If you enjoy green trees, you might be a fan of evergreen Tweets without your even knowing it.
I like evergreen trees because I know that I will always have some fresh greenery in my backyard regardless of the season. While this isn’t as important in the spring and summer, when leaves and flowers deck other trees, evergreens provide color during the winter. And, although the needles fall on the ground year-round, there are always new ones peeking out from the tree.
Evergreen content is no different from the trees: it is always “fresh content” that should perform well regardless of marketing channel and time. One reason why evergreen content is so successful is that it lets a brand connect with customers regardless of what’s going on in the world. For instance, evergreen content for a travel company might take advantage of people’s desire for a peaceful journey.
Twitter is no exception when it comes to the need for evergreen content. In fact, evergreen tweets are one of the best Twitter strategies that will help make publishing your content on Twitter more efficient and ultimately perform better. Despite the short nature of Twitter content, having a few evergreen posts is highly advantageous. Let’s look at how evergreen Tweets are beneficial to your marketing program.
Further Reading: The Opposite of Evergreen Content: What to NOT Write About
What is an Evergreen Tweet?
Evergreen Tweets are pieces of content that are evergreen in nature, but written and published in the form of a tweet. As evergreen content, these Tweets are intended to be as relevant today as they will be tomorrow or next week. This can be tricky to achieve, because Twitter has a reputation for being a “here and now” platform that tracks current events. Nonetheless, even on Twitter you can say things which are truly timeless.
Evergreen Tweets follow the same concept of evergreen content but are applied to the Twitter format of a tweet. This means that they have the same character count and formatting rules as other Tweets that you publish. In other words, you need to keep it “short and sweet” or to the point. One reason that people love Twitter is that you get quick “bites” of information or a quick thought from the people you’re following.
Keep in mind, though, that evergreen content doesn’t need to stand alone. In fact, you can use the evergreen content concept by including a link to an evergreen blog post or other content within the Tweet. Alternatively, you can Tweet out inspirational quotes that are timeless. This gives your followers food for thought that improves their view of your brand. Good feelings are priceless!
Why are Evergreen Tweets Effective on Twitter?
In short, evergreen Tweets work well because of the time-sensitive nature of Twitter. Generally speaking, the platform moves at a fast pace due to the short form content and real time reporting of events. This means that if a Twitter user follows a lot of other accounts, then individual postings get buried pretty fast.
It doesn’t take much for people to not see a Tweet the first time.
Here’s the thing. Many people probably think that having a Tweet “buried” requires that your follower base is quite large. However, statistically speaking this number is quite small. Accounts with only 1,000 followers will find that if they send out a Tweet only once, then typically around 20% of followers will see it. This percentage drops off rather quickly after the 1,000-follower mark, meaning that the individual impact of one Tweet is relatively small.
Furthermore, not everyone is on Twitter all of the time. This means that even if you post the same tweet a few times the same person will rarely see it twice. And even if they do, the beauty of an evergreen Tweet is that it remains relevant for a long period of time. Especially if enough time has passed between someone’s seeing the Tweet the first time and when they see it again, this Tweet will seem brand new to them. Or at least, it’ll still resonate.
Evergreen Tweets are rarely considered spam.
Unless you’re sending out that evergreen Tweet too often, the chances are that people won’t consider it to be spam. Sayings that are relevant over a longer period of time tend to strike a chord when encountered again. Likewise, if you’re sending out content with a link then the destination page might be more useful to different people at different times. Even with evergreen content there can be differences in relevance for an individual customer.
Because these pieces of content remain relevant and don’t get seen too often, they aren’t spam. For most of us, spam occurs when we see the same thing many times over. It’s especially annoying when people can’t avoid seeing repeated messages through Twitter or another platform. Fortunately, occasional repetition of great content rarely reaches this level.
Evergreen Tweets boost traffic to your website.
Finally evergreen Tweets are beneficial because of their effect on website traffic. In fact, social media giant Agorapulse found that these Tweets help both with overall engagement and page views. If the Tweet contains a link then the page is more likely to be visited when the other content is timeless. Likewise, evergreen Tweets like an uplifting quote get a lot more engagement than regular Tweets. In either case, you’re increasing your overall engagement rate and return on investment.
Further Reading: 7 Insanely Effective Ways How to Write Tweets that Drive Traffic
Twitter’s Rules on Evergreen Tweets
Unfortunately, unlike some other social networks there are limits on using evergreen content on Twitter. It’s reasonable to assume that their restrictions came from a concern about spam that keeps many people from enjoying the platform. Spam also prevents users from seeing other posts which are more important, such as content from family and friends.
Duplicate Tweets are no longer allowed.
Twitter does not allow you to publish the same tweet twice according to the March 23, 2018 Terms of Service update. This restriction also prohibits users from sending duplicate Tweets from separate accounts. Of course, the separate account provision restricts brands with more than one related Twitter account. For instance, many companies that produce items like socks have different brands for men and women. Similarly, they might have a community manager that represents their brand.
Twitter marketing tools don’t let you break Twitter rules.
After Twitter banned most repetitive Tweets, Twitter tools stopped supporting unlimited republishing of the same tweet multiple times. Nowadays, tools are designed to comply with Twitter regulations, so that it’s difficult to get in trouble with the platform. After all, account suspensions are a real threat. Brands need to be respectful of people and platforms to ensure optimal results.
Twitter does provide a solution.
Even when they put that new rule in place, Twitter realized that occasionally putting content out again would be desirable. Twitter’s recommendation, if you wanted to tweet the same tweet twice, was to simply Retweet the evergreen tweet that you wanted to share again. This means that the content won’t show up as new, but it will still place the material at the top of your Twitter feed.
How to Leverage Evergreen Tweets and Comply with Twitter’s Terms of Service
Fortunately, there are different avenues available when you want to send out evergreen Tweets. This is because various adaptations are available that keep you in compliance with the Terms of Service. As marketers, this really is good news. It also ensures that relevant content can be reused.
Twitter tools support Retweeting your Evergreen Tweets.
Since evergreen content is so valuable, tool makers have adapted to the changes. Many tools that used to support recurring queues of tweets will now post your evergreen tweet as a Retweet of the previous tweet. Fortunately, you are allowed to Retweet a tweet as much as you would like to. This lets Twitter users enjoy the same content without getting spammed. In some sense, with the tool adaptation your no-duplicate rule doesn’t have much effect.
Naturally, you’ll want to keep track of how often something has been Retweeted. Some of the tools offer a way to track this, while others don’t. On the other hand, if you have a proper content calendar that includes evergreen Tweets in the rotation, then this is less of a problem. Here, you’ll simply program the Retweet in along with your other planned posts. Do this right, and Retweeting evergreen content can be highly effective.
Variations of evergreen Tweets are OK.
These days, any tools that used to support recurring queues of tweets now support variations of Tweets. This means that you can share the same link, but just change the wording on several instances to create multiple “evergreen” Tweets. These variation Tweets serve the same purpose as duplicate Tweets once did. However, they come without the “retweet” designation that you might want to avoid in some circumstances.
Of course, variations can have another advantage: tailoring to an audience. For instance, let’s say that an e-commerce brand is having a “winter holiday” sale. Depending on your market segment, the holiday might be Christmas, Channukah, Kwanzaa, or something else. To that end, you might create a version of the announcement that tailors to each customer group.
Another situation where tailoring is highly effective involves seasons of the year. Some pieces of content are great because of their year-round appeal. However, evergreen Tweets can also be seasonal. Think about it this way: do you like to hear about snowy weather in the middle of summer? Chances are that the answer is no. But with that said, some winter inspirational quotes have value every year. If you vary the Tweet to reflect the current year, you’re in compliance.
Time heals all wounds.
Keep in mind, at some point Twitter seems to “forget” that you’ve sent a Tweet before. For that reason, if you manually try to copy and paste a tweet that you haven’t tweeted in some time, you might find that you can still tweet it so long as it is spaced far enough from the previous Tweet. However, the key here is that you’re entering the Tweet manually, rather than from a tool.
I personally believe that Twitter is most interested in preventing this happening from tools because for people to tweet that many tweets that often would be very challenging! In other words, Twitter is trying to make the platform more friendly for individual users. As marketing professionals, we generally don’t have the time to manually Tweet things. On the other hand, making the occasional exception is sometimes appropriate.
Minor tweaks are enough.
Keep in mind, Twitter doesn’t require a lot of changes for a Tweet to no longer be considered duplicate. For this reason, you can create your own variations of the same tweet just by changing a character or hashtag and schedule them like you do any other tweet. This is a good technique for changing holidays, but it also can be used so that the evergreen Tweet matches your latest marketing campaign. For branded hashtag use, simply pick a different one to vary.
Of course, keep in mind that these days Twitter lets you insert preview images into your post. This used to be impossible. One way to vary your post just enough to pass the TOS check is by adding the tweet link preview to one version, but not the other. This is easy to do, and highly effective. Similarly, you could add a different picture to the same quote, then Tweet it out as new. Inspirational quotes lend themselves well to such an approach.
What’s the lesson here? Simply put, Twitter is primarily interested in keeping us from sending out the exact same Tweet on a regular basis. Even though most people won’t see every instance of your Tweeting out identical content, it can get spammy over time. Spam is exactly what Twitter is trying to prevent.
Even with restrictions on repetitive Tweets, evergreen content is an effective way to market on Twitter. Creating awesome content is an important part of social media marketing, and it’s most impactful when more people see it. Because Tweets have a relatively low read rate when sent out only once, it makes sense to send out your best Tweets more than once.
Unfortunately, the Twitter rules have changed. For that reason, make sure you spend the time creating enough variations from your fresh content and spacing them out far enough so as not to increase your chances of getting restricted. Being restricted is a major pain, and it interrupts your overall marketing strategy. As a rule of thumb, I try not to tweet the same evergreen tweet more than once a month. Assuming that 20% of your followers see the Tweet each time, they’ll see it twice a year at most.
Hero photo by Benjamin Balázs on Unsplash