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The 12x12x12 Twitter Strategy: 12 Tweet Ideas That Future-Proof Your Content for 12 Months

Start implementing these Tweet ideas today, and see 12x the website traffic from Twitter in 12 months

When an article publishes on your website, how do you go about promoting it in social media?

When I pose this question to a room full of magazine editors from different publications, their answer is typically that they wait for the post to be published and then they promote it. If they’re super savvy, they might also schedule a Tweet (using Hootsuite or CoSchedule) a week later.

Valiant effort, for sure, but simply not enough.

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MPP

Download a FREE copy of How to Increase Your Audience and Decrease Your Marketing Budget and discover how to get the most out of your website traffic and turn visitors into digital dollars. Download now.

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Back in 2012, we had been digging deep into our blockbuster report. This is a list of the top articles sending traffic to our site. For many of our Gold Members, these blockbuster posts, which are SEO-optimized, account for more than half of their website traffic.

So as I was saying, we were digging into our blockbusters and were taking note of the ones that were beginning to slip. For us, a slipped blockbuster can mean losing hundreds to tens of thousands of search visitors per month.

I decided that one of the ways we might recover this position was to re-promote it through our social media channels and treat it as if the content was brand new again. In many cases, we began to recover those positions. From there I decided that any one post needs to be promoted more strategically than most of us were doing at the time – and our Tweet formulas were born.

Last year we started working with Mequoda members on a more structured system for promoting and re-promoting content on Twitter, and today we’re happy to say it’s working for us and our clients. Let’s dig into this step by step. Grab a pen or a spreadsheet.

To start, pick the most recent article you’ve published on your blog. Hopefully it’s SEO’d for search and contains evergreen content (content that doesn’t expire with the direction of the wind) because this content performs best.

The 12x12x12 Twitter Strategy

Next, begin to think up different ways you can promote your article. Keep in mind, that this is by no means an exhaustive list of every Twitter formula that could exist and in fact I suggest that you test these out and create your own. The purpose of using these formulas is to determine which ones your audience responds to best, and then improve from there.

  1. The title: Easy, just use the title.
  2. The title & subhead: Or just the subhead, if it’s too long
  3. The excerpt: Interesting statement
  4. The summary: What they’ll learn by clicking the link
  5. The shout-out: @ anybody mentioned.
  6. The hashtag(s): Insert extra (related)  trending hashtags
  7. The quote: Find a relevant quote and use it
  8. The quippy click-bait: Short and sweet
  9. The friendly suggestion: First-person request to read/share
  10. The question: Ask a related question
  11. The engagement: Ask them to comment/give feedback
  12. The takeaway(s): Subheads and major points

In our example, below I’m using a blog post titled “How to Sanitize a Sponge: Are Your Kitchen Sponges Safe?” from our friends at CSPI / Nutrition Action Healthletter.

1. The title: Easy, just use the title.

Goal: Find out if your title is click-worthy enough and which titles in your Tweets end up performing best.

tweet ideas

2. The title & subhead: Or just the subhead, if it’s too long

Goal: Add more context to the Tweet, which is often lead to retweets if it’s catchy.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 3.58.21 PM

3. The excerpt: Interesting statement

Goal: Make a bold statement from the article to get more retweets.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 3.58.27 PM

4. The summary: What they’ll learn by clicking the link

Goal: Give them the facts, and challenge them to keep reading to find out why your statement is so.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 3.58.34 PM

5. The shout-out: @ anybody mentioned.

Goal: Get your post in front of the people you’ve mentioned and hope for them to retweet the post too.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 3.58.43 PM

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MPP

Download a FREE copy of How to Increase Your Audience and Decrease Your Marketing Budget and discover how to get the most out of your website traffic and turn visitors into digital dollars. Download now.

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6. The hashtag(s): Insert extra (related)  trending hashtags

Goal: Get your post in front of other link-minded readers who enjoy similar topics.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 3.58.49 PM

7. The quote: Find a relevant quote and use it

Goal: People love to retweet and favorite quotes, both of which send great social signals to Google about your post.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 3.58.55 PM

8. The quippy click-bait: Short and sweet

Goal: Forget the small talk, just get them to click and read.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 3.59.05 PM

9. The friendly suggestion: First-person request to read/share

Goal: This first-person request can garner more replies, retweets and favorites based on the personal nature of the request.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 3.59.17 PM

10. The question: Ask a related question

Goal: Inspire followers to engage with you. Ask them a question related to the article and get them to read on.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 3.59.24 PM

11. The engagement: Ask them to comment/give feedback

Goal: Get followers to your site and boost its SEO with more post comments.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 3.59.33 PM

12. The takeaway(s): Subheads and major points

Goal: Lay it all out there. Some people just want the facts, Jack. Bring on the retweets.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 3.59.37 PM

Scheduling Your New Tweets

Now that you’ve written your Tweets, you’ll want to schedule them. Here’s a basic twelve-day schedule for a publisher that posts one article per day.

Daily Publishing Schedule

  1. Title: January 1st, 9am (the first time the article is promoted)
  2. Title & Subhead: January 2nd
  3. Excerpt: January 3rd
  4. Summary: January 4th
  5. Shout-Out: January 5th
  6. Hashtag: January 6th
  7. Quote: January 7th
  8. Quippy Click: January 8th
  9. Friendly Suggestion: January 9th
  10. Question: January 10th
  11. Engagement: January 11th
  12. Takeaway: January 12th
If you’re using something like CoSchedule, you can let them pick the best time when you schedule the posts, which is nice. Of course, you can come up with your own timing system, but I find that incorporating the goal of choosing different times for each of your formulas can also help determining the best Tweet times for your followers. Next, these Tweets get scheduled out for a year.
Monthly Publishing Schedule
  1. Title: February 1st
  2. Title & Subhead: March 1st
  3. Excerpt: April 1st
  4. Summary: May 1st
  5. Shout-Out: June 1st
  6. Hashtag: July 1st
  7. Quote: August 1st
  8. Quippy Click:  September 1st
  9. Friendly Suggestion: October 1st
  10. Question: November 1st
  11. Engagement:December 1st
  12. Takeaway: January 1st

Promotional Tweets

And don’t forget promotional Tweets. If you follow the Mequoda best practice of sending at least one spotlight (promotional) email per week, and one circ-builder (freebie) per week – set up promotional Tweets for the same days. Feel free to use the formulas above, or make up your own!

You can also try:

  • Using the headline from your promotional email
  • Excerpting from your landing page
  • @ing out the cover story company / model of your product
  • Giving away one solid take-away (a mini recipe, a quote, an image, something only paid buyers will get)
  • Showing a photo of you holding / reading / using the product
  • Using the 12x12x12 formula as if it was an article.

What about other social networks?

On Twitter, no one user is going to see every Tweet you send out, because the timeline moves so quickly in real-time. Less content is shared on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn and Pinterest, so we recommend using the same formulas above, except only once and then again six months later. Replace @ing for tagging in the shout out. Everything else works the same, except you don’t have 140-character restrictions.

You can also try toying with images. Try switching up your featured image on posts to see which ones work best. Here are some more Facebook posting tips.

If you follow all of the advice above for every post, especially the ones optimized for search, you’ll find that they rank higher and longer. The ones that you don’t do it for, will simply dissolve into your online archives.

Which of the above formulas work best for you?

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One thought on “The 12x12x12 Twitter Strategy: 12 Tweet Ideas That Future-Proof Your Content for 12 Months

  1. Marcia says:

    These are awesome tips! Thanks you.

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