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What should I talk about on Twitter?

By Garrett Moon on April 5, 2011 in News.

[This post is part of the ongoing series The Complete How To Guide for Twitter Marketing]

New Twitter users have a lot of questions, and one of the most common is “what should I be saying?” The real truth of it is that you can basically say whatever you want – that is part of Twitter’s charm, but it isn’t always the best strategy for marketing.

If you are looking to build an audience and gain influence using Twitter, then then you need to have a more focused strategy. This will mean developing the right voice and building an audience over time. While this isn’t the fast-track, it is the best way to build a quality following with a high level of trust. Here are the three key components of what you should be talking about on Twitter.

Provide Value

Providing valuable content is the absolute number one rule of almost all online marketing, so it is no surprise that it is also the most important rule on Twitter. This is not the first, nor the last, time we will mention value based content on this blog. It is essential. This type of content is usually developed by constantly asking yourself the question “what’s in it for them?” When your content provides a good answer to this question, you are on the right track

Here, are a few ways that you can use Twitter to share valuable content with your followers.

  • Share what you know – As you develop your Twitter presence, you should be spending some time thinking about your expertise. The best way to provide value is to talk about what you know best.
  • Provide quick tips – Twitter limits all messages to 140 characters, so you will have to be brief, but if you can get them out there, little tips like this can be great fuel for retweeting and sharing.
  • Use blogging as a platform – Blogging is a great and often times necessary component of an online strategy. If you have a blog, you should be using it to develop valuable content to share on Twitter and pretty much everywhere else.
  • Links to other sources – Spend some time finding bloggers that are talking about your area of expertise and share their links with your Twitter followers. You can even add your own comments and spin to the tweets. When you connect people to the content they care about, you are providing them with a valuable service.

Engaging Conversation

Twitter is not only a place to share valuable information, but it is also a place for conversation. One of the fastest ways to create value for someone is to be their friend and engage in interesting dialogue with them. One thing that every new Twitter user must realize, is that it is ok to just butt into anyone’s conversation on a moments notice. This is just how Twitter works. If you need a refresher on how to reply to users, you can read that here.

The key to engaging in conversation is finding the right people to talk to. If you are tweeting within a certain expertise or niche, you should be talking to people who are also in that niche and have built themselves some influence. Slowly, over time, you will develop a following and friends that are both influential and helpful.


Absolutely last on the list is yourself. We have all been to a dinner party where one person dominates the entire conversation by talking all about themselves, all the time. In the end, this is the person that looks like a fool, and we run the same risk on Twitter.

While it is important to let yourself, and your own personality, shine through, you need to be careful about how personal you get. I won’t say that you can never talk about yourself, because you completely can. After-all, people follow humans and they appreciate seeing your human side every now and again. Just don’t let your personal details dominate the conversation.

If value based content makes up a majority of your tweets, and you are out there making conversation, then you have probably earned the right to talk about yourself every now and again. If this is you, feel free to tweet links to your website, blog posts, and newsletters as often as it feels natural.

Stay Balanced

As you develop your Twitter profile and the content you are sharing, just remember to continually ask yourself the question “what’s in it for them?” When you tweet with your audience in mind, you are far more likely to hit on their needs, and that is exactly what you should be tweeting about.