How to Write Effective Tweets
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!
Offer value from within the tweet
Try taking a key point from your post and including it in the tweet:
Never use more than two hashtags in a tweet! More great tips here - http://bit.ly/11sOdHu #twitter #writing
This approach allows you to give the reader a valuable piece of info, and entices them to read more. Again, that tweet leaves 32 characters free. The 140 characters isn't a target!
Ask a question
Struggling to write tweets that hit the mark? You need to read this - http://bit.ly/11sOdHu #digitalmarketing
This tweet is effective as it endeavours to identify an issue that people may have when using Twitter and offers a solution to it. Again, it uses a strong statement - 'You need to read this'. An effective tweet with 30 characters to spare.
Invite audience participation
When you write and publish a blog post, you hope that people will not only read it, but comment on the article too. Try to spark some interaction within your tweet:
How to Write Effective Tweets - http://bit.ly/11sOdHu < have you got any tips to share? We'd love to hear them!
Nice punchy start, link is early in the tweet and it asks a question at the end. With room to spare. Nice one!
Mix it up!
When I publish a blog post, I tend to tweet about it across the day in order to hit different timezones etc. This practice is fine, as long as there are other tweets unrelated to the post coming from you that day! Why not write a bunch of tweets that use the different approaches from above and test what works best for you in terms of clicks and re-tweets? Test and learn baby!
Good luck! Feel free to had any hints/thoughts in the comments below!
Founder of The Social Penguin Blog (@social_penguin). MD of Velocity Digital, a digital marketing and communications consultancy based in the UK. Conference speaker and University lecturer. You can follow me on Twitter - @mike_mcgrail. Also sharing great content over on Google Plus. Straight talking, creative, strategic and analytical. I love single malt whisky and rich mahogany.
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