KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Before you can write an effective Tweet, you’ve got to know the basics: Twitter gives you just 140 characters to get your message across. That’s characters, not letters, so the limit includes spaces, hashtags (#) and links to your website, your blog, or an online article, etc. Getting an entire message into that space can be challenging and in this blog we’ll focus on what it takes to write an effective Tweet.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
First of all, know your audience, your material and your goal. If you want to announce a special deal, make sure that you include enough information in that initial Tweet to let your followers know the value of that deal. Don’t oversell, and don’t try to make it sound better than it is. Just stay to the point, be accurate and write in a way that gets your followers to lift their eyebrows and say, hey, what’s this about – and then click on your link. One of the ways to make sure you’re striking the right note with your audience is to read a lot of Tweets yourself. Take note of which Tweets get your attention, which Tweets motivate you to click on a link and which Tweets you just ignore.
AVOID ABBREVIATIONS AND THE URGE TO SOUND HIP
While it’s a matter of preference, when writing a Tweet for your business, avoid the use of Twitter speak (stuff like “2b” instead of “to be” or “2gether” rather than “together”), and don’t try to hard to sound hip, current or cool (such as when politicians try to Tweet in a vernacular).
Instead compose Tweets that let your readers know that they can trust your opinion and that you’ve given some thought to your words, even if it’s just a quick Tweet about a new product you’ll release in a month or two.
LEARN ABOUT HASHTAGS AND USE THEM
The use of hashtags (#) , while necessary, can also be kind of messy. If you’re posting directly from Twitter to Facebook, the hash tags will look terrible and interfere with the message, which is why it’s often the better choice to take that extra step and write a second post for Facebook. When you do use hashtags, do not overwhelm the message with them and make sure that you still leave enough room so that if someone retweets your message there is room for your Twitter name. Part of having that room means that you get in the habit of writing sentences that avoid unnecessary lengthy words and protracted phrases. Be pithy. You should also get to know which hash tags are common for your business or industry, including their abbreviated forms.
WHAT TO TWEET ABOUT
What sort of stuff you Tweet about is up to you, but keep in mind that Twitter can be a great way for you to participate in a conversation about a topic that affects your business. If you find a great article online, you can introduce it by asking your followers what they think or you can offer your own view on that article, just don’t forget to include the link. While it’s nice to tweet about non-business related things sometimes, don’t get caught up in the ease of tweeting. Before you’re about to post your tweet, take a moment to ask yourself if it’s relevant or compelling. If it’s not, you may want to revise it and start over. Twitter is your opportunity to convey who you are and to build up your brand image with potential customers, clients and peers, use Twitter to give them a sense of who you are, what you do, and how you do it.
Let’s sum it up:
- Don’t use all 140 characters for your tweet, leave room for your name to be included in a retweet.
- Be honest, useful and trustworthy.
- Use short, direct active verbs.
- Get to know the hash tags for your industry and use them wisely for Twitter but avoid them in Facebook.
- Read more tweets and take note of what grabs you.
- Be pithy.
For information about marketing through Twitter, check out the articles on our eApproach page.