I’ve been lucky enough to have people ask me fairly often how I continue to share great content on Twitter on a regular basis.
Over the last year I’ve built up a number of different methods for doing this, as well as ways to keep to both high frequency and high quality. I’ve found 15 times per day a good number to aim for, since it is a Tweet every hour in the peak times of the day for my followers, and once every two hours at other times. With my spontaneous Tweets from random thoughts during the day too, and speedy replies to any @replies, I’ve found it to be a great approach which I’m very happy with and is manageable.
Therefore, I wanted to share my current methods at this point in time as that may be useful and there may be a few things you hadn’t thought of trying. I’m continually adapting how I share, so this current setup may change soon, but it’s working well right now.
Why I share content 15 times per day
There are a few key reasons I personally choose to share great articles and quotes on Twitter:
Be in touch with more people
For me, Twitter has been an incredible way to meet new people. I’ve met people who’ve joined the team at Buffer, I’ve met people who have enabled me to speak at events, and I’ve met friends who I’ll be in touch with for the rest of my life. One way or another, the social platforms are actually what I have to thank for knowing all the closest friends I spend the most time with.
I try to grab any opportunity to be in touch with new people, and so I also post regularly to Facebook and Google+, and I keep my profiles completely public.
Being in touch with more people also means I have a place to go to if I want to spend half an hour having fun. I can simply share my current thoughts on a topic and have a great chat with people.
Continually learn from interesting conversations
One of the most amazing things I’ve found about being a consistent participator in discussions on Twitter, and sharing content to trigger new discussions, is that the conversations that follow can be remarkable. There are some super smart people on Twitter, and a lot of them have shaped my thinking on many topics.
It’s clearly important to step away from time to time, and I try my best to deliberately disengage from all technology regularly. However, I think it’s also extremely useful to surround yourself with people who lift you higher, and who fill your mind with thoughts and learning which mean you subconsciously start working towards accomplishing amazing things.
Making the most of every reading session
I’ve now been an avid reader of articles and books on startups, life, learning and happiness for perhaps four years. For the first year and a half, I simply read the articles and absorbed all the knowledge I could. I think many of us take this approach and are simply observing and listening. This is great, and a key activity to develop as a habit.
What I realised after a year and a half of simply reading this content, was that there are many more things I can do as a result of reading something:
- Discuss it with a friend
- Share it on Twitter and Facebook
- Use it as inspiration for a blog post
Simply put, what I’ve found personally is that if instead of only reading, I use the reading session as an opportunity for all these other benefits, the results can be phenomenal.
Becoming known as a great source of content
Something we’ve written about before here on the Buffer blog is picking just a few topics that you Tweet about. This is something I try to stick to, and the general aim is to become known by others as a great source of content for those topics.
Some pretty awesome things have started to happen for me since I’ve been sharing great content on a daily basis. Combined with writing articles on my own blog, the fact I am always sharing so much great startup, productivity and happiness related content means that people see me as someone who is knowledgeable on these topics.
I’ve had people get in touch to ask my advice on many of the topics I regularly share content on. The great thing is, I genuinely read the content before I share it, so I actually have a lot to share with people and can almost always help others who get in touch.
Having a platform of loyal friends and supporters
One other key reason I share regularly on social platforms is in order to try and have a set of great friends and supporters for whatever I choose to do in the future. There are many stories of people finding jobs on Twitter, and I think the social platforms are far more powerful than many of us realise.
I think Jim Rohn described this overall concept best with this concise quote:
“Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” – Jim Rohn
I certainly didn’t realise the power of Twitter. Looking back now, with hindsight, Twitter was actually instrumental in launching Buffer in the first place. I had just over a thousand followers at the time, and I couldn’t have got Buffer started so quickly without great feedback and support from these thousand people.
How I share great content 15 times a day
I’ve not always shared as many as 15 times each day, but I’ve now reached this frequency and I’ve found it to be a great amount. I have no plans to share more than 15 times per day since I think it could get overwhelming for people beyond this amount.
In general, a big challenge of sharing so much is finding great content to share in the first place. That’s what I’m going to focus on here. I use Buffer in order to space out the 15 Tweets at good times throughout the day, but the hardest part for many is probably finding the content, so I want to share how I do that.
Another key thing to mention is that for my own method, I choose to always share original content which I’ve never shared before. I don’t share the same thing more than once. Let’s get started:
1. RSS – be selective and unleash the immense power of feeds
For a few years, I had a love-hate relationship with RSS. I loved the idea, but I was always overwhelmed because there was far too much to read in my RSS reader. It took me far too long to realise the key reason for my problems: I subscribed to too many blogs.
If there was any one piece of advice I would give about RSS from my own experience, it would be: be very selective about what you subscribe to. That way, you can always be sure that when you jump into your RSS reader, you will be able to read great content. On top of having a great reading session, since the content will be top quality, you’ll have plenty to share too.
The other hard part, is to find the high quality blogs to subscribe to in the first place. Here are a few tips which have worked well for me:
- Always be on the lookout for great content. I seem to find the best on Hacker News, Twitter and Reddit.
- When you find a great article, go to the blog homepage and read the latest few blog posts.
- If their latest articles are very good, and they don’t post too frequently, hit subscribe!
- Avoid big publications with many authors, as the content is far too varied, and the volume will take over your RSS reader.
Awesome RSS reading apps: Reeder, Feedly, Mr. Reader.
2. Stay focused with read later services
Over time, I’ve found that read later services can be very useful, and serve a great purpose. I use Pocket to save anything I come across which sounds interesting but for which I don’t have time for right at that moment. I come usually across the content when I’m spending a few minutes on Twitter or Facebook, or when I’m browsing Hacker News or a friend sends me a link to check out.
Paul Lomax shared a problem with me that he has with read later services, I’m sure many of you have probably had this issue too:
“If I actually read any of it, I might miss some newer stuff. And the saved stuff is old news.”
This is a real problem. If we “read later”, but “later” never comes, or we fear that by the time “later” comes the content is outdated, then how are these services useful?
The solution I’ve found to this is to avoid the idea of “news” and simply use these services to save top quality content which you want to read and share. The other key aspect is to carve out just as much time for “reading later” as for “saving”.
Awesome Read Later apps: Pocket, Instapaper, Readability.
3. Hack services together, now possible with IFTTT
I’m pretty sure Linden and the team at IFTTT are crushing it right now and are getting a bunch of signups each day. It’s no surprise, what they’ve managed to create is so powerful and a lot of what you can do was simply not possible before they came along.
IFTTT works by letting you connect two different services together. One is a “trigger”, and the other is an “action”. By far my most used and favorite recipe is to have “favorite a Tweet” as the trigger, and “add to Buffer” as the action. With this recipe, I can favorite any Tweet and it’ll go into my Buffer with “via @username” at the end of it.
This means I can not only make the most of every reading session, but I can also make the most of every Twitter session. I can just favorite anything I think would be interesting to others, and that’s it.
4. Twitter Lists – the hidden feature with so much power
In the same way that if I find a blog with consistently great content I subscribe to it with RSS, Twitter lists can provide the same opportunity to be able to keep up with Tweets from people who are regularly posting the best content.
It wasn’t long before I’d followed more than a few hundred people on Twitter and it became a bad idea to try and read every Tweet. These days, that’s simply impossible. I think this is actually great – I much prefer a stream from a large variety of people which I can dip in and out of, than limiting my stream to a tiny few people and trying to read anything.
However, lists are the magic balancing these two ideas for me. There’s just one key list I use right now, which I can always glance through and use the IFTTT recipe above to add a few things into my Buffer.
5. Great content is everywhere – simply adjust your mindset
The above 4 techniques are my key ones to help me share great content 15 times a day. However, the overall thinking to my whole approach has been adjusting my mindset in order to quickly think about sharing whenever I come across something really great. Leo called this “developing your sharing lens” and I think that’s a perfect way to describe it.
With my “sharing lens” on, I can find amazing content to share almost anywhere. Here are just a few examples:
- Kindle highlights when I’m reading a book
- Great things people say in a team chat or any conversation
- Awesome quotes inside email signatures
How to get started with regular sharing
I haven’t always shared 15 times per day and had such a focus on the content being amazing. Are you just getting started with sharing and with finding great content? If so, my advice would be to start slowly. Leo Babauta has great advice on starting anything:
“If you’ve picked a task and it seems too hard to get started, make it even easier: just do one minute. If that’s too hard, just do 20 seconds. That’s so easy you can’t say no. Whatever the task, if you’re procrastinating, make it easier. The key is to just get started.”
So, with that in mind I would say try posting once a day for the next week. Then, try 3 times per day. Try just RSS or Pocket, then expand after one works. See if that has an impact for you. The effect for me has been profound, so I’m excited to hear how it works out for you.
How frequently do you share content? How focused are you on sharing only the best content you can find? I’d love to hear your methods! Let’s chat in the comments.
Photo credit: Ben Beard