There are plenty of ways marketers can use Twitter for business that you probably already know about, like prospecting, customer service, and lead generation.
But as inbound marketers, we know that content creation is also one of our top priorities. So ... is Twitter a tool we can use for that, too?
Abso-tweetin'-lutely! Twitter and content creation have become an integral part of our day-to-day marketing lives in the past few years, so why not marry the two together to make life a little easier (and our marketing more successful)?
Here are a few ways you can generate ideas for your content via Twitter, as well as promote your awesome marketing content through Twitter.
(If you want to learn more about using Twitter to improve your business, join us for a free webinar taking place on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 2:30 PM GMT. It's the first in a two-part series with Twitter's Brian Lavery and HubSpot's Laura Fitton.)
1) Set Up or Participate in Twitter Chats
You don't even need to host a Twitter chat to get all the benefits that they offer for content creation. Participate in a relevant chat by a credible industry expert, and note the interesting questions people ask -- they are likely similar challenges your customers face. For instance, #MMChat, which takes place on a Monday night and is hosted by @JeffAshcrost, is a good one if you're looking to hear from industry leaders from the marketing and social media world. These chats can not only help you shape your content with fascinating quotes and new insights -- they can actually teach you about new things that'll make you a more diverse content creator.
2) Get Crowdsourced Data and Opinions
Let's not overcomplicate things here. Asking your followers a straight up question can be a simple solution to getting an idea for a piece of content, or adding a more democratic voice to a controversial subject matter.
TwtPoll is a cool survey tool you can use to create a one- or multiple-question survey to send out to your followers. And if you're using the responses to generate blog and offer topics, you're ensuring that your content is answering the questions that matter to your target persona.
3) Leverage Industry Influencers
Use a website like FollowerWonk to find industry influencers, and foster relationships that allow you to contact them for co-marketing opportunities or quotes.
For instance, we at HubSpot often ask subject matter experts to contribute tips and advice in our content -- even crowdsource entire pieces of content like we did in this blog post about defining inbound marketing. We can then subsequently promote that content through the expert's network, as well as our own, expanding the reach of the content.
All Twitter users want great information to share with their network, so establishing a new partnership with experts will be mutually beneficial for both of your followings. Promote the content using their Twitter handle, and create a hashtag that you can both use when tweeting about it so you can track the content's journey.
4) Comarket With Your Customers
Your customers are awesome! You love them, and they love you. (Right? Right.) So why not show them just how much you think of them by including them in your next content piece?
What have they learned from you that they could teach someone else in their shoes? Carry out several interviews of your top customers and turn their journeys into lessons you can teach to your audience and prospects. Talk about the challenges they overcame and how they did it (this is a case study, people!). These tweets can be used over and over again to add an element of social proof to your content that will help you gain more credibility.
When the piece is ready to go out, make sure your customer has a promotion plan in place to help you spread the good word on Twitter. Again, use their Twitter handle to give them full credit for their contribution, and use a hashtag you both can use to track the campaign's progress.
5) Provide Lazy Tweets
We are having a lot of fun here at HubSpot at the moment with lazy tweets. We embed them in our emails, ebooks, guides, etc. Using a website like Click to Tweet, you can quickly and freely create a link that, when clicked, creates a pre-populated tweet, making it super easy for your reader to share your content on Twitter. You should @mention any contributors in the lazy tweet and again, use a hashtag or tracking URL to see just how much extra reach your content got from lazy tweets, specifically.
6) Use Twitter Search to Identify Content Topics
Using the Twitter Search application, you can easily search for common challenges and problems that your customers and prospects are facing. This can bring you tons of blog titles if you search on the right terms. Social Mention is a great tool for searching Twitter, as well as other social networks for conversations that center around your keywords. It allows you to export the search results into a .csv file where you can use it for keyword research and for planning out content topics.
7) Make Lists of Tweeple Who Inspire You
Making Twitter Lists is an easy-breazy way to aggregate awesome content on topics that you're interested in. Reading what others are writing about often provides the inspiration you need to brainstorm your own topics. Don't plagiarise though! (I hope that goes without saying.)
To learn more about how Twitter can help grow your business -- through content creation and other methods -- register for our latest free webinar, How to Grow Your Business on Twitter. The first part of the two-part webinar takes place Tuesday, November 5th from 2:30-3:30 PM GMT.