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The Art of Crafting the Perfect Tweet

Writing Tweets

If you’re using social media to promote your business, chances are Twitter is part of your arsenal. You wouldn’t be alone either. Did you know that 32% of all Internet users1 are using Twitter? It doesn’t seem like much, but those users send 175 million tweets every day2.

This mass appeal has an obvious upside – the more people active on the platform, the more people you can reach. However, the downside is that with more people, it will be more difficult for your message to actually get heard.

Twitter users only consider 36% of the tweets they see to be worthwhile…

While some people might take that as a strong reason not to engage on the platform, those with the entrepreneur mindset will view it as a challenge. The thing is, when you are in a overcrowded space, it doesn’t always mean you should look for a new space. Instead, it means that the cream of the crop will rise and those who take the time to really stand out will be rewarded.

Considering all the irrelevant and self-promoting tweets out there, with the right kind of information your tweets can easily stand out from the rest of the crowd.  Research conducted at Carnegie Mellon University, MIT and Georgia Tech showed that Twitter users only consider 36% of the tweets they see to be worthwhile. That leaves a large chunk of tweets deemed “not” worthwhile.

The reason for this is that many don’t really understand the nature of the platform. People use it as a broadcasting resource to promote themselves. When a user is looking at their Twitter feed filled with literally hundreds of tweets, they are going to learn to tune out these types of tweets.

To overcome this, you need to think like a publisher and write with a teaser mindset instead. If you’ve ever purchased a magazine because of the headline on the cover, you get the idea. If the goal of your tweet is to get someone to click on a link, than your tweet needs to be tempting.

For example…

  • 10 Choices You Will Regret in 10 Years
  • 15 Steps to Your Perfect LinkedIn Profile
  • 20 Words We Owe to Shakespeare
  • Benjamin Franklin’s wisdom for today’s entrepreneurs
  • 5 secrets of today’s business legends

Crafty headlines aren’t the only way to write an engaging tweet, either. Think about interesting stats, funny quotes or even thought-provoking questions. These can all serve as a way to hook your followers into actually reading your tweets.

Twitter Don'tsSpending a bit of time trying to craft the perfect hook for each tweet will result in more engagement with your followers. However, even this technique has some caveats. You’ll want to make sure to avoid these mistakes when crafting your teasers:

  • Not delivering on what you promise. If you say you have the one solution to a problem, you need to make sure you really have THE ONE solution to the problem. You might get a few people the first few times you craft tweets this way, but soon enough people will stop interacting with you because you’ll gain a reputation for not delivering.
  • Sharing old news. People want to share the latest trending information on Twitter so they can be considered a knowledgeable resource. If a new piece of technology has come out, post something interesting about it that day, not a few days or even a week later. The more relevant your posts are, the more likely they are to be retweeted.
  • Too many hashtags. Hashtags are a clear sign of Twitter spam. While it may make your update show up in the searches, it’s not really helpful if everyone is skipping over them because they consider it self-promoting spam. That’s not to say that hashtags aren’t useful. The key to using them is moderation, and only using them if they actually help communicate what you want to say.
  • Not leaving enough room in tweet for people to add content when retweeting. If your tweet is exactly 140 characters, there’s not enough room left for someone to add their own thoughts about your tweet when they retweet. This could be enough to stop them from sharing your tweet. Try to keep at least 20 characters open so someone can at least mention your Twitter handle if they retweet your update.

 

About Jennifer Good

Jennifer Good writes on many topics related to content marketing, social media, leadership & productivity for leading publications. You can also find her at JenniferGood.com.