernie Sanders.
— GothamGirlBlue (@GothamGirlBlue) April 1, 2017
I’m gonna start a thread explaining why a plant based vegan diet is healthier than one containing meat, diary, and eggs (with sources) 🌱💪🏼👅
— C🥑LLIN Ⓥ (@collinrenfro) April 1, 2017
THREAD: Why Britney Spears is better than Beyoncé pic.twitter.com/GyW1o4EHCZ
— ɔiᴎoɔi (@thottybey) April 1, 2017
A thread opens up an opportunity for you to go deep into a topic and share it with your audience within minutes. For brands, a thread can be treated like a microblog post where you share a series of thoughts and ideas all linked together. When creating a thread on Twitter, you have the ability to include rich content such as GIFs and images as well.
Curate Content From Others
Establishing a reputation as someone who only shares their own content is not a good look. If you’ve already established yourself as an authority then sure, you can probably get away with it. But if your brand on Twitter has less than 50,000 followers, it’s not a bad idea to mix up your content once in a while with resources and insights from third parties.
Content curation is the act of sifting through the noise online to uncover the best articles and resources available. By sharing content from other people, you’re able to build relationships with others while also being seen as an authority on the topic as a whole. The best approach is to identify a few people or brands who develop content you like and be intentional in sharing their content and mentioning them when you do it.
To make your life easier, leverage a content curation tool like Crate & a social media scheduling service like Buffer to spread your content curation efforts over time. Using Crate, you can type in Twitter handle of a few key influencers and within seconds be sent a feed of content that they’ve shared online.
Tag People In Your Images
Want to ensure that influencers know when you mention them in a blog post?
Use the Tagging function on Twitter to give them a notification that they’ve been tagged. To do this, you upload an image to a Tweet and once it’s uploaded, select the text “Who’s in this photo?” as seen here:
Once you click “Who’s in this photo” a dialog will appear that gives you the chance to search and tag up to 10 people. If you’ve mentioned 10 people in your article, leverage this functionality to send them a notification that they’ve been tagged. It will increase the chances that they will press “Like” or even “Retweet” the post for their followers to see.
Pay Large Accounts For Retweets
Did you know that there was an entire industry that is focused around creating HUGE viral Twitter accounts and then selling retweets to brands?
And then I stumbled upon a gold mine of accounts who had millions of followers and offered you the ability to pay for retweets. In many ways, it’s similar to the idea of paying for a media company to give you a retweet (I’ve seen these in Media Kits) except the media company is solely on Twitter.
I ran a quick Pay for Retweet promotion on the Hustle & Grind account as I put this post together and the results started to roll in immediately:
How can you leverage this?
Find accounts with thousands (or millions) of followers and ask them if they would retweet your content for a price. If you can find an account that has an audience that lines up well with your own, give it a shot and see how it goes!
Show Twitter Love (Or Twitter Beef)
One of the most entertaining elements of Twitter is getting to watch brands or celebrities show love or throw shade at one another. It’s something that happens almost every other week in professional sports:
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) February 13, 2017
And once in a while trickles over into the world of popular brands:
Shots fired. Pew. pew. pew….
Now, I’m not saying go out and start a war with your competition! I’m just saying that sometimes, a little bit of sas and shade can actually work quite well for generating buzz. I mean, that tweet between McDonalds and Wendys resulted in thousands of retweets and hundreds of mentions in the media and press.
Respond To Popular Tweets With Wit
Since threading has become a primary way of communication on Twitter, the replies to a single tweet have become a “comment section” of sorts. If you scroll through your newsfeed and find any tweet that has generated a significant amount of engagement, it’s likely that there are tons of replies directly below it.
When you click a tweet from your newsfeed, it immediately pulls the individual tweet and any replies associated with ith. If it’s a thread created by the original user, it’s likely that their tweet will be directly below it. But if it’s a one off tweet, it appears like this:
In the tweet above, Matt’s response is at the top of the thread. If anyone clicked on that original tweet (metrics showed ~80 people did) they would see Matt’s response below it. A great way for you to take advantage of this functionality is to find popular tweets and respond to them with something clever, witty or interesting. In doing so, your tweet will generate engagement and be placed directly below the popular tweet.
It’s likely you’ve seen this in action if you follow any American politics:
Wrapping Things Up
Twitter offers a huge opportunity to connect with a massive audience. Don’t limit yourself by only sending out tweets and retweeting articles from others on the network. Spend some time getting creative and using tactics like those highlighted above to stand out in a sea of noise.
You never know what opportunities could await!
If you’ve ever wondered…
- “How do I come up with great blog ideas on a consistent basis?”
- “Where do my competitors come up with ideas for great blog posts?”
- “What are the best sources for inspiration when it comes to finding blog post ideas?”
…then I’ve got something you’re going to love.
It’s a list of proven ways to find inspiration for your next great piece of content. Over the last few years, I’ve written hundreds of blog posts that have been featured on various sites and viewed millions of times. I’m often asked how I constantly come up with new ideas for the different blog posts and where I find my inspiration.
In this article, I’m going to share with you five tactics that I rely on every single week as I brainstorm ideas for my own blog or the content I’m often developing for clients.
Bookmark these resources and use them next time you’re feeling stuck.
Let’s get to it…
Leverage Industry-Specific Forums
One of the biggest benefits that the internet has brought marketers is the ability to understand our audience better than ever before. The internet gives us a platform to discover the perspectives, opinions and triggers that resonate with our audience without actually talking to them.
Today, you can find online communities where hundreds or thousands of people talk about topics they’re passionate about. It could be a forum dedicated to Pokemon. It could be a forum dedicated to writing. It could be a forum dedicated to Guitars.
The web is filled with these different communities, and within these communities are discussions that you can use as inspiration for blog and marketing content. One of the biggest mistakes that content marketers make is assuming they know what their audience wants rather than spending the time to truly understand.
One site I rely on frequently for finding passion-based communities is Reddit. It’s one of the oldest forum sites on the web, and still one of the most active, boasting millions of visitors every single day. You can spend time browsing through conversations and the sort by the top content in a Subreddit to uncover great content ideas that you know your target audience is going to enjoy.
Let’s say I’m interested in launching a new blog all about Philosophy. I could go to the /r/philosophy subreddit and see what the top content was over the past week:
From here, I can quickly see that there was a lively discussion about The Philosophy of Bob Ross & The Joy of Painting. Using a site like BuzzSumo, you can type in a keyword from the topic and see if it’s something that could potentially stir up some shares:
In this case, I quickly see that a topic on Bob Ross could resonate with a large audience and might be worth pursuing. At this stage, I just need to find the right headline and story angle to craft something that my audience would enjoy. Using a tried and tested headline formula, something like: What Bob Ross & The Joy of Painting Can Teach Us About Stoicism could work well.
Hop In The Shower Or Meditate
Sounds hippie-ish, doesn’t it?
Hear me out for a second.
As Leo Widrich explained on the Buffer blog a few years back, when we shower, a lot of dopamine is released from our brains. In addition, showering forces us to think of something other than work while offering a relaxed state of mind. The combination of a dopamine high, relaxed state and distracted mind is what makes a shower the perfect place for finding great ideas.
Taking the time to meditate or take a relaxing shower can ease your sense of writer’s anxiety. As content creators, it’s easy to be thinking all the time about your next great piece of content or how to further distribute your latest piece. Over time, this constant effort to create something new can cause mental fatigue and push you to a point where you’re simply unable to gather new thoughts.
The peace that you can achieve when showering or meditating can offer a bit of clarity. You can use this time be alone with your thoughts and be better equipped to tackle your next creative endeavour.
Here are a few addition benefits that meditation can offer:
Use Quora For Headline Inspiration
One of my favorite question-and-answer sites, Quora, is a brilliant resource for finding inspiration for your next piece of content. It’s a site where people ask questions above a specific topic and receive answers from the community. Quora is filled with a diverse range of topics. From Startups and Inspiration to Productivity and Politics—there are experts from around the world answering and asking questions on the subjects your audiences might be interested in.
When you’re looking for content inspiration, I recommend using Quora’s search bar to type in the topic you’re looking to write about. Let’s say you want to write about stock markets. Type it into Quora…
…and use the results as inspiration for your next post.
For example, the question: “What are the best tools for learning finance and stock markets?” is a great starting point for a new blog post titled: “10 Of The Best Tools For Learning Finance & Stock Markets.”
Try a few new keywords, rinse and repeat.
Use Crate For Content Inspiration
It wouldn’t be an understatement if I said that in the last six months, the majority of my ideas came from Crate. I know the same is true for many other Crate users because I’m the co-founder of this tool and I get to see all the user feedback.
Crate is built for content curation, but it’s also being used for inspiration. At its core, Crate is a content recommendation tool that makes content suggestions based on keywords, domains and Twitter handles that you upload to the site. Crate then uses these pieces of information to find the best content containing those keywords, shared by those Twitter handles, or published on those sites.
To find inspiration, you start by building a Crate:
As mentioned, you’re going to want to add relevant keywords, domains and Twitter handles to your Crate to get great results. I like to create Crates that are specifically about the topics I’m going to write about.
This is a Crate about marketing:
Using this information, Crate goes out to the web and finds articles that match the criteria I’ve uploaded. Within minutes (sometimes seconds) I have a stream of content filled with interesting, compelling and unique articles:
I use this stream to find insights about the type of content that people want in this industry. In the example above, I see that one of the most popular blog posts is titled: “The Best Way To Present Marketing Results To Your CEO.”
From there, I could start remixing the headline until I land on an original idea that would likely resonate with my audience. For example, I could write: “Six Tips For Presenting Complex Analytics To Your CEO” or “How To Communicate The ROI of Social Media To Your CEO.”
Visit Viral Sites For Content Inspiration
Whether you love BuzzFeed or hate BuzzFeed, you have to respect their ability to create content that gets shared. It’s hard to go a single week without seeing something online that was developed by the folks at BuzzFeed.
Sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy offer daily articles, videos and quizzes that can be used by marketers as inspiration for your next great piece. For example, here’s a batch of content that was trending on BuzzFeed at the time I wrote this blog post:
Let’s say I’m running a blog all about writing. From this list, I could find inspiration and come up with the following ideas for potential topics on my blog:
- 21 Tips For Writing a Bit Better In 2017
- 33 Writer Jokes That Are Just Very, Very Funny
- Which Writer Are You More Like? Shakespeare or Marlowe?
- Can You Spot The Child Prodigy Before They Became A Famous Author?
It’s all about the remix!
You take inspiration from these articles that have absolutely nothing to do with your industry and remix them to fit your story. In doing so, you’re able to come up with fresh content that will consistently leave your audience waiting for more.
So there you have it:
Five great ways to come up with new content ideas on the regular.
Of course, there are tons of other ways to find inspiration for content ideas—everyone has their book of tricks for brainstorming. I’d love to hear some of the ways you come up with ideas. Please leave a comment below!
Today, you’re going to learn why some of the top media companies are using headline swapping to drive maximum reach and traffic to their content.
What’s headline swapping?
That’s the question I set out to answer after hearing about some media companies writing multiple headlines for a single piece of content. After coming across this trend, I decided that I was going to dive deeper and see what it was all about.
In this blog post, you’re going to learn how a simple approach such as headline swapping can have a direct impact on content engagement, SEO rankings and your ability to create content that gets spread on social media.
Let’s get to it…
How Slate.com Uses The Headline Swapping Technique To Drive Millions Of Visits & Thousands Of Shares
The Social Title
The goal of a social title is to inspire people scrolling through Twitter or Facebook to click on a link. Some of the most viral and effective social media titles leverage a concept called the curiosity gap. It’s the content we’ve all seen on Facebook. It’s the content made famous by the BuzzFeed, Upworthy, Viralnova, World Star & eventually embraced by everything from Slate.com to the Wall Street Journal.
As Joanne Weibe of Copyhackers described the Curiousity Gap:
It’s the space between what we know and what we want or even need to know.
In the Social Title being used by Slate, what we know is that Lady Gaga & her infamous Meat Dress. What we want to know is who the woman is behind it… And that’s what causes us to click.
The goal of an on-site title is to do one thing:
Keep you on-site.
In 2009, Jakob Neilsen pointed to the editors at BBC News as being the best at creating these titles. He described these headlines as being:
- Short (The average headline consumed a mere 5 words and 34 characters.)
- Rich in information scent (Clearly summarize what happens)
- Front loaded (The most important keywords are used)
- Understandable out of context
- Predictable (Users know whether they’ll like the article before they click)
It’s completely opposite from what we’ve seen spread around the web.
But what makes it work is that this is the title once you’re on-site. Once you’ve already been lured to read the content from social media. It’s at this point where the author shouldn’t be striving to lure you in but instead be striving to keep you engaged.
In the example from Slate, the on-site title is short, rich, front loaded, understandable and predictable. It gives you enough to glance over it and begin digesting the primary content immediately.
SEO Driven Title
This is where things get really interesting.
The actual SEO title, the one that shows in Google search, seems completely different from the social and on-site title.
Because it understands a simple principle around why people use search engines.
They’re going to a search engine to find answers.
Most people in the world aren’t searching for answers about who was behind the meat dress but a large portion of Lady Gaga’s fan base and music fans will be looking for a review of her latest album. Especially the week of launch, take a look:
This surge of interest and this title ensures that Slate can drive traffic from search.
That’s the goal of an SEO title.
Social Media Titles vs. SEO Titles
The Case For Creating Multiple Headlines
When you think about the difference between the social title above and the SEO title, think about the audience.
Who would find the social content clickable?
Who would find the SEO title clickable?
The social content is more likely to be clicked by anyone who has heard of Lady Gaga and her meat dress. It could be a Lady Gaga fan. It could be someone who is bored and just looking to procrastinate. It’s someone whose attention you were able to capture when they had an initial goal of simply scrolling through Facebook or Twitter.
On the flipside, the person who finds the title crafted for SEO is in a different state of mind. The keywords are focused around a Lady Gaga album review… The person who finds this content isn’t someone who just happened to stumble upon it mid scroll. The person who finds this content is someone who wanted to find a review of the album Joanne by Lady Gaga.
People use google to find solutions.
Sometimes it’s to find out how to tie a tie.
Sometimes it’s to learn who won Survivor.
Sometimes it’s to find out what other people think of Lady Gaga’s new album.
People using Google want solutions and an SEO title delivers that.
Crafting three titles gives you the best of both worlds. You have the ability to lure a reader in on social media and solve a problem when someone relies on search. Most blogging platforms have plugins that allow you to optimize your headlines for both social, SEO and on-site.
Take advantage of these tools and capitalize on these two benefits:
1) Search Traffic Can Drive Long Term Results
An article created with an SEO driven headline gives you the ability to rank in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPS) and drive long term organic traffic. The biggest benefit of showing up here is that organic traffic is usually the highest quality and unlike social media you don’t have always to pay to play.
2) Social Media Can Offer Immediate Traffic Through Shares
A quality blog post and a catchy headline on social media can drive thousands (maybe millions) of visits to your site within a short period of time. The life span of the average Facebook post is about 3 or 4 days and on Twitter that could be 3 or 4 hours. It’s not easy to create content on social that is sure to generate thousands of shares but a compelling headline is one of the most important factors.
Ready to use Headline Swapping for your own content marketing efforts?
Now show me in the comments that you’ve truly learned something from this. I want you to comment with an example of an SEO title, Social Title and On-Site title for a blog post that you’re thinking about writing.
I’ll let you know if it’s a good combo and if there’s anything you can do to improve it.
I look forward to hearing from you!
(This article was inspired by this post on Inbound.org)