In his book Tweet Naked, online marketing expert and Social Media Firm CEO Scott Levy provides the critical information entrepreneurs need to craft a social media strategy that will boost their brand and their business. In this edited excerpt, the author offers tips for finding already tweeted content you can share with your followers.
Retweeting is one marvelous way to utilize existing content to build your following and grow your brand. This is where you pick up on a message from another source that you feel your followers will be interested in seeing and send it out there.
How does this help you spread your name or brand? Don't simply retweet. Instead, edit or quote the original tweet. Then use the RT abbreviation to show that you're actually retweeting a quote of the original tweet. It will say RT, but it will be coming from you and include the name of the original source.
A good example of retweeting comes from a friend I follow, Kevin Greene. One day, Kevin retweeted a guy named Brent Hunter, who posted a quote, "There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it Edith Wharton." Kevin thought he should share it with friends, so he retweeted. The beginning of Kevin's tweet read: "RT@Brent Hunter" followed by the actual quote, so now all of Kevin's followers saw Brent's name along with the person who sent the quote out and the person being quoted.
You can credit the tweet's author by simply leaving their name in the tweet, but to build your following, quote the tweet, instead of just hitting retweet, and your name appears as well. People make a big mistake of just hitting retweet--which doesn't do you any good.
Looking for Retweetables
So, what do you retweet? First, determine how many of your tweets will be about business and how many will be about other interesting items that may draw a reaction from your followers or friends. Quotes, trivia, jokes and company activities such as community projects are examples of nonbusiness content that can lead to brand building.
Some people recommend that only 20 percent of tweets be about your product or service. I prefer a 50/50 split, although that may vary depending on your industry and your audience. Some industries have "breaking news" more often than others. It also depends on how you present the material. You can talk about your business without talking about it. For example, a gardener can provide phrases, quotes and tips about gardening without discussing his actual gardening business or services offered.
Among the most significant sources of retweetable material are industry experts. For example, if you're in the health industry, you'll want to have relationships with the journalists who write about health and/or fitness. Perhaps you'll know someone at a pharmaceutical company or an herbalist with great inside tips for treating various conditions. If you're in the technology industry, you'll want to have relationships with the people at Google, Samsung, other tech companies and tech magazines so you can get information before it's widely released everywhere.
Also follow other people who are simply on top of the industry--trendsetters and leaders in the field. These are known in social media as influencers. Influencers are people who, as the title implies, influence others. They're the "thought leaders" in their industries and are on top of the latest news, trends and ideas, which they convey often. The point is, people often retweet them.
You'll also find that in a world filled with negativity, especially when you read the daily news stories, positivism can be very effective. People like inspiration that talks about success, business, their job and relationships. Inspirational and motivational material can inspire people and touch their hearts so they not only appreciate it but are apt to share it with their friends because they think it will brighten their days as well. If it's touching and meaningful, it can be a very effective way to spread your name, business, and brand.
Educate, Illuminate and Make 'Em Smile
You'll also find that offbeat news and trivia from within your industry may not be widely shared but is unique enough to retweet. I call it that "Wow! I didn't know that" moment. A lawyer, for example, might post odd, outdated laws that are still on the books but make no sense in today's world.
Humor is always wonderful, provided it's not offensive, vulgar or something that everyone's heard. Be selective. You may find industry-related humor or something newsworthy. If it's a quote from a celebrity such as David Letterman, Jay Leno or Bill Maher, retweet, always keeping the source. If you can find something topical and/or current, all the better, but don't be too controversial.
Your industry's trade magazines, blogs and newsletters can be a great source of information. If you can stay ahead of the pack and are privy to news before most others in your industry, you'll gain followers, especially on Twitter where people go for the latest updates.
Knowing what's "trending" is also important. In every industry, there are hot new developments and trends. Knowing about and staying on top of them, from any and all sources in your industry, can put you at a significant advantage and will have people following you on Twitter.
Scott Levy is the founder and CEO of Fuel Online, an online marketing agency that focuses on social media and SEO. He has been specializing in online marketing for more than 15 years and is a respected speaker, writer and consultant. Scott was nominated for a 2014 Shorty Award for "social media's best business influencer" as well as recognized as a 2014 Hubbies finalist for "Influencer of the Year". Scott is based in Nashville. Follow him on Twitter at @FuelOnline or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FuelInternetMarketing