Twitter is both a tool for communicating with your network as it is about sharing information that interests you. While you may only connect with those in your professional network on LinkedIn and friends & family on Facebook, we are also following those that we share a similar interest with on Twitter that is helping to expand our networks. If you are active on Twitter, then, you are probably already sharing information that your target audience, whether personally or professionally, might be interested in. Sure, there’s never a lack of personal information that you can share about yourself, but what if you are using it professionally and like to share industry-wide or product-related 3rd party information? Where do you go to find information that is worth sharing with your followers? Here are some ideas that you may or may not have thought of when you just can’t find anything to tweet about:
Google Alerts – Twitter happens in realtime, so you want to share information that is relevant and fresh. Creating a Google Alert on keywords for your industry or interests and then checking it every morning via the RSS feed that it creates or email notifications gives you a good start on finding the latest news where your keyword was used. Unfortunately, although it’s Google, Google Alerts doesn’t seem to pick up every blog that is out there. That being said, Google Alerts are a great starter of finding content that is being talked about by the major websites.
RSS Feeds – If we already know which individual websites or blogs that we always go to for information, why not skip Google Alerts and utilize an RSS Reader like Google Reader to compile all of your RSS feeds and check in on the latest news whenever you feel like tweeting? I like Google Reader because it will also recommend new feeds for you generated by comparing your currently subscribed feeds with others. The catch is that you already need to know which blogs you enjoy reading, but even starting with a few RSS feeds, you can then use the Explore feature on Google Reader to help guide you into finding other great sources of information.
Twitter Searches – There are many ways to search for tweets in Twitter, including using Twitter’s own search engine, but I am a fan of using Topsy whenever I need to find content to tweet. The reason is simple: Topsy gives you the ability to sort tweets by time (I like to use the “Last Hour” choice to see what people are tweeting at the present), shows you how many times that same link has been tweeted to gauge its popularity, and will also show you “Experts” for each keyword by how many times their names have been mentioned in the same tweet with that keyword. If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of what is being tweeted in realtime for any given keyword, Topsy is your answer.
Twitter Lists – Twitter Lists give you the ability to organize the Twittersphere into only those users who’s tweets you want to monitor for any given purpose. The fact that you don’t even have to follow users to add them to their list makes Twitter Lists customized RSS feeds of tweets that you are free to create. You don’t even have to create your own list and instead follow one that has been created by others. A finely defined Twitter List will give you lots of realtime tweets, many undoubtedly with links, that will give you a plethora of relevant content to share with your followers. Check out my previous blog post on finding relevant people to follow on Twitter for advice on how to find popular Lists or tweeps to add to your own list.
StumbleUpon – My loyal readers know that I’m a huge fan of StumbleUpon (and here are 4 compelling reasons to become a StumbleUpon user), but with the proper category settings for what interests you and a good number of stumbles under your belt, StumbleUpon fails to surprise me with relevant and timely information that it introduces to me that often don’t appear on some of the above methods. For the purpose of finding content to tweet, consider the “stumble” button something similar to the old “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on Google search: Direct access to content that interests you.
As you can see, with all of these relevant sources of information out there, there is no excuse you can have for not having any great content to tweet about!
What sources of information do you use to find content to curate and tweet about? Any others missing from the above that you would recommend?