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How to Write Effective Tweets

10 December 2013

From Social Media Today:

140 characters. Talk about a pair of pixelated handcuffs! But that limit shouldn’t be seen as an issue, it should be seen as an opportunity. It can be hard to get your point across within that limit, never mind getting people to actually act upon your tweets, but with the right approach, writing effective tweets will become like second nature. Read on for some key pointers…

Think message first!

Twitter moves at lightning pace – that means your tweets have to catch the eye! Let’s imagine a scenario within which you’ve written a blog post and you want to share it via Twitter. What should your tweet look like? I’ll start with a bad example:

In my new blog post, I’ve written tips on how to write effective tweets so that your tweets get noticed – http://bit.ly/11sOdHu

Why is this bad?

  • It doesn’t hit the reader with a key piece of information first
  • It rambles
  • The language is clumsy

How can you make this tweet more effective? Start with the headline of your post:

How to Write Effective Tweets –  http://bit.ly/11sOdHu < essential reading for digital marketers #marketing 

The use of ‘how to’ lets the reader know that they are going to (hopefully!) learn something by reading the post. I then tell them exactly what they will learn. The link is nice and early in the tweet, meaning they don’t necessarily need to read the rest of the tweet. By saying ‘essential reading’, I’m making the reader feel like they must read this, or potentially miss out on key information. I’m playing on their minds a little. Notice I’ve only used one hashtag, I advise never to use more than two. There’s also plenty of characters left, meaning users can add a note if they want to when re-tweeting etc. Always think key message first!

Link to the rest at Social Media Today

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7 Comments to “How to Write Effective Tweets”

  1. > How to Write Effective Tweets – http://bit.ly/11sOdHu > and Insert — Random // punctuation // #for #easier #reading!

  2. Oops. My snarkiness about the Importance Of Capitalizing Every Word got lost when the blog interpreted my random punctuation as random formatting commands.

  3. His “good” example tweet is a perfect example of what my eyes would slide right past. It’s so obviously marketing. The “bad” tweet might get my attention, though I still wouldn’t bother to click through–at least it looks like a human sentence.

  4. How to Write Effective Tweets – http://bit.ly/11sOdHu < essential reading for digital marketers #marketing

    This is not working for me.
    The headline promises something that the remaining characters do not deliver.
    Use of incomprehensible URL (although a necessary evil) signals that the only purpose of the tweet is to trick me into clicking on a link.
    The less-than sign pointing to the URL frames the tweet as advertising, not as useful information.
    By the time I get to the hashtag, I’ve already figured out I’m being marketed to, giving the tag an unintentionally ironic twist.

    Here’s a better one:
    New post up: “How to write effective tweets.” Check it out: gobl.d.guk #hashtag

    The opening owns up that I’m just announcing my blog post and not actually saying something witty. Still, that announcement implies I’m so cool that lots of twitterati care about my blog posts and want to read them right away. The title (note the use of proper punctuation to set it off) tells people what the post is about. Saying “check it out” really isn’t necessary, but it puts some space between my words and my gobbledygook. Maybe I should delete “check it out”. I like the tip about leaving space for re-tweets.

    Then again, I’ve only had a twitter account for 3 weeks. Maybe that’s why the bad example works better for me than the good example. As with all marketing, gotta know your audience.

  5. I don’t understand why @s and #s are sometimes counted toward the 140 characters and sometimes not. Same with web pages. Can anyone explain?

    Small insight — Tweets can be made to grow large, “bugling” for attention, when including snappy, relevant images.

    “Pixilated handcuffs”! There’s a gem.

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