Does this sound familiar? You want to reach out to your audience on Twitter and you’ve made the time to engage and converse with them, but you’re stuck on what to Tweet. Well, this happens to a lot of us in the social media world and the next thing you know, you’re either ditching the idea to Tweet something or posting an update that lacked authenticity.
The last thing you want to do is bore your followers with the same-old Tweets or simply ignore what to Tweet altogether. Twitter is a real-time social media network that sees roughly 3.5 billion Tweets every single week. With so many people Tweeting, Retweeting and liking posts each day, it can be really intimidating to know what to Tweet and what will drive your social media engagement on the platform.
Gain Your Twitter Confidence
First thing’s first–don’t be afraid of Twitter, but also understand the power of the social networking tool.
Twitter is unlike the rest of your social networks in the way you want to consistently engage and converse with those in your space. Most Twitter experts will recommend posting multiple times a day, while on other platforms like Facebook and Instagram, it’s recommended to post less than three times a day.
Reports from Social Baker discovered posting more than twice a day on Facebook tends to drive down engagement, while Twitter users likely see engagement rates drop after four posts per day. However, Track Social recommends between three and five Tweets per day to maintain Twitter engagement and Social Media Today suggests around five.
There’s no exact answer to the number of Tweets per day, but one thing is certain, you need to be there and often. This is why it’s critical to have a solid list of what to Tweet each day so you can be ready to engage.
Be Smart About What to Tweet
This goes without saying, but taking very little time to think about what to Tweet can end poorly on various levels. Your Tweets have to be thoroughly vetted and checked for grammatical errors, time-sensitive topics and what’s in the best interest of your organization. Far too often companies will Tweet in the spur of the moment, which can lead to controversial opinions or remarks.
If you have a social media intern, you have to ensure what’s put out in the public matches your brand guidelines. Always make sure to set up the proper social media policy so everyone understands who can or cannot be mentioned and what subjects are inappropriate.
Luckily, with social media publishing tools from Sprout Social, you can use features like Message Approval. This allows social media managers to check, edit and approve any social media message posted to the organization’s account. Message approval features prevent costly errors that could immediately backfire. Be certain that what goes out on your Twitter has been thoroughly vetted and approved.
So, What Do I Tweet?
If you’re having a tough time coming up with things to Tweet or talk about on your social media channels, make sure you have some ideas before you start posting. Business Twitter accounts that think out their Tweets tend to do better at engaging their audience. Besides, no one really wants to read boring Tweets.
Organization is key when it comes to Tweeting on a schedule, so without further adieu, here are 21 ideas to help you know what to Tweet:
1. Ask Questions
One of the best ways to get others to engage with your brand is to ask a question. Questions are easy to come up with because there’s really no limit to what you’re asking. Tweet questions such as:
- What product/service they like the most
- What could be done to make their lives easier
- Who will win a trending topic (Oscars, Super Bowl, etc.)
- What do they like on your Twitter
- Trivia questions about your company
- How they feel about a certain subject
While this list could be just as long as figuring what to Tweet, you can tailor any of these questions to your brand and audience. Just remember to steer clear of strong or opinionated subjects like political views, controversial pop culture topics or anything that could be viewed as sexist, discriminatory or inappropriate. A good rule of thumb is to ask questions you’d feel comfortable inquiring about with your significant other’s parents.
2. Industry News
Depending on the angle of your brand, you could find great opportunities to discuss changes in your industry with followers. Again, it’s smart to stay away from too controversial subjects, but it’s still good to show your followers you’ve got a pulse to the industry.
Through Sprout Social, you can use content publishing features that let you post via RSS. Here you can Tweet articles from your favorite publications or websites through Feed.ly so messages are automatically sent out through your Twitter once posts are live.
3. Positive Brand News
Going on the theme of news-related content, it’s a great idea to post positive news about your brand whenever possible. This gets the word out to your customers that you’re not only successful at what you do, but that you’re appreciative with what you’ve achieved.
— MailChimp (@MailChimp) February 11, 2016
Additionally, you can post new statistics about your brand that were maybe mentioned in a quarterly report. Some of your followers like to feel like they’re close with your company and Tweeting stats about your employee count, how many satisfied customers you had last year or what your goals are for the upcoming year, are all engaging tidbits your followers will enjoy.
4. Appreciative Shout Outs
If you’re struggling at finding what to Tweet, try thanking or @mentioning one of your brand loyalists. When you feature one of your customers, not only will that person respect you even more, but it will get others thinking about how well you treat and engage with your followers.
— Longman & Eagle (@longmanandeagle) February 8, 2016
Simply put, @mentions, replies and shout outs are great ways to compliment your followers and show your appreciative side. Always remember who got you where you are in the first place and give thanks to your customers.
5. Employee Recognition
While giving shout outs to your followers is smart, so is thanking your employees. Try to use employee recognition Tweets to get your staff engaged on Twitter. This will allow your followers to get a “behind the curtains” look at the employees that make your company. Employee advocacy is essential to every business and using Twitter for quick shout outs and recognition is truly beneficial.
You can use employee advocacy platforms like Bambu to get the word out about your company on social media without worrying about your staff posting the wrong or inappropriate information.
If the Internet has proven anything in the last few years, it’s that memes still drive clicks and views. Memes are essentially culture-driven behaviors, ideas or styles that come in the shape of a photo, video or phrase.
Internet memes have been popular for some time, but brands have gotten more accustomed to sharing and making their own to drive in engagement with their Twitter audience. Some brands such as Denny’s, Hamburger Helper and Jimmy Johns use memes effectively to create a name for themselves on Twitter.
*googles "can you take a bath in hot chocolate"*
— Denny's (@DennysDiner) January 2, 2016
However, you have to be certain that your brand guidelines fit within the idea of sharing something that could be seen as “edgy” by your viewers. For more information on how to incorporate this strategy into your Twitter, check out our marketing memes post.
7. Promotional Codes or Coupons
When you build a sturdy Twitter following, you want to give your audience a reason to come back your channel. Try offering unique discount codes or coupons that can only be found on your Twitter. This will have users regularly coming back to your feed to check for any sort of promotional discounts.
Want to go to #CavsMiracle night?
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) February 23, 2016
You can even sweeten the deal by having users act urgently for a chance to win or receive the discount. Use the real-time engagement of Twitter to your advantage.
8. Favorite Twitter Accounts
There’s no reason why you should keep all of your favorite things a secret on Twitter. Share some of your favorite Twitter accounts whether it relates to your industry or your community. This is a great way to humanize your social media presence so you don’t seem robotic with what you Tweet.
— Social Media Examiner (@SMExaminer) February 23, 2016
Make sure you don’t go too far off your brand identity, but Twitter can be a great starting point for the discussion, so feel free to talk about things you and your employees enjoy. For example, Social Media Examiner’s Twitter account is full of industry-related content that is from all different sources.
9. Brand Milestones
Along with the idea of sharing brand news, it’s great to talk about your company’s milestones. You can even Tweet things about your Twitter account reaching a certain amount of followers or if your company has reached its 10th year of business.
10. Throwback Thursdays & Flashback Fridays
A popular way people engage with one another on social media is through throwback Thursdays (TBT) and flashback Fridays (FBF). These acronyms are perfect for mentioning past news, product updates, vintage logos or previous milestones on Twitter.
— Disney Music (@DisneyMusic) February 19, 2016
These look-back themes can help users see just how far your business has come. However, TBT and FBF don’t have to be that long ago as well. You can also use these hashtags and acronyms after you have a major event or recently released a product or service. Make sure you go far enough back that you don’t mess with your current marketing efforts, but a little FBF to promote an older blog post could certainly help.
11. How-to’s & Other Blog Content
How-to content continues to engage audiences on the Internet and you shouldn’t be shy about sharing your blog posts on Twitter. Remember the majority of your audience will not see your posts in their feed right away, so feel free to post links to your blog or how-to content even after you first share it.
— Good Housekeeping (@goodhousemag) February 23, 2016
Again, you want to Tweet sparingly each day, so don’t waste all of your Tweets on the same subject day after day. However, it is smart to come back a few days later and repost your content again to make sure your audience saw it. You have to be careful not to over-promote the same content or your followers will ignore what you have to say.
12. Visual Content
Even with Instagram growing to be one of the most popular social media platforms, Twitter is still an ideal spot to post visual content as well. Instagram certainly has its own style and guidelines (which you can read our Instagram marketing strategy here), but Twitter is perfect to for sharing short videos and images. Some of the types of visual content can include:
- Photos of employees (having fun or hard at work)
- Your office or work space
- The view from your place of business
- Your product/service in action
- Promotion videos
- Animations or gifs of your product
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) February 13, 2016
13. Highlight Work in Progress
If you’re getting ready to announce a new product or service, try to build up the suspense with work-in-progress photos and updates. Giving your audience a little bit of a teaser with your new services could get them talking and coming back to your Twitter for more updates.
— Estée Lauder (@EsteeLauder) February 11, 2016
When followers feel like they are a part of the business and watch something get made from the ground up, people will appreciate you and your company all the more. Even if you have something small to decide on, you can ask for help on the decision.
14. Industry Events
It’s helpful to Tweet out information on the events your company will be attending. This gives followers a chance to meet you in person and to get even more information about your business. If you have any major events where you’ll be speaking, showcasing or simply attending, Tweet about it. Make sure to provide location, dates, times and where to find you at the event.
15. Hashtag Holidays
There are numerous national holidays that we’re sure you’ve never heard of, but that doesn’t mean you can’t Tweet about them. Whether it’s National Cheese Day, Teacher Appreciation Day or Best Friends Day, you can likely use these holidays to highlight your product on Twitter.
— Google (@Google) February 22, 2016
We actually provide a National Hashtag Holidays calendar that provides dozens of lesser-known national holidays you can use in your Tweets. This is always a great fallback option if you’re running out of ideas on what to Tweet.
16. Open Positions
A lot of job-seekers know to look at your career page, but some come to your Twitter in hopes to find open positions. Share your job listings on Twitter because the content is easy to Retweet and measure interest through likes, impressions and clicks.
— DataKind (@DataKind) February 23, 2016
If you’re truly out of ideas on what to Tweet, try finding a quote that you think closely represents the values of your company. People love quotes and they can even spark conversations for you on Twitter. Just make sure you give credit to the author of the quote whenever you use one.
Additionally, you can use services like Canva to post images with the text. Again, visual content tends to perform well so make your content is professional.
18. Trending Topics
If you want to start a conversation about something that is trending, just make sure it’s not too controversial or otherwise you could start a debate you don’t want to have through your brand’s Twitter.
Instead, use Twitter’s trending topics sidebar to find a topic to discuss. Again, you want to do your fact-checking before you randomly use a trending topic. But more likely than not, you’ll find something here you can use to mention with your brand.
19. Ask for Help
While we’ve discussed this several times, it’s still absolutely critical to humanize yourself on Twitter. A great strategy is to ask for help on something so influencers, customers and just ordinary followers chime in on the conversation.
— Sprout Social (@SproutSocial) February 21, 2016
You can even have Twitter discussions over certain questions. This will help you find answers to some questions you might want to ask others in your field. Don’t be shy on Twitter. The platform is meant for real time engagement, which means you might not get an answer when you ask or you could receive several responses.
If you receive multiple questions about the same subject on your Twitter account, try highlighting one of the questions so others can get an answer. You can also pin Tweets with that answer frequently asked questions.
For example, if you have a product launch that could change something major for your customers, it might not be a bad idea to pin a Tweet that answers questions before you’re swarmed with them on the social network.
21.Twitter Trends Tool
While this may not be an exact thing to Tweet, a smart way to dig up some new ideas is to use a Twitter analytics tool. This can provide you trends reports on what hashtags or topics are most associated with your brand. Through Sprout Social, our powerful suite of Twitter Reports can give you detailed insight to the topics that are occurring around your brand.
Use these reports to talk about the issues you already know your audience wants to hear. Engagement is key to any conversation, so why not make sure your talking about the right subjects?
There’s a ton of things you can talk about to spark the conversation with your audience. Remember to not be too frivolous or too corporate with your Tweets. You want your brand’s Twitter account to be fun, engaging and a place of inspiration for your followers.
Have any ideas you think we missed? Leave a comment with your idea below!