Revisiting the Three Cs of Twitter



Despite the ephemerality of social media, there are some rules (or guidelines) that have persisted for some time.

One of those sets of guidelines that we’ve found to be fairly stable over the last year or two is something we call the three c’s of Twitter. As we noted earlier last year, Twitter is like the board game Othello: it takes a minute to learn but a lifetime to master. Anyone can post anything on Twitter, but it’s much more difficult to get a stable hold on people’s attention.

Here are three main things we focus on when publishing to Twitter:

  1. Curated content: This is the meat of what you’ll do–around 70% of your posts, maybe more (depending on how much you blog). Your goal here is to curate content that’s interesting, relevant to your audience, and most of all, unique. Does your target audience already read the New York Times, Re/Code, and Forbes? That doesn’t rule those sources out of the picture completely, but it does mean that your audience probably won’t want to see your feed full of those same sources they already read. Dig up unique, weird sources and publish them to your feed. It’s all about industry awareness.
  2. Content you create: Content you create makes up around 25% of your posts to Twitter. This includes: blogs, white papers, infographics, ebooks, videos, photos, and anything else created with your two hands. If curating content is your chance to show a deep understanding of your industry, creating (and publishing) content is your chance to show that you have an opinion on it that matters. Content you create should tell a similar story to content you curate, albeit with a distinct tone and a unique perspective.
  3. Conversations with others: The last 5% of your posts will be conversations with others. Does someone hit you with an @reply? Respond to them and show them you care! How about a retweet? Avoid general “thanks for the RT” tweets, but think about recommending other content those folks might like via DM. We tend to avoid “thanks for the follow” tweets as well. This portion of your posts, while small, is your opportunity to show your personality and understanding of your true audience.

These three elements work together to create a wonderful symphony in your feed. Quality curated content shows that you’re a trustworthy source of information and you understand the big picture, content you create shows that you have a worthwhile opinion on things yourself, and conversations you have show that you’re personable and willing to engage with your customers–something you don’t always find with big brands.

It’s up to you to find and create the content for your feed. But with this general formula, we’ve found that it’s hard to go wrong on Twitter.

Reprinted by permission.

Image Credit: CC by Social Media Contractors

About the author: John Darwin

John is a recent college graduate from Creighton University. He earned his B.A. in English, specializing in British Literature, and is currently working as an editor at Social Media Contractors.

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