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Writing Tweets Simplified

3 Kinds of Posts to Write for Twitter

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

Tweets are posts on Twitter, a social networking micro-blogging service.

Tips for writing 3 types of Twitter posts with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

Writing tweets with brevity is a strength, especially since Twitter’s posts are available on mobile devices.  Twitter allows users to send and read content which used to be limited to 140 characters (now 280) including spaces and other symbols. Shortened attention spans are drawn to quick, simple content that is easy to process.

Readers who subscribe to others’ updates are known as “followers.” By building a large collection of followers on Twitter, you extend your reach.

How do you get followers to read your tweets? Think like them.

When you see a user with quality, consistent content, he stands out. You begin to follow him. (Likewise, mediocre content rarely pulls you in as a follower.)

Quality is key.

Writing Tweets Is Like Writing Headlines (With at Least One Difference)

Quality tweets entice users to follow you. As followers scroll through their Twitter feeds, they look for posts that grab their attention and offer a type of reward – useful information, unique information, or urgent information. You build good will and get favorites and retweets when you post practical, insightful, interesting, or helpful content.

That’s why quality Twitter posts are a lot like headlines.

Like a headline, they are formatted to get the follower’s attention and move her to keep reading. Both headlines and tweets are specific and unique. (More about headline formulas.)

But a post on Twitter goes a step further than a headline in at least one way. It can stand alone as its own piece of content.

Writing Tip: as you read your tweet, ask yourself, “Can this statement stand independently so that without reading anything else the follower will understand the idea?”

3 Types of Posts to Write for Twitter

You can write all types of Twitter posts, but there are at least three formats that are among the most-read, most-followed, and most-retweeted.

  1. Benefit Headlines: like headlines for articles, titles on web pages, subject lines for emails, and captions for images, this kind of tweet centers on helping the reader. It provides a useful piece of information, an enticing offer, or a quick how-to. How does your post benefit the reader?  
  2. Question Headlines: this kind of post raises the follower’s curiosity. It works fast to make her think and want to know an answer. She will click through for more information and an answer to the question. Questions also spark dialogue among your followers – another preferred response that build interaction on Twitter.
  3. Fact Headlines: Unusual data, statistics, breaking news, trends – all of these appeal to Twitter readers. Give them fun and interesting facts. Find ways to give followers the best, the worst, the most, the biggest, the strangest.

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