Posted in Social Media
The site Twittercism.com posted a good summary of tips for writing effective tweets on Twitter. I will share the top 7 tips below. Why should you care? Many of you may not yet even understand why Twitter is relevant to you. Think of it this way. In the early days of search, there were several search alternatives and then along came Google. At first, it may not have been clear why Google was better. It didn't sort by categories. It had very little content on its home page, and still does. Yet, it helped you to find things efficiently.
For my business and personal interests, Twitter helps me to stay on top of issues, perform research and to express myself quickly. Unlike Facebook, which is clearly popular, you do not have to be a "friend" to follow someone's thought stream. With Twitter, I can find people "tweeting" about things that interest, enlighten and/or educate me and stay connected to them informally, usually without having to ask for permission. After all, very few Twitter accounts ARE private. Remember that all tweets are limited to 140 characters.
How might you take advantage of Twitter?
First, LISTEN to what is being said and benefit from readership. Search ( http://search.twitter.com/ ) for a topic of interest and watch for tweets that resonate with you. Twitter allows you to search for a topic in the worldwide conversation and "follow" the thought stream of what is being said about it.
Second, FOLLOW a few of the tweeters that interest you and see if they maintain your interest. Do this for a while to get a sense of what you like about what they share with others. Think about how you might do the same with your areas of interest. UNFOLLOW those that stop being interesting. For those tweeters that DO interest you, who are THEY following?
Once you get a feel for tweets, RETWEET a few of the tweets that you really find interesting. This is just like forwarding an email that you received, only anybody can see it. Originally, retweets were distinguished by "RT" leading the tweet. Now Twitter puts the RT reference in a descriptive area rather than in the tweet so that it doesn't take up characters.
By retweeting, you extend the reach of someone that you are following beyond their follower set or community of interest (COI). If you have gained followers, then your followers will see what you've harvested from the others that you are following. This idea of bridging communities of interest is one way that you will gain followers, because you "harvest" great thoughts and links and share them. In the simple diagram below, I seek to visualize sets of followers in each orb. Some are large groups and some are small and some bridge naturally with other COI and some are more like islands.
Retweeting also provides a nod to the author and is considered a nice thing to do, so you gain some level of appreciation for the author. Another nice thing to do is to list the tweeters that you find most interesting in a tweet on Follow Friday. On Friday, you edit a tweet preceded by "#FF" and followed by the Twitter names that you recommend to others. This is a great way to get others to do the same for you.
Not sure how to do this Twitter thing? The site http://oneforty.com/ provides reviews of tools that you can use.
7 Tips For Writing The Perfect Tweet
There is far more content at Twittercism, but in summary, they are:
Overall, maximize readability and maximize retweetability. Make your tweets "to the point" - clear and concise and as instantly meaningful as possible. Try not to use all 140 characters so that others can forward your tweet with their own thoughts appended.
Think Like Your Readers
- Know your audience and speak to them.
Use Consistent Excellence To Stand Out From The Crowd
- Maintain the quality of your tweets or you will be "Unfollowed".
Sell The Headline (In A Non-Salesman Way)
- Grab their interest like a news headline would, but don't oversell. Stay authentic.
Use Correct (And Acceptable) Punctuation
Accept Nothing Less Than Flawless Grammar And Perfect Spelling
Observe The Magic Retweet Number
- 115 characters or less seems optimal. If you add more, then others may not RT your message because they would have to rewrite your tweet to add any clarifying or supportive content.
Shorten All Links With Bit.ly (And Nothing Else)
- Bit.ly is an awesome tool, but this is not a firm suggestion. I find Ow.ly and Su.pr to be good tools as well with stats/analytics to track who clicks on your links, if you set up an account and login before you shorten. Shorteners help you to fit those URLs in your 140 characters. A few people are offended by the .LY shorteners due to the fact that .LY domains refer to Libya as .US refers to the United States. If your audience might be sensitive to that, then Su.pr might be the way to go.
I would add a #8.
8. Almost always have a link to content that supports your headline.
- Studies show that the most retweeted content includes links and those who tend to use links get followed more often. Why? Links to source content help users to sift out unsubstantiated opinion and find follow-up content to further explore the topic. In short, it helps your users to be more engaged and you're helping them to serve their needs. The Twittercism author appears to assume this fact as a foregone conclusion.
I encourage you to visit http://twittercism.com/the-perfect-tweet/ to read the original post and make sure to follow the linksin the article.