Don’t ever let good content go to waste. Producing content for your website, whether it’s in the form of a blog post, case study, white paper, video or podcast, takes effort, time and energy. It’s a great way to drive traffic, generate leads and convert sales. If you want the maximum impact and ROI, consider using Twitter to repurpose your content throughout the year.
Using a social media channel such as Twitter also presents an opportunity for your business to become more relatable and personable. When looking to brand your company, it’s about “mind time.” How often can you get your brand to “occupy” your customer’s mind time. With social media, business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) customers are using it many hours of the day. From a B2B standpoint, you can even catch your customers during non-work time—as long as your content is interesting and relevant.
Twitter will benefit you in a number of inexpensive ways by:
• Differentiating your business in your industry or community
• Cost-effectively promote your services and products
• Establishing your business as a thought leader
• Offering a forum for your customers to find common ground and share knowledge with others
One of the biggest hurdles faced by companies using Twitter is getting beyond the mindset of tweeting only company news or talking only about things you want people to know about your company. Instead, think about who exactly you want as an audience and what kind of content would be important or compelling enough for them to want to follow you.
“It’s really a matter of clearly identifying who you want to reach, understanding what content would compel them to follow your Twitter account, providing that content, and then finding your audience,” says David Erickson, VP of Online Marketing for Minneapolis public relations agency, Karwoski & Courage.
Pros and cons of repurposing content
There’s no doubt it is nearly impossible for most of your followers to see the majority of your tweets.
“People only hop on Twitter a few times per day and often have hundreds, if not thousands, of old tweets to read,” says Rachael Nichol, an online marketing specialist at the American Board based in Washington, DC. “While you can use strategic scheduling to tweet when the majority of your followers are likely to be on Twitter, you can never guarantee that your tweet will be seen by most of your followers.”
The key is to have a cycle of tweets for each piece of content to continuously promote that content, according to Kariz Matic, founder and CEO of The Matic, a digital marketing firm based in San Francisco, Calif. Companies struggle to fill the gap between the value of the content they produce and the ephemeral nature of Twitter: on average, a tweet will have reached most of its audience in the first 18 minutes, Matic says.
“This brings us to the second challenge in that most marketers are producing content on a cyclical basis, so they fall short on producing enough tweets for each piece of content,” she says. “This makes it challenging to really maximize its value.”
For example, a blog post can have a lifetime value of two years and only see traffic from Twitter for one to two months. As it gets buried under more blog posts, Matic says it will see less direct traffic over time.
Matic adds that repurposed content is fantastic for drawing a new audience. As the audience grows and develops, some of those audiences may continue to find value in content that may be new to them.
However, she cautions that over-promoting old content, without mixing in new content may drive the value down as loyal audiences seek to discover new content to consume.
Erickson agrees, adding that some repurposed content may no longer be relevant for your audience. “In which case, all you’ve done is wasted people’s time and annoyed them if you’ve gotten someone to pay attention to something that doesn’t matter.”
On the other hand, Erickson says sharing content you have previously shared in one form or another can be greatly beneficial for both you and your audience, assuming of course, that your repurposed content is relevant to the audience with which it is shared.
“A common practice you see companies use is to update seasonal content and reshare it year after year,” he says.
Finding the right content to share
Not all content is worth reposting. Matic recommends evaluating the following metrics on your website to determine which content is worth sharing again: overall site traffic for each blog post; return visitor rate for each blog post; visit duration for each blog post, and the conversion rates on any CTAs (calls-to-action) on the page, such as subscribing, sharing, or clicking on another article.
Erickson says analyzing this information allows you to see how visitors are behaving on your site once they arrive. Figure out what your business objectives are for the content you create and then figure out what the best metrics are to measure its effectiveness.
“Are they spending enough time on the post to consume it or are they leaving right away? That might be an indication of the quality or lack of quality of the content,” he says. “Are they converting? Do people who visit a particular post download a white paper or subscribe to a newsletter or buy something?”
Measuring these analytics are also important to know if your Twitter resharing campaign is working, Erickson adds.
“Be clear about what your objectives are and have a plan for measuring success,” he says. “One way is to measure the result of website traffic you drive to your site. Another might be developing a relationship with an industry influencer.”
Strategies to promoting your content
Erickson stresses the importance of only sharing content that will be relevant and valuable to your audience.
“Resharing content on Twitter is fine due to the nature of how people use Twitter,” he says. “Unlike Facebook, people tend to dip in and out of their Twitter stream and look at what tweets happens to be before them at that time. They won’t read all of your tweets unless they actually visit your Twitter account, and even then they’ll just scan through the first page or two of tweets.”
For that reason, you will want to space out reshared content so it doesn’t look like you’re resharing content to the person who visits your profile. Intersperse reshared content with new original content and third party content.
Two of Erickson’s favorite Twitter apps to use to schedule tweets and collaborate with teams are Hootsuite and SproutSocial. Hootsuite and SproutSocial allow you to schedule tweets in advance while making your Twitter feed more readable and easier to share from, especially if you have many tweets written in advance that you would like to send out at specific times.
“You can also use TweetDeck for the same purpose, which is free and owned by Twitter,” he says. “The nice thing about TweetDeck is the ability to schedule retweets. FollowerWonk is a great tool for finding your audience on Twitter and Topsy is a great analytics tool to track Twitter conversations.”
You may also want to upload a new image to accompany that tweet this time around. Tweets that include images are much more likely to get engagement than those that do not, says Erickson. Shared photo dimensions for Twitter are 1024x512 pixels.
“People are hard-wired to focus on other people’s eyes, so if you use imagery that includes humans, look for shots in which the subjects’ eyes are prominent,” advises Erickson.
And don’t forget to brand your image with your company name or logo, adds Matic. “If you have a uniquely shareable image or message, this will allow your brand to travel with that image as it is shared.”
In addition to using images to draw more interest, Matic suggests using different hashtags to attract different audiences. “Also, mix up your tweets so that they are each pointing to different pieces of old content.”
Nichol recommends posting your content at different times on different days of the week to reach more people. She follows the 1 day/1 week/1 month rule.
“Tweet something, then schedule a repurposing of that tweet for the next day at a different time, then one week later, and one month later,” she says. “This way you won’t spam your followers with the same content 20 times per day, but you are utilizing the content as much as possible.”
Daniel Casciato is a freelance writer and social media marketing consultant from Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, visit www.danielcasciato.com or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.