By Kathy Widenhouse, award-winning nonprofit content writer, website publisher, and author of 9 books.
These 10 tips for writing good tweets were intuitive to users who launched Twitter in 2006. The social media platform was created specifically by a small cadre who wanted to transmit pithy, tight messages to their group at low cost. Tweets had to be practical, helpful, and short.
And while today the operating principle remains the same – short messages (tweets) let you connect with a group of readers (followers) – the fact is that millions now use Twitter, but with wide degrees of success.
How you write matters, even on Twitter. Tweeting is a unique form of short form writing. You’ve got short bursts (280 characters or fewer) to spurt out a message to your readers and get it to stick.
Twitter is a great way keep up with what’s going on in your niche. And via your tweets, you can reach many others in your circle of interest in your own voice. Tweeting builds readership, feeds search engines, and cultivates your brand. Twitter has also become a platform for breaking news, a door of access to interesting people, and a means to tracking trends.
Yet surely you’ve noticed what happens when you scroll through your feed. Dozens and dozens of tweets roll by and only occasionally your index finger pauses. You re-read a tweet that catches your eye and press “like.” You may even press “retweet” or post a comment. And sometimes you’ll even click through the tweet to the link and read the entire post.
I want to write those kinds of tweets and foster those kinds of interactions. I bet you do, too.
Enter these 10 tips for writing good tweets.
Share valuable content – practical information that meets a need or points to a tool that readers can use. Always ask, “Will this information help my reader?” before you post.
Use keywords and hashtags that are relevant to your niche so others with similar interests can follow you.
If another user likes your product, post the endorsement or testimonial. People like hearing what other people think.
Write pithy, memorable quips. People love to share these.
Negativity is the human brain’s default, which is why you read so many negative posts. Be different! We all hunger for encouragement. Make it your mission to dig for uplifting news and then share it.
Include links to pages on your site that help users learn more. Be sure to shorten the links, though, using bit.ly or other URL shortening service.
Your tweet has enticed your user, but what should she do next? Give a call to action. Tell her to learn more, see what’s next, or read the entire post. A call to action connects the dots for the reader and makes it easy for her to get what she needs.
Include an image with your tweets to help reinforce your point. You’ll get up to three times more engagement.
Retweet good content by others. If someone else says it better than you or makes a point worth repeating, then tag them. Offer quotes from another’s book or product (if you like it, of course). The good you do always comes back to you.
Let your personality peek through your tweets. You’re not writing an article or a formal letter or even a blog post – you’re helping out a friend by sharing a piece of information or a morsel of wisdom.
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