The Little Blue Bird Enters the Big Leagues

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by Sarah Warlick, writer and copy editor

With a very successful initial public offering behind it, Twitter has more to boast of than ever. Try these ideas to harness the power of the platform.

Following its strong IPO last week and a couple years of rapid growth behind it, Twitter is riding high every way you care to measure. Its users look to it for content discovery these days as much as they do for social connection. It’s common for breaking news to show up first and fly across the world on Twitter. More and more users are turning to the platform to keep them informed as events occur, and financial analysts make business predictions based on the prevailing moods on the network regarding specific companies. shutterstock_154181867It’s the most mobile of all the popular platforms, suitable for use by tablets, smartphones and even many not-so-smart phones with its 140-character posting limit. It can even claim to have a more educated user base than Facebook (not to mention the general population), with 40% of Twitter users possessing at least a bachelor’s degree.

Taken together, these tidbits make it clear that Twitter can sit at the grownups’ table when it comes to content publishing. That kind of influence also transforms the platform into a versatile and powerful tool you can use to market your firm. Steve Rayson writing in Social Media Today gives a rundown of key points for marketers that will help you make the most of Twitter’s potential as a marketing vehicle:

Create content that answers questions, and make sure your tweets clearly indicate the value of what you’re sharing. Don’t be coy in your introduction to a blog post or other article that you offer to your followers. Whether it’s an original post or curated content, be sure to explain why they need this particular bit of information.

Mobile-friendly is the rule! Approximately 3 out of 4 Twitter users are viewing the site on a mobile device. It’s mandatory that your content be delivered already optimized for mobile display or you’re losing most of your audience before they even start reading.

Stay ahead of the curve with news and use Twitter to pass it on to your followers. The “up to the minute” advantages of the platform make it a perfect place to share your take on breaking industry news as well as to bolster your reputation as the source who can be counted on to know what’s going on.

Utilize hashtags that denote specific events. If you’re hosting a lunch and learn, speaking at a conference or attending an industry-focused event, be sure to use event hashtags. Whether you’re just letting followers know about the event or sharing content based on what you learned, an event-specific hashtag can help the information go further.

Use analytics tools to discover more on Twitter. You can learn more about what’s trending, who’s influential and where the action is with a variety of free tools. The insights you glean will allow you to tweak your content and its delivery for maximum reach. Rayson suggests BuzzSumo or Topsy, and if you don’t happen to like those, there are plenty of others to choose from. NinjaOutreach is one that offers outreach capabilities as well as helping you keep up with what’s happening on social media.

Twitter has grown up into a strong publicly owned company as well as a mature vehicle for communication; it’s time to use those tweets to your best advantage. With millions of educated users there to appreciate it, be sure to add your carefully selected content to the treasure trove of information floating around the Twittersphere. And if you’ve got other suggestions for using the platform for content marketing, please share them with us.

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