How I Discover and Share Engaging Content on Twitter

Social Media Clock

Despite the many advantages of social media, it can be very time consuming. A lot of you asked me about how I remain so productive while regularly sharing great content and engaging with people in my network. The answer is a combination of social automation and personal interaction.

I’ve built my entire business with the power of social media. When done right, you can establish yourself as a thought leader like I did with WPBeginner. You can build great relationships like I have done with my personal twitter profile (@syedbalkhi). Last but not least, you can create a loyal following like I have done with List25 (over 432,000 subscribers).

Managing my growing business while finding the time to be active on social media is a huge challenge. This is why I’ve put in place a system that works for me, and I’m sure that it will work for you.

My formula looks like this:

Curation + Automation + Personal Interaction = Success

Curation

Unlike what some people think, social media isn’t about posting random articles and hoping people will interact with you.

So what do I mean by curate? Curating is the art of sorting through content and sharing the most interesting and useful items on your social networks.

The key is finding content that others can learn from. Curating content is valuable because it helps me deepen relationships and develop thought leadership in my areas of interest and expertise.

How to find Quality Content?

Now that’s a million dollar question right. Well, it’s not really that hard. Here’s how I find my content:

  • Subscribe to Interesting Feeds – The easiest way to find the best content is by subscribing to plenty of interesting feeds. I subscribe to feeds like HackerNews, Inbound.org, Michael Hyatt, and many many more. To make things easy, I use Feedly.
  • Share from People You Follow – I follow some really amazing people who share tons of awesome content all day long (such as Ann Tran and Reg Saddler). You can see my lists here: @syedbalkhi and @wpbeginner. The best part about re-sharing the stuff from your friends is that they notice you. I always try to mention the original source by using RT @username or via @username to further the conversation.

I do a lot of reading in the morning and usually find multiple interesting worth sharing with my followers.

feedly with share buttons

Now imagine if I shared all of those articles at once (that’d be kinda silly).

Personalized Automation

If you follow me on twitter, then you can see that my tweets go out through out the day. This doesn’t mean that I’m on twitter all the time.

I use a very neat tool called Buffer. It allows me to schedule my tweets and spread them out through out the day, so I don’t bombard my followers with too much information.

Retweeted tweet

Now, I run quite a few websites including SteadyStrength and the ones mentioned above.

I use a tool called IFTTT to automatically push new posts to my buffer, so they can be shared accordingly.

Even when I’m traveling, I’m still able to keep sharing interesting content. Both Feedly and Buffer offer free mobile apps. I can read and share any article from my smartphone with ease when I’m on the go. When I find something worth sharing, I just click the Buffer icon in Feedly and it gets sent right to my Buffer queue.

Feedly on all devices

Personal Interaction

If you want to establish yourself as an authority, then you need to be proactive. You need to start conversations with people who are following you. Personal interaction is crucial.

When I share posts from folks I follow, they usually respond back to me by thanking me. Sometimes they even retweet my stuff. A lot of the times, folks respond to my tweets by adding their comments. I have had great conversations with friends over twitter.

I also look through my twitter feed and reply to tweets that I find are interesting.

You can’t just automate social media. Engagement is crucial otherwise you might as well be a bot.

Final thoughts

Social media doesn’t have to be a productivity killer. You just need to use the right tools to make the task of curating and sharing more efficient. Feedly and Buffer are just two tools I use streamline my social sharing work flow.

How do you manage your social media accounts? What tools do you use to discover great content from around the web? Share your experience by leaving a comment.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

8 thoughts on “How I Discover and Share Engaging Content on Twitter

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for your brief explanation on how you do the trick. Although I know all the tools you use, it is nice to read how you manage them together. Actually I don’t use Buffer and IFTTT anymore, because it didn’t gave any meaning for me (Tweetdeck can also schedule tweets, and many social media apps can do the same things build-in as IFTTT can).

    But after reading your post I will give it a try again. I most then ask you have you decide which time your Buffer tweets will be send? And how many tweets do you have on your schedule per day in your settings? And speaking of IFTTT can you reveal some of your other magic recipes for us?

    Thank you very much. Have a nice day :-)

    • Hi Torben,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. The beauty of Buffer vs others is that you can just schedule it and it determines the time and such. It is much faster in my opinion.

      As for IFTTT, I mainly use it because I don’t like using WP plugins to do auto-sharing because a lot of them are buggy. IFTTT works with RSS, so it gets the job done. I don’t use IFTTT for other things.

      • Hi Syed

        I can’t see anywhere in the settings that Buffer “determines the time and such”. In my settings I have to schedule the posting times manually!? But maybe you have the awesome plan?

        I understand and respect your opinion about auto-sharing plugins in WordPress, bur what about this (unofficial) Buffer plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-to-buffer/? The advantage about that plugin is that you have the opportunity to write custom text so it’s not just the title and URL which get buffered. Some kind of semi-autosharing :-)

        • The WP to Buffer plugin is good however in most cases I found myself using Title + URL in my tweets. So using IFTTT was just a much better solution.

          As for Buffer, Yes I do have the awesome plan.

  2. Hi Syed, you are technically awesome…I am a total beginner!

    I love to tweet but struggle to retain followers (and keep a conversation going) but I wonder if it’s because the subject matter I focus on is not ‘useful’ but more ‘motivational’. @1nspiredliving

    I try to be engaging and respond to new followers etc. I retweet and quote tweet and really enjoy the interaction. But growth is very slow.

    Would you have an idea as to why it takes so long to go from say 600 or so followers to into the thousands like so many on twitter have achieved?

    My blog launches mid this month and once that’s up and running I will post more “useful’ content and link back to my blog…and I do retweet useful content from other people’s blogs and websites.

    Also, final question: for a beginner who’s really just grasping the basics, what would you say the best “tool” is for managing social media just to get started. I’ve been using HOOTSUIT but I don’t ever really see it mentioned by any of the social media boffs I follow on twitter.

    I’d really appreciate any pointers from anyone who has grasped the world of social media.

    Thanks so much
    Clare

    • Getting thousands of followers is something that happens overtime. Keep on producing interesting content and try to engage with like-minded people.

      HootSuite is a great management tool. I use it myself, but the above article was about how I find and share engaging content.

  3. HI Syed,

    I become your fan after reading your articles. WPBeginner is best wordpress site I have found. I have recently come across, don’t know how I have missed your site for this many years.

    Hatsoff to your offline works like opening schools and giving education to children. That is something not done by everyone.

    Thank you for sharing the details.

    Thanks,
    Krishna

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