If you’ve been blogging for any length of time, you’ll know how much time and effort is required to post quality content on a regular basis. And that’s before you’ve even thought about promoting that content or maintaining an active presence on social media.
Something that can help you get more value from the awesome content you create and build varied and effective social channels is repurposing your content for social media.
It’s the difference between spending days on an epic blog post then sending out the exact same tweet once or twice, or scheduling 10-15 unique tweets to go out over the course of a few weeks or months.
As a blogger, your archive of past posts is a huge, often untapped, resource of content for your social media channels, and with a bit of creativity it can continue to do a great job of attracting your ideal readers to a post long after you’ve hit publish.
Repurposing your content for social media can help you:
- Share more of each piece of content you create
- Share your content in new and creative ways and cater for different learning styles, as this post on Social Media Examiner explains
- Share the same post/link more often without seeming repetitive and turning people off (though it still pays to space out your posts and vary your content)
- Vary the format of your social media posts and keep your channels original and fresh
- Encourage more people to share and engage with each piece of content you create. If you’re sharing something new and never seen before, more people will take notice and naturally want to share it with their own followers.
The good news is, there are many ways to repurpose your content to create fresh material for social media, drive traffic and shares on older (but still relevant) articles and create an engaging mix of formats in your social channels.
This post is focused on Twitter because that’s where I’ve tried and tested these ideas, but the principles could work for any social media platforms. These ideas can also help you share other people’s content in new and interesting ways (by pulling out an interesting quote from an article you think your followers will love and then linking through to it, for example).
Here are 8 creative ways to repurpose your content for Twitter that have worked for me:
1. Pull out an interesting quote from the post
Just as magazines use ‘pullquotes’ in their features (quotes from the piece highlighted on the page, usually in a larger font size or different style to draw the eye), the same idea can work well on Twitter.
The basic principle is the same. You want to entice a reader to read the article in full, so look for a quote that will act as a teaser and encourage people to read more. Make sure the quote also makes sense on a standalone basis, or that you provide sufficient context by adding some additional text, as in the example below:
— The Collative (@Collative) April 12, 2015
Tip: If you want to drive people back to the post/your blog at the same time, leave room for a link.
2. Turn a quote into a graphic
According to research by Twitter, tweets with images average a 35% boost in retweets. So why not select an inspiring quote from one of your posts and turn it into a graphic? Here’s one I made earlier using photo-editing app Canva, which makes it super easy to create images for Twitter.
— The Collative (@Collative) October 8, 2014
By selecting the ‘Twitter post’ template in Canva (at the top of the page), it automatically gives you an image in the right dimensions. You can then use simple editing tools to drop an image in the background or use a colour, and add text or a pre-designed graphic. There are also ready-made designs that you can edit and customise.
I’m not linking back to a post in the example above – this is just one of my favourite quotes that I felt was relevant, inspiring and wanted to share – but you get the idea!
Tip: If you’re not linking back to an article which credits the person you’re quoting, make sure you credit them on the image itself (in case the image is shared by someone else).
3. Break up features by tweeting different tips/points individually
When you’re sharing a new blog post on Twitter, it’s a great idea to share it more than once. The fleeting nature of the platform means many of your followers will miss your original tweet, and a decent portion of your community around the world will probably be asleep!
But I’ve found it’s best to space things out and also vary the wording of your tweets. Depending on the post, one method I’ve found to be effective (especially for list features) is to pull out different points from the feature to tweet at regular intervals.
For me, the frequency depends on the type of feature and how many pages it contains. If you’re continually linking back to the same page, you might want to spread your posts out a bit (maybe one a week for however many weeks). If you’re linking to different pages or jump/anchor points within a post, then one a day could work. As with everything, test, learn and see what works best for you. Here’s an example:
— The Collative (@Collative) November 18, 2014
Tip: Consider adding a hashtag, preface or something consistent to each tweet to give your followers context (in case they missed the previous tweets) and ensure each post also works on a standalone basis. I used the hashtag #freelancelessons in the series above.
4. Share content that relates to a relevant date or hashtag
Throughout the year, there are lots of key dates and campaigns going on to highlight and celebrate different causes or industries. This can be a good prompt to share older posts – assuming they are genuinely relevant and helpful – around a hashtag that can help introduce your content to an interested audience.
I definitely wouldn’t go overboard with this type of thing and start spamming the hashtag with loads of links back to your site; I’d stick to three tweets at most. But when done sparingly, this can be a great way of getting your brand in front of a new, relevant community.
For example, here are two tweets I shared last year for National Freelancers Day:
— The Collative (@Collative) November 19, 2014
— The Collative (@Collative) November 19, 2014
I shared three tweets in total on the day using the #NFD2014 hashtag, the third was a link to a useful article for freelancers by Paul Jarvis.
Tip: If doing this, consider also sharing a tip, article by someone else or a question – something relevant that isn’t pushing a link back to your site, adds to the conversation and helps you connect with people around a shared interest.
5. Ask/add a question
One of the best ways to increase engagement on social media and start meaningful conversations is to ask questions. What better way to encourage discussion, find out what your followers are interested in and make new friends?
— The Collative (@Collative) November 3, 2014
This was actually the headline of the article in question, but it still offers a nice variation to more common format for titles and tweets (eg how to…).
Tip: If you’re stuck for a blog post idea, why not ask your Twitter followers what their biggest concerns are or what type of post they’d like to read? Or you could also ask them a question like the one above and collate their responses into a blog post.
6. Include one or more key points from the piece
Another way to draw people in is to share a taster of what’s included in the article in your tweet. Sometimes pulling out a few of the key points and hinting that there’s more where that came from can help encourage people to click through and read the article in full.
From crowdfunding to Startup Loans, here are 4 alternative ways to fund your creative business: http://t.co/AFubfzcPPI
— The Collative (@Collative) April 20, 2015
Tip: If you’re sharing someone else’s article, tag them in the tweet so they’re notified. They may share your tweet to their own followers, or at the very least you’ll be on their radar!
7. Create your own hashtag
Another great way to repurpose your content is to create a hashtag that enables you to share relevant tips, ideas and posts and encourages others to share their own content too.
This can be a great way to get people more involved in the content you create and to share posts from your community members too. After all, social media is a two-way street and works best when it’s a dialogue, rather than a broadcast.
If you get lots of people sharing content around your hashtag, you can also consider embedding others’ tweets into a blog post or using a tool such as Storify to collate different viewpoints together and tell a story.
Hosting a Twitter chat is another way to do this. Some awesome chats and hashtags to check out if you’re a creative or blogger are:
What others do you love? (Would love someone to recommend some more UK-based ones too!)
Tip: Make sure you consider how your hashtag reads, bearing in mind there are no spaces between the words. Just ask Susan Boyle’s PR team, who came up with the now infamous ‘Susan album party’ hashtag, #susanalbumparty. Nuff said.
8. Promote your other social media channels
Let your Twitter followers know where to find you on Instagram, Pinterest and your other social media channels. I’d personally keep these types of posts to a minimum, but when interspersed with helpful content this can be an effective way to let people know where else they can find you.
If you can aim to share something useful in the process, even better. For example, every couple of months I remind my Twitter followers about my Great Free Fonts Pinterest board with a tweet along the lines of:
Looking for the perfect typeface for your next project? I’ve rounded up 130+ of my favourite free fonts here: http://t.co/3NaE85LK0r
— The Collative (@Collative) April 13, 2015
Tip: Think about other ways to cross-promote your website and social media channels too. For example, by adding a link to your website on your Twitter bio, and including links to your social media accounts on your website.
And that’s a wrap! I’m sure there are lots of other ways I haven’t thought of so I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this. Or, do you know someone who does a great job of repurposing content for their social media channels? Give them a shout out in the comments below!