Losing my Twitter chat virginity to #SEOchat

My first experience with a Twitter live chat started out a little confusing. At first, I honestly could not figure out why you would use Twitter to hold a conversation. It seemed like the wrong use of this social media platform. But after getting through the first few questions, I started to see the advantages.

  • Twitter is an open community. Anyone can participate in the chat without having to log in to any sort of closed messaging system.
  • You can interact with the content you want. Retweet ideas you like. Reply to people to engage specifically with their thoughts.
  • Your tweets are your tweets. People that follow you may not following the chat. But if they see your tweet with the hashtag, maybe they’ll be interested. Or they might just find one of your comments about the chat interesting.

I participated in the #SEOchat led by Emily Christopher. This week’s topic was gated content. We discussed as the first question what exactly gated content is. The participants had a consensus that content that requires the audience to provide some sort of information (i.e. email, demographics, phone number).

Screenshot from the #SEOchat Thursday answering Q1: What’s the meaning of gated content?

If you had asked me my views on gated content before this chat, I probably would not have had an answer. But just by participating in the chat and reading some responses, I realized that most people are faced with gated content on a day-to-day basis.

When I’m reading an article and then it stops halfway asking for me to sign-up, what do I do? I weigh the costs and benefits. Do I really want to provide my email address and risk getting a bunch of spam emails from an organization I don’t care about? Or is the article totally worth providing my email? Maybe I want to see more like it.

One of the factors that influences that decision is trust. We touched on it in the chat while discussing the pros and cons of gated content. You have to establish trust with your audience and/or consumers to get them to give up information for the gated content.

The information they give can be a huge pro to the organization and the user because then they can be targeted for the specific information that they are obviously interested in.

We discussed how gated content fits into this content funnel. From the definitions that people provided, I think that gated content fits very clearly — by definition — into the middle of the funnel. However, many people brought up a great point that gated content can be anywhere in the funnel, but it needs to keep the audience in mind.

@SiteSeekerInc tweeted: A3: Gated content can fall anywhere in the funnel — just be sure to keep your audience in mind. If they don’t like it, scrap it! #SEOchat

As a PR major, I hear all the time that the audience/public is most important to your communication. It only makes sense that it should apply to all your content.

One of the final things we discussed was what type of content is best. There was a very large majority opinion for visual elements — images and videos. Video is becoming one of the highest engaging content types. I know that my Facebook feed is mostly videos and I’m more likely to watch a video than I am to read a text post.

I loved this idea that Emily Christopher shared. Pop culture gets people talking. Tying in your brand — even subtly — to something that everyone is engaging in, will get you more exposure and engagement. In this video, the best part is that you don’t need to know who HootSuite is to like this content. Suddenly, HootSuite has reached an audience of Game of Thrones fans, and now maybe some people will look them up.

I really enjoyed engaging in the live chat. I’ve always appreciated the Twitter platform, and I’m glad I experience a different side of it.

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