How to: Re-purpose your content for Twitter

I came across a great article this week from oneforty, one of my favorite social media resources. Such a favorite that I’m a little hesitant to share it with others in the hopes I’m one of the few who use it (which I realize is unlikely). The article discussed how to create quality content on Twitter, which has been a bit of a struggle for myself and my team.

I can say with confidence that I have Facebook mostly figured out. At least figured out enough to be able to tell what works, what doesn’t and why. Well, sort of why. And I’m not sure if I’m measuring it correctly… But anyways! Twitter is a whole other animal. Especially when it comes to content that resonates with your audience of super finicky followers.

And the eternal question for me lately has been, “How do I take my kick ass content and get it to work on Twitter?” Because re-purposing is the greatest and most time-saving shortcut ever invented when it comes to writing.

So I’m going to break out some of my content buckets and show you how to take your copy to Twitter:

1. Fill in the blank questions become polls. Fans of my brands absolutely love fill in the blank questions. They fit the bill perfectly – short, easy to answer and flexible. But if you ask someone to fill in the blank on Twitter? Crickets.

Instead, try out my new favorite tool Twtpoll. You can give that “fill in the blank” options for your followers to choose from. Make sure to do a follow-up tweet later with the results to show your followers you’re listening!

2. Open ended questions become daily tips. I ask a boatload of questions on Facebook. Most of the time, they are open ended and just ask for consumers opinions. Take the results and insights your users provided and turn them into a daily tip for Twitter. Content with almost zero work? Oh hells yes.

3. Open ended questions become live Twitter chats. Aggregate some of your previously asked questions on Facebook into a series. Preferably a series that relates. Let your community know you’ll be asking the questions live at a certain time. Then you facilitate the conversation by retweeting and participating yourself.

4. Caption contests become jokes or riddles. In one of my communities, we post photos of cats (LINK) and ask users to come up with captions (Yes, I realize I Can Haz Cheezburger does this. No, I don’t consider it “content mining”). And some of them are actually hilarious. So put your comedian cap on and turn those funny captions into jokes or riddles that could garner retweets on Twitter.

And then there are the content buckets you use on Facebook that can be used on Twitter with almost no translated. But remember, never post the exact same content on both mediums on the same day at the same time down to the same exact second. Still re-purpose! Spread the goods out.

5. Blog posts become blog posts. I like to change the type of post I use on Facebook and Twitter when it comes to blogs. With Facebook, I try to solicit feedback and get fans to click the link. On Twitter I just want click, clicks and more clicks.

So frame your blog post like you would an interesting news article. Or, it it contains tips and tricks, use one of them as a teaser. Clicking the link will lead to more. So do it!

6. YouTube videos become YouTube videos. See #5.

7. Contests become contests. Disclaimer here: Facebook contest rules are super strict. You can get away with…I mean, run a legitimate contest on Twitter without all the red tape. I’m particularly fond of giveaways. And it can be anything, big or small. It’s amazing how many Twitter users love a good sticker.

The possibilities are endless! Except that’s all I got. What Twitter content has been successful for you or your brand?

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2 thoughts on “How to: Re-purpose your content for Twitter

  1. Ms. Aileen, thanks for the guidelines and creative ideas. What percentage of your followers use Twitter? What percent use Facebook? Will Twitter continue attract users or is it just a fad?

    • Thanks, Mr. Hicklin! My personal audience is based mostly on Twitter because I have used that medium for more professional purposes. For my brand pages, the majority are on Facebook with some overlap on Twitter. We’re trying to better transition our success on Facebook to Twitter. These content ideas are the start! And in terms of a fad – I actually think Google+ poses more of a risk to Twitter than Facebook. So we could see a big decrease in Twitter use as G+ gains more mainstream traction.

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