If you’re using social media channels such as Twitter to promote your content, then this show is for you. This week we’re looking at different ways you can ‘beef up your tweets’ and write multiple updates to promote just one post (without sounding boring or repetitive).
When you’re posting tweets (or other social media updates) to get people to your content, it can feel like you are broadcasting again and again, just repeatedly sending out information and hoping someone bites.
But social media is really just a conversation and so when you’re thinking about what to write, don’t think about sending a message to your followers, instead, imagine you’re sitting opposite one potential reader. You have one sentence to encourage them to read your content. What would you say?
Tune in to this episode to find out …
- Different styles of questions you can use to engage your reader
- How to make people feel special and included by asking for their opinion
- Why warnings make readers sit up and listen
- How you can find multiple ‘benefit’ angles to talk about just one post
Listen to Hit Publish below ...
The Show Notes
- Sign up for the free Copywriting Lab – September 2nd is a video tutorial all about copywriting for Twitter
- Best words to use for Twitter, Facebook and Blog Titles (Infographic)
- Master This Formula to Dominate Any Social Media Platform by Demian Farnworth
How to Write Multiple Magnetic Tweets About Any Content (Without Being Repetitive)
Voiceover: This is Rainmaker.FM, the digital marketing podcast network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform. Start your free 14-day trial at RainmakerPlatform.com.
Amy Harrison: Hello, this is Amy Harrison and you’re listening to Hit Publish, where I cover simple ways to get better results with your online business.
If you’re using social media channels such as Twitter to promote your content, then this show is for you because this week we’re looking at different ways you can ‘beef up your tweets’ by adding a bit of punch and making your social media updates more eye-catching.
I want to thank you for downloading this podcast and I want to thank Rainmaker.FM for hosting it.
Are you ready to write a stream of attention-getting, socks-knocked-off, engagement-grabbing tweets? Let’s Hit Publish.
Before we dive into this week’s show content I want to give a little shout out to some Hit Publish commentators.
Carol Morgan Cox is the creator of “Speaking Your Brand” and works with entrepreneurs to help them give strong, confident public presentations to help position them as experts within their field and promote their business. Love that. Carol wrote to say that she was enjoying the ambient sounds and dialogue in the sketches as well as the podcast content so thank you Carol, and if you’re interested in speaking for your business, do check her out on Twitter – @carolmorgancox.
Now though it’s time for… The word of the week.
This week’s word is: “Persiflage” a noun, which means light bantering talk or writing, or a frivolous style of treating a subject.
So somewhere in this podcast I’ll be hiding that word, and when you hear it, feel free to turn to the person next to you and give them a little wink.
Okay, today’s show is inspired by a listener of last week’s show which was all about publishing and promoting your content. Here we go…
Last week when you talked about promoting your content, you mentioned writing multiple tweets scattered over a week or so to push one piece of content. How do you come up with different ideas for tweets to promote one article?
Yours, many times over, Trevor.
Well Trevor, I’m pleased that you listened so carefully last week. One gold star has been appointed to your listener profile.
Now, if you weren’t with us last week, and I can only assume you had an urgent emergency, you may be wondering what Trevor’s letter is all about. Last week the focus of Hit Publish was how to promote your content once you’ve hit that publish button. One of the things I do is to load up a file of multiple, but different tweets into a tool I use called Hootsuite, and it posts them out periodically over a week.
Now all the tweets are slightly different, but they promote the same post and I’ve found it to be a great way to boost engagement and increase exposure to my blog posts. As I mentioned last week, each tweet is slightly different and so Trevor wants to know how I come up with these different angles.
Well, I’m really pleased he asked because this is a key technique in content marketing. I’m going to give you 5 different angles to help you come up with lots of different ways to describe your content or article so that your reader is more likely to want to read it.
You see quite often whether you have a post or a product to promote, you’re going to have to talk about it many times over. But you don’t want to say the same thing again and again, because people will just start to ignore you.
Amy 1: Now then Amy, how have you been?
Amy 2: Read my blog post.
Amy 1: Oh. Bit rude. Umm, I’ll have to wait until I get to my computer.
Amy 2: Retweet: I’ll have to wait until I get to my computer. Thx!
Amy 1: So, where would you like to go tonight?
Amy 2: It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get up. Hashtag inspiring.
Amy 1: Oooh kay.
Amy 2: Read my blog post.
Amy 1: Have you mixed up real life with Twitter again, Amy?
Amy 2: Here’s me in a pub! [click] hashtag selfie.
Here’s the thing with Twitter. When you’re posting Tweets to get people to your content, it can feel like you are broadcasting, just sending out information and hoping someone bites.
But social media is really just a conversation and so when you’re thinking about writing Tweets or social media updates, I want you to start thinking about not sending a message to your followers. Instead, imagine you’re sitting opposite one potential reader. You have one sentence to encourage them to read your content. What would you say?
The first technique I use is posing a question.
Different Styles of Questions You Can Use to Engage Your Reader
Questions are a powerful copywriting tool because psychologically we’re programmed to want to answer them. In your content, this is great. In real life, the pressure to answer a question can be overwhelming.
[Airport – deep breathes]
Customs Officer: And Miss Harrison, did you pack your bag yourself?
Amy: Yes. I mean, I think I did. I mean yes. Of course I did. I just hope my husband didn’t put a surprise in there. I don’t think he did. He was out at the time I packed, but I once saw this customs show where a mother had stuffed a ton of food and sweets into her son’s bag and he wasn’t allowed to take it into Australia, and he got told off because he didn’t declare it because he didn’t know it was there. I think he had to pay hundreds of dollars in fines.
But no. I don’t think my husband would do that.
Customs Officer: Riiiight. And was your bag ever left unattended?
Amy: No. Well. No.. I mean. Gosh. I don’t think so. I left it in my bedroom to have a cup of tea while I packed, but there was no one else at home with me. So no. And I watched it all the time while I travelled here. Oh. Except the taxi driver, he got the bag out of the car for me to save me lifting it and I was looking in my purse to get him money, and oh gosh I couldn’t have looked away for more than 20 seconds. Do you… do you think he’s stuffed it with contraband?!
Customs Officer: Why don’t you step this way Miss Harrison…
Is it just me that gets inexplicably nervous at airports?
Okay, so as long as you’re not putting your reader under pressure, questions are a good way to engage with your audience. For example:
You can ask questions that are already on their mind for example:
How can you set up a simple website in a weekend? Read this.
Or: What should you do after hitting publish to promote your post?
You can also ask them questions about something they have perhaps tried to do. So for example:
Have you tried to set up your own website? Are you still struggling?
Or: What are your favourite ways to promote your blog posts? Do you use any of these?
Look through Twitter and you’ll find that a lot of Tweets that get engagement ask the reader a question. I definitely recommend using this technique.
Next up, encourage people to join in a discussion.
How to Make People Feel Special and Included By Asking for Their Opinion
This works for a couple of reasons, one, you’re treating your customer as special because you’re asking them for their opinion and two, it suggests an element of social proof if you mention that people are already talking about your blog post. It can make your reader feel like they’re missing out on something special if they don’t get involved.
So for example:
“This latest blog post really split opinion about Facebook advertising – what do you think?”
“If you run a small business and work from home, I’d love to hear what you think about these productivity tools.”
Again, both of these techniques really treats social media as though you are having a conversation with your customer, rather than simply telling people you have a new post out.
Number three – give your customers a warning.
Why Warnings Make Readers Sit Up and Listen
Most people are risk averse. We like to know information that will keep us out of harm and danger, and this can also extend to information that will stop us making mistakes.
This technique works really well if you can tell your reader that the thing they’re doing that they thought was safe, wasn’t safe at all.
Amy 1: Amy… Amy… Amy!
Amy 2: Oh! Sorry, I didn’t hear you with the hoover on.
Amy 1: Spring cleaning?
Amy 2: No, I’ve had this monster spider in my bedroom pretty much holding me hostage and I just thought enough is enough! I’m going to hoover the little sucker.
Amy 1: Are you kidding?
Amy 2: No. He’s gone now. And I can sleep at night. His name was Mitch but you can’t get sentimental about these things.
Amy 1: Amy… haven’t you read the latest thread on that housekeeping forum?
Amy 2: I’m flattered you think I would read a housekeeping forum. But… no.
Amy 1: You should never, ever, ever hoover up a spider.
Amy 2: Why…?
Amy 1: Because basically they survive being sucked up, then they live off the dust and crumbs in the bag, make a nest, lay thousands of babies which then escape in the night and crawl into your mouth and ears.
Amy 2: I think I can hear him – what should I do?!
Amy 1: You’re going to have to burn your house down. Sorry.
Now, if your article does contain advice, it’s probably not as dire a warning as that. But look at your content and ask yourself, is this piece going to help my customer avoid mistakes? Or stop them wasting time on ineffective methods. For example:
Why you should never multi-task, and what to do instead.
How two mistakes in your LinkedIn profile can make you look unprofessional.
Why you should never charge by the hour as a freelancer.
How You Can Find Multiple ‘Benefit’ Angles to Talk About Just One Post
The next style of Tweet that works really well is a good old-fashioned ‘how-to’ that tells your customer something they really want to know. To show you how you could use this in different ways for the same article, let’s imagine for a very brief moment that you have my cooking skills:
Amy 1: What are you doing?
Amy 2: I’m trying to follow this dang recipe. I… I’m just getting into all a tizz.
Amy 1: Why?
Amy 2: Well, what’s a moderate heat? I know high is 6 because that’s my top number, and low is probably 1 because that’s the lowest number. What’s moderate? I’ve got 4 numbers in between those on the dial and I don’t know which one to use!
Amy 1: I don’t know, try 3?
Amy 2: Okay… now look at that. Is that simmering? Or is that boiling? Because I can see little bubbles, which means water’s boiling, but I thought a simmer meant you should see some kind of action on the top.
And here, I’m meant to fry these onions for a short while. How long is that! 3 minutes? Or 30 minutes? I mean, 3 minutes is a short while if you’re waiting for your TV programme to come on after the adverts, but 30 minutes is a short while to wait in line if you’re at Disneyland at peak time! Which one applies here!
Which reminds me I have a risotto to get my head around tonight. Feel free to pity my husband.
So, in this instance, let’s say that you have written a 10-point article telling someone like me how to interpret all of those rather vague cooking instructions. What might be some of the different ways we good present that in multiple tweets?
- How to follow any food recipe – perfect for beginners
- How to avoid spoiling any meal by overcooking
- Confused by cookery terms, here’s what they mean
- Never mix up your sauté with a flambé again
- Struggling to interpret a food recipe – help is here
Now if you’re writing a how-to article, or a content that helps someone do things, chances are there are many different mini angles you can choose from to explain to your reader how it is going to help them. Simply jot down all the different ones you can think of and there you go you have your Tweets!
Now finally, another popular method is to turn a common belief upside down. This is also known as busting a myth or revealing something unexpected.
It taps into your reader’s curiosity by saying: “Hey, you know that thing you thought was true, well it isn’t, here’s why.”
Now curiosity is one of the trickiest techniques to get right and here are a couple of ways to help you get the best from it.
One. It has to be something that would genuinely interest your audience. It can’t just be flimsy or light.
So a great Tweet I saw recently was about a guy who commutes from Barcelona to London and it’s cheaper than commuting within England. That’s going to get a lot of attention because it is such an unexpected story and will be of interest particularly to people who commute or those thinking perhaps about their lifestyle they have with work.
Next, you don’t want your reader thinking that they can fill in the blanks because if they think they know what you’re talking about, they won’t feel that urge to click through.
So for example, a Tweet that says: “How to make more sales in 30 minutes a day” isn’t that compelling because a salesperson probably assumes they’ll know the techniques – perhaps it means cold calling, or content marketing.
But a Tweet that says: “How to make more sales in 30 minutes a day by playing a game on your phone” is going to be more arousing to the curiosity because it seems to defy convention.
So another example, I wrote a blog post called “5 Reasons Being Small is Your Big Content Marketing Advantage.”
I noticed that it worked well to engage people on Twitter, because the assumption is that big brands have an advantage over smaller businesses when it comes to content marketing. However in the post I outline 5 ways smaller businesses can actually gain a competitive advantage.
Okay, so those are 5 ways to help you beef up your Tweets and I’ll link to some more resources in the show notes.
One thing I would say if you want to take this further is to spend some time on Twitter. What catches your eye? What gets your attention and why? Also, look at the front of magazines. How do they provide snippets of information that makes you want to open it up and find out more?
If you have a blog post and want to know who you can apply these techniques to your content, simply let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to help you has some ideas out.
Also, next Wednesday on the 2nd of September, I’ll be releasing a free copywriting lab look at how to improve your Twitter copywriting. It will be a free video tutorial and I’ll be reviewing people’s Tweets and helping them write more engaging updates for free. I’ll also be developing a free cheat sheet that you can download to help. So if you want to find out more, look for the link in the show notes.
Thank you for being a fan-dabby-dozy Hit Publish listener. If you’ve found this useful today, I’d love it if you popped over to iTunes and left a rating and a review. It takes just a few minutes but apparently if you leave a review it increases the chances of you getting a green light at a junction. Funny!
Don’t forget, if you’d like to be featured in the Dear Amy column, simply leave a comment on the show page with your question or problem, or email me using firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s all for this week, so until next time, remember to take action and Hit Publish.
Beca Lewis says
Just the question I was asking myself! Thank you for answering ..
Amy Harrison says
You’re welcome Beca! Thanks for joining us and listening in!
Gareth Field says
I don’t always crack up laughing when I’m learning about content marketing. Here, I do, though. Making good content is hard enough, promoting it can be a mental monstrosity. Thank you for being awesome!
Amy Harrison says
Thanks for being such a top-notch listener Gareth! I love that you’re enjoying the podcasts and finding them fun. They’re a joy to do. It’s not always an easy task creating and promoting content, you’re right, but stick at it and it will pay dividends. 🙂
chikelu c says
I love your posts and this will help in content development for my page. To ask a very unrelated question, what typeface does the rainmaker platform use, I love its simplicity and wholesome looks.