Ross: So I’m scrolling through Twitter right now and I’m trying to find out when our first time for ever connecting and engaging was. Try to guess the year. When do you think it was? I found it. It took me a while but I found it. What year do you think we first got connected?
Talia: I want to say 2015 or 2016 because I’m thinking WistiaFest, but maybe beforehand.
Ross: Good guess. You’re very close. You’re right on the cusp. Well it was January 15, 2016, but you didn’t know who I was then.
Talia: Oh, no.
Ross: I know. This sounds super creepy. So the first tweet was me sharing an Ask Me Anything campaign that you did for a company called Experiment Engine, which is now Optimizely back in 2016. And then from there, we got connected through both of us getting announced to speak at a conference. MozCon, did you speak at MozCon in 2016?
Talia: Yeah, I did.
Ross: So that would have been it. Joel Klettke gave us both a shout out on Twitter, and then from there we just continued to tweet at each other and stay connected. I promoted something else that you did, a talk of some sort. Either way-
We’ve been best friends ever since!
Talia: How did you get to … this? Because I’ve been scrolling for ages, I can’t even get through this month.
Ross: Oh, there’s a lot. There’s a lot. In 2020 I saw 40 tweets. In 2019 there was 40 tweets. So I just went and I typed in both of our Twitter handles and I did a search, and I scrolled. And now I might have arthritis in my thumb because I scrolled very far. But I got back there and I found it, yeah.
Talia: Oh, my gosh- that’s amazing.
Ross: A lot of tweets. It is amazing. But I love Twitter, that’s the power of Twitter. And that’s actually what we’re going to be talking about today. We’re going to be talking about how brands and people can use Twitter to grow their authority. But one of the key things that I oftentimes get asked is, like, “Ross, how do you come up with things to Tweet about?” I can remember early days, going on Twitter and just tweeting about my coffee and what I was doing on a day-to-day basis. And everybody else did the same-
Talia: Hey, I’m still doing that.
Ross: Right, but at a certain point, you start to tweet things with an intent of driving business and building deeper relationships about business, et cetera. So what I want to talk about is, how can you build authority on Twitter and start with a strategy? So I think it’s a starting point. We talked about this earlier and a little bit around, the starting point on Twitter is to know what you’re trying to accomplish and have a bit of a plan. What is your take in terms of, like, if you were starting a new business, you’re going to jump into Twitter, what would be the things that you would want to think about before you even jumped in to start Tweeting?
Talia: I would think about how I wanted to position myself. So, essentially, the content that I want to discuss. I’m going to think about the audience. And what I like to do is a super quick audience research just to figure out who am I actually talking to on Twitter? And then, what is the content that they consume on Twitter? And I guess then, start tweeting about those specific things. What I would say is I wouldn’t really worry about how many followers I have or how many people I’m following, but more about just providing the content that I know my audience is interested in.
Ross: Yeah, I love that. I think that’s the key. And I’ve embraced that fully. I essentially, even in my bio, tell people exactly what I’m going to tweet about and then I try to stick to that. It’s SaaS, marketing growth and of course, once in a while, a Fresh Prince of Bel Air rerun mention. But that’s essentially the things that I try to talk about most often.
And again, people often ask, “How do you find things to talk about?” So in this episode that’s what we’re going to discuss. We’re going to dive into some of the things that you can use to get inspiration around the content that you should be sharing. I’ll start us off, and then from there we can go back and forth just sharing some of our best tips. So, the first one I would reco folks is to find and join Slack communities. So, Slack communities are essentially places where people with similar interests are in and they’ve joined, and they’re talking about different things. I’m in Slack communities about gardening. I’m in Slack communities about SEO. I’m in Slack communities about growth. I’m about Slack communities about finance.
And all of these communities provide me with inspiration around just life, but also inspiration around things I could tweet about. So if I see that there’s a big dialogue and discussion happening in one of these SEO communities about whether or not you need a SSL certificate on your website or not, I’ll send out a tweet with my opinion on that topic. And people who are in the SEO community outside of that Slack community will resonate with it, engage with it, et cetera, because it was already validated as being a relevant topic in these communities.
Talia: That’s awesome. Would you also mention these people within your tweet?
Ross: Sometimes. So sometimes I would just go and share my own perspective, my own thoughts on a topic. Maybe I’ll test my hypotheses and my ideas in the community first before I go over to Twitter. But for the most part, I’ll probably just share my own perspective and opinion on it. And then if it makes sense, if I’m doing a thread, I might tag those people in it to get their take on Twitter, too. But for the most part, it’ll be just jumping out and sharing that content and those ideas natively.
Talia: Right. One other thing you could do is maybe do a poll about it on Twitter.
Ross: Yes! I love that.
Talia: And then share it on Slack, and on Twitter, talk.
Ross: I love that. That’s a good idea. I haven’t done that but I think I’m going to steal that. I think it’s a good call.
Talia: Go ahead, it’s yours. My polls are about coffee.
Cool. So, I’m going to say that the next tip that I would give is to look on other channels. So we’re talking about Facebook, Instagram. I’m talking about Pinterest. I am talking about blog posts that people are sharing. I love to share other people’s content when it’s relevant to mine. And what I do, similar to you Ross, is I will find a very interesting piece of content about a subject that I think my prospects will care about, or my readers would care about. And I will add my own take on it. And I will say if I agree, if I would add to it, what I’m missing within this piece of content. And I share that on Twitter.
What I love to do is, A, I will start a poll as I just mentioned, or create a thread. And maybe the thread itself could be five, six, different tweets about that specific piece of content and why I think it’s important, why I think they should read it, why I think it’s relevant to them. And sometimes it’s my own blog posts and my own guides. But many times it’s other people’s which I think I can add a take to it. So you don’t actually have to create your own content if you don’t have it yet. But just sharing other people’s content and giving your own take on it goes a long way.
Ross: I love that. I think that’s a great call. One of the other ways that you can find success is really just building relationships with the people who are creating that content and then just have conversations with them. And that can even inspire you. So I love that tip. I think going to other channels makes complete sense.
Ross: Another one is to into the archives. And similar to what I did when we were just talking and going through our old tweets and how we first got connected, I think a lot of folks forget the fact that, sure, if you are on Twitter today in 2020, the content that you’re sharing in 2025 could very much be similar to the content you’re sharing today, if it’s relevant, if it’s still interesting. So don’t be afraid to go into your own archives and see what content you shared in the past that got a lot of love, a lot of engagement, and then re-share that content in the future.
Or, even going into the archives of other people’s tweets and start to get inspiration around, what were they talking about in 2019 that generated a lot of engagement? And is that something that you could also talk about but in a different lens, or with a different perspective, or in your own way? Go into the archives, find content that’s interesting and then share that content with other folks. I think all of those efforts can be successful for using the past to dictate your future.
Talia: I love that. And I think what you can do is go to your competitors. You could essentially analyze all of their archived tweets and things that they have put out over the years, see what is the most engaged, what received the most tweets, the most retweets and responses, and then use the same type of format and tweet your own kind of thing, with your own take on it.
Ross: Yes, I love that. That’s a great call. Another piece of advice for folks is to listen to things like us, podcasts. I love podcasts because they can give you so much inspiration. And you can take other people’s ideas and let them be the gasoline on your fire for coming out with something new and something interesting.
So podcasts are a great way to get inspired around other perspectives. And also, don’t be afraid to go into listening to podcasts that have nothing to do directly with your industry or the niche that you’re talking about. I’ve been listening to a lot of science and finance podcasts. And they have actually had a great, great impact on inspiration around the different topics that I’ve covered lately on my own Twitter account. So I think there’s a lot of value in going outside of your own bubble to get inspiration from folks.
Talia: I love that. And I think one of the next things I would recommend is to use Twitter like any other social media platform to actually engage with people. Reviewing other people’s tweets, answering them, replying to them, retweeting their content and essentially engaging in a conversation on Twitter. Because there’s so many people in there that would be interested in your perspective. And you adding it and actually having those conversations on Twitter is one of the best ways, A, to get followers, and B, to get people to know that you are an authority on a certain topic.
Ross: Yes, I love that, 100%. And I think when it comes to engaging on Twitter, the other great piece about it, is you actually build meaningful, long-term relationships. If you are using Twitter to engage with folks, not only is it great to uncover those good inspirational ideas, but you actually build a connection with folks and that can last further than a simple tweet that you put out. Those things can pay dividends for years to come, for sure. Okay-
Talia: So true.
Ross: So, the last piece of inspiration that I love is reading books. I think reading books is another great way to get inspiration for what you should share, what you should post on Twitter. I’m going to flip the script a little bit here. But Talia, is there any books recently that you’ve read that you think have inspired your way of thinking, or even the things that you’re sharing on social lately?
Talia: What’s making me laugh is that you know that the only books right now that I’m reading right now are children’s books.
Ross: And they have inspired your Twitter.
Talia: I know.
Ross: That is amazing.
Talia: I know. Yes. I’m actually re-reading my favorite one, which is Dan Ariely’s, Predictably Irrational book.
Talia: It’s just one of my foundational books. I love it. It’s the foundation of everything that I do in my work. So I love reading it. I also recently purchased Michelle Obama’s book.
Talia: And it looks wonderful on my bookcase, but I haven’t read it yet.
Ross: Haven’t read it yet, that’s fair. I’ve got a few books that are doing the exact same thing. I have to open them. I’ve been on a random book-purchasing spree where just last week a new book arrived called, How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide to the Stranded Time Traveler. Why did I buy it? I don’t exactly know. What is it about? It’s about inventing everything. So you learn how to invent things. Yeah, it’s going to be interesting to see.
Talia: Well, one of my favorite books is by Randall Monroe. He does the XKCD comic, if you know him.
Ross: Yes, I do.
Talia: So he has a book called, What If. And it’s essentially a book about all the most weird and bizarre questions ever, and it’s fantastic. And another book that I’m reading right now, How To Be An Anti-Racist.
Ross: Nice, nice.
Talia: So, not very specific to Twitter. I’m really into audible, to be honest, because reading books right now is, yeah, insane.
Ross: Hey, I think listening to an audio book, or reading a physical book, it’s all reading. You’re still learning something new so I think both can be attributed to the same definition of reading a book. So, with all that said, I think we’ve covered a lot around how to get inspiration for sharing content on Twitter, join Slack communities, go to other channels, go into the archives, engage with folks on Twitter, listen to podcasts and read books no matter how random they are. And they will all add value to your own inspirational palette when it comes to creating and finding out what you should be sharing on Twitter. Anything else that we should add to folks as we wrap this up?
Talia: No. Ross, tell everyone where they can give us a five-star review, please.
Ross: Awesome. Folks, you can go to Apple, Spotify, you name it. Any of the favorite podcasting-listening applications that you are listening to us on, please leave us a five-star review. We would love, love, love your feedback. And don’t forget to also join our Facebook group, Facebook.com/groups/actiondrivenpodcast. We would love to see you inside and chat a little bit more about our random book collections. Hope you all have an amazing day.