How to Craft an Effective Tweet

imageTwitter currently supports four formats that you can use to create your social media updates:

  • Status Update
  • Link Share
  • Photo Upload
  • Video Link Share

While it took three years, two months, and a day to reach the billionth tweet shared, it now only takes one week to send one billion tweets. To help you get noticed among all this noise, take note of the following tips:

Start with a Relevant Following: The key to a successful presence and indeed tweet begins with you having built up a relevant and engaged following that wants to engage with you. If you only followed others in the hope of gaining an easy follow back or bought followers then you are wasting your time as both of these types of followers are useless for your business as they will not engage with you and are likely to never become customers. Instead, look to build a relevant organic following by searching industry hashtags and follow those users that appear, include a follow me on Twitter link on your website and blog, tell your existing business contacts and customers you are on Twitter and utilise your other social networks to bring audiences over from your other networks.

Establish Your Objective for the Tweet: Every tweet you share needs to have a purpose. Whether you want to create interest in your latest blog post, promote a new product or service or generate engagement through a Q&A, knowing your objective will dictate and affect every aspect of what you include in your tweet from the links you’ ll include, where they go, the tone of the tweet, the CTA you include, right through to how you will measure the success of your tweet.

Create a Headline That Grabs Attention: At any given time there could be hundreds of tweets in your target audience’ s Twitter feed and to ensure you stand out people need to be given a good reason to click on your link which is why creating a well-written, clear and attention grabbing headline is crutial. Before you tweet simply ask yourself if you would share and click on that tweet based on its headline and if you wouldn’t then you need to change it.

Keep the Tweet the Optimal Length: The limit for characters within your tweets is 140; however you do not have to use them all. Rather it is suggested that the optimal length for a Tweet is around 70-100 characters as this makes your tweet short enough to digest within a few seconds and is the right length for anyone who wants to retweet and add on a couple words for their own comment.

Include Some Form of Media: To make your tweets attract more attention it is recommended that you include some form of media content such as a photo or video as this makes the tweet more interesting and appealing. So make sure to tweet and share insightful, informative and valuable content that your readers will want to click on and looks visually appealing also.

Pay Attention to Spelling and Basic Grammar: You represent your brand with every tweet you post so don’ t leave your audience with a negative and unprofessional opinion of your business by not taking the time to proofread for spelling errors and not checking your general grammar. Ensure your tweet is clear, concise, the punctuation use is correct, you have correct spelling and you clearly spell out your words instead of using abbreviations to save characters as many followers may not be familiar with certain abbreviations.

Include a Clear Call to Action: Ensuring you include a clear call to action in every tweet you post ensure that each tweet will be purposeful for your business. Whether you want to direct the reader to a new blog post, a product page or to a newsletter signup page ensure you make it clear and concise to the reader what the next step is that you want them to take.

Utilise Relevant Trends and Hashtags: Hashtags are a great tool for connecting to a wider audience so ensure you utilise them within your tweets. For ideas you can relate them to the content you are posting to enhance the tweet or for content ideas you can do a search within your business community to see what is trending and if relevant, add your thoughts. It is important not to jump on and use any hashtag that is trending as many won’ t be relevant for your business, rather the key is to be selective and only utilise those that are relevant and will enhance your business in some way. You can also create and promote a hashtag campaign yourself to help revive your community and spark conversation around your brand with both old and new customers. To start a hashtag campaign, decide on the goal of your campaign and how it will relate to your customers. Then research what your audience is talking about to come up with a hashtag that they’ ll identify with.

Using Links? Ensure They’ ve Been Shortened: Using a link shortening tool such as bit.ly to shorten your URL’ s not only helps you easily gain more characters to use, it also provides valuable insights into how the link is being shared which is essential for future content creation and link selection. Top Tip: Try placing links in the middle of the tweet. Dan Zarrella found that placing links roughly 25% through a tweet leads to a higher click through rate than including the link at the very end. This is probably due to the fact that most tweets include the link automatically at the end, so anytime there’s a variance in a user stream, the tweet catches our attention more.

Actively Learn From the Tweets of Others: Be active in looking through your feed and looking at the tweets that stand out for you as this can give you valuable tips that can help guide you in creating better tweets in the future. To those tweets that stand out to you and made you click on them analyse why and look to what makes that tweet so good then apply it to your own tweets. By consistently looking at others and learning you will gain the necessary knowledge to know what makes a great tweet that your audience can’ t resist which in turn will make you gain more followers, respect, authority and ultimately make your Twitter presence more successful.

Optimize Twitter Publishing Times: The shelf life of a link on Twitter is only 2.8 hours. In order to get the maximum impact of each tweet, you need to publish your tweets at optimal times. According to recent data from Kevan Lee at Buffer…the most popular time to tweet:

  • noon to 1 p.m. local time
  • the early morning hours is when tweets receive the most clicks, on average
  • the fewest tweets are sent between 3 and 4 a.m.

These are a general guide however as through your own testing and regular assessments of your analytics, you will come to learn the most effective publishing times for you.

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