Twitter reminds me of pass the parcel a bit - RSS readers are ripped open first thing in the morning and then the shiniest blog posts get circulated and shared...like a good prize should I suppose.
But shiny doesn't always equal useful. In fact, I'd argue that the more unusual and varied your stream is, the better - both for you and your followers.
Making variety a pillar of your approach, coupled with the recognition that time is a finite resource, definitely means there is a place for short and sweet too (and how many blog posts can you really read in one day anyway?!?!?)
So, I had a bit of a think and compiled a list of things to consider sharing more often...here goes...
40 useful things you can share on Twitter besides blog posts
- Flag up a hashtag you are following for the day and why (or list a few that you think are worth a look)
- Discovered a new app / tool that's useful? Provide a brief description and share the direct link i.e. MyTweeple.com is a great follower manager tool
- A link to a Wikipedia entry from your niche can be very useful - especially if its been updated
- Link to someone's Twitter favourites - they are usually full of hidden treasures both for you and your followers
- Spotted a glitch or alteration to a platform you're using? Let people know what it is and how to address it
- A specific conversation / thread might be going on - highlight it and link to it (actually share conversations)
- Some great discussion might be being made around a Facebook post - highlight it and link
- A link to a transcript from a Twitter chat - these usually packed full of useful insights and maybe highlight one key point
- Been given some invites to a new edition of a platform? Share those around i.e. the new Digg.com
- A link to a poll taking place that might stimulate some thought / encourage interaction
- Simply introduce two people that you think might hit it off - "@TomA meet @TomB, you guys have loads in common..."
- A link featuring a special offer or product that might be of interest / add value to your community
- A link to a YouTube video of interest to your niche
- A link to a directory of blogs from your niche (or a great blogroll) is a nice share
- A link to a Twitter list you think is worth following and why or one from tweepml
- A link to a news aggregator and a brief explanation as to why it is useful
- Spotted a Flickr gallery / group being used in an interesting way? That's worth a share
- A link to a place / directory where your followers blogs can be featured - adding great vale to them
- Interesting Twitter accounts are always worth sharing i.e. @CleverAccounts
- Flag up an event that's coming up and possibly of interest to your community - link to the details
- A link to something light - @jeffespo does it beautifully with his 'cartoon to start the day' tweets
- Spotted a contentious issue developing? Create your own poll and encourage people to vote
- If you've discovered an interesting special on Foursquare - share it via Twitter
- Pull an interesting quote / stat out of a news item and feature that (as opposed to the prescribed headline and piece)
- Link directly to an interesting presentation on Slideshare.net
- Specific pages on blogs / sites can sometimes reveal more than the the daily live content - share interesting examples of those i.e. an about page or privacy page
- Google Chrome extensions always make life easier - started using a good one? Share it
- Explain why someone should follow a particular blog / author, as opposed to just just linking to individual posts with no context
- If you're heading to an event, share the #hashtag and link to that event before / during / after
- Sometimes a link to a robust and engaged Facebook community page is worth sharing
- A link to a good example online customer service i.e. Twitter complaint response
- Go back in time -great timeless content is always worth a share - even if it has a 2007 date on it, share it
- Use TwitPic differently - take and share shots of use / value, not (just) pics of the beach while you are on holidays
- Have you just joined a new community? Let people know where they can find you with a link / user name tweet
- Use TweeShot to share a screen grab of interest (especially controversial tweets that might be deleted)
- Link directly to a relevant podcast
- Sometimes really basic but useful websites are launched - like this one - link to 'em
- Figured out a short cut / easy way of doing something. Flag. it. up.
- Over to you...
I wrote this post for a selfish reason too - I'd love to know what other people share besides blog posts.
Can you recommend any other things that people find useful on Twitter?
Being useful opens the door to engagement for both individuals and organisations...let's brainstorm!