Twitter has emerged as a tour de force in the world of social media.
Short, succinct, and to the point, Twitter is a great place to share thoughts and build your brand, but how do you craft tweets that get attention?
My guide today is for people who want to learn how to write content for Twitter and use the social platform to build their brand and enjoy a wider reach (part of our new #howtowrite series!).
Why Use Twitter?
Today, Twitter is the platform that intersects with all of the various directions of technology and content. Designed to offer rapid-fire updates and live streaming news and videos, Twitter is a social platform designed to cater to mobile users (an estimated 80% of Twitter’s users are mobile), and enjoy the maximum level of reach. Today, there are 500 million tweets sent each day, and Twitter is doing things each day to adjust its upward mobility and cater even more effectively to changing markets.
Changes to the 140 Character Limit
While some Twitter users have always loved the 140-character limit, others view it as impossibly restrictive and frustrating, Fortunately, Twitter took the bull by the horns and make a large step earlier this year to make the 140-character limit a little more flexible for its users.
Under the new Twitter limit increases, things like the @name that’s commonly used in replying to a tweet, all media attachments, and the retweet button on your own Tweets will no longer count toward the character limit. What’s more, users will no longer have to implement the @name to reach a specific followers. Instead, all Tweets that begin with the @name convention will reach all followers.
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How to Write Content for Twitter: Follow These 7 Rules
To write content for Twitter that your readers actually want to engage with, follow these simple rules:
1. Be engaging.
Twitter doesn’t allow a bunch of room for chatter, so it’s important to be engaging and let your content rest on that. Since tweets are only 140 characters (not counting the recent updates to that limit), you’ll need to pack all of your efforts into a small space.
The best bet to be engaging in this type of climate is to speak directly to your target audience. When your Tweets are highly customized and personalized, they’ll have an easier time capturing your readers’ attention and will survive Twitter’s inherently short content lifespan (which is only 18 minutes) a bit more effectively.
2. Add a shortened URL.
While a typical URL will eat up all of your Tweet space, a shortened URL is a great way to drive twitter followers back to your site. With this in mind, use a site like Bitly or Buffer to shorten URLs and add them to your tweets. This will allow you to enjoy a traffic boost without sacrificing much room in your tweet in the process.
3. Use trending hashtags.
Hashtags are the skeletal structure of Twitter. To be sure your tweet performs as well as possible add a hashtag. Bonus points if it is a trending hashtag. In addition to branding your tweet, hashtags can dramatically enhance your visibility on the network and can easily make it so that other Twitter users can find you and interact with your posted material.
4. Add an image.
There are not many places in the world wide web that images don’t help content, and Twitter is no exception. In fact, Buffer reports that simply adding an image to a Tweet boosts retweets by 35% To help your tweet perform well, add an image, video, or GIF to the content you post.
In addition to grabbing reader attention, this simple addition will also go a long way toward boosting your post’s engagement and helping it make its way around the web more efficiently.
5. Talk to people rather than at them.
Twitter is a highly personal platform, and your tone will go a long way toward defining whether your Tweets welcome your readers or alienate them. To keep your tone helpful and friendly, be sure to talk with people rather than talking at them. While it’s easy to feel like the people on Twitter are some distant crowd you’ll never meet, thinking of them as your friends and relatives can help you craft a voice that’s welcoming and exciting.
Struggling with how, exactly to do this? Don’t fear. Think about conducting your Twitter engagement just like you would a conversation with a friend. Focus on fostering a back-and-froth and developing topics, ideas, and conversational directions that are interesting to your readers. While this is a tiny step, making your Tweets more conversational and personal can truly have a massive impact on how effective your Twitter presence is at generating leads and promoting engagement.
6. Add your sense of humor to Tweets.
Humor is a powerful tool on Twitter, and it’s great for drawing people in from various parts of the web. As a general rule, though, you’ll just need to be sure that your humor is appropriate and professional enough that it can be passed along the web without harming your company or your brand.
For an example of a company that does this well, and always has, consider Innocent Drinks. The UK-based juice brand has virtually built its identity on a sly sense of humor, and Tweets like this one abound on the company’s Twitter profile:
ATTENTION EVERYONE: it’s cold. Best to wear everything you own and, if possible, find a bear to hold close to you for the next 5 months.
— innocent drinks (@innocent) November 8, 2016
7. Incorporate viral words.
Twitter relies heavily on viral words and phrases that tell people what to do and when to do it. To use these in your Tweets, check out a list of the most-used viral words and phrases and incorporate them into your Tweets. While it may seem like a simple step, this can go a long way toward making your Twitter presence more engaging and compelling for your readers.
How to Write Content for Twitter: Simple Tips to Get You Started
Learning how to write content for Twitter is a process, but these simple tips are ideal for anyone who is new to the game. By being engaging, speaking directly to your readers, and making use of the viral nature of Twitter, it’s easy to craft a Twitter presence that improves your brand and helps your company stand out online.
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