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How to Write Effective and Engaging Tweets

If you’ve used Twitter before, you’ll know it moves at lightening pace. This means you have no more than a few seconds to use your tweets to make an emotional connection with your target audience. What is more, you have only 280 characters to work with, which means crafting the perfect tweet is less difficult than when we had only 140 characters to work with. If your tweet is boring, it will stand out for being just that – boring, and it will be quickly ignored by your target audience.

Quick Tweet Tips & Guidelines

  • You have a maximum of 280 characters. Avoid waffle and any unnecessary words.
  • Restrict yourself to one thought per tweet to avoid confusing the reader.
  • Avoid using “I” and “me” in your tweets. Think about the value you’re providing your followers rather than thinking about yourself. Be sure to use the word “you” far more than the words “I” or “me”.
  • Allow enough space to make your message easier to retweet. Twitter usernames can be up to 15 characters so, you generally don’t want to use more than 120 characters in your tweet. This will allow people to retweet you adding ‘RT@yourusername’ without having to edit the original text.
  • Avoid using text talk in your tweets.
  • Twitter automatically shortens the URL in your tweets, but remember to add the http://, or else it will not work.
  • You don’t have to leave a double space after a full stop.
  • Bear in mind that each tweet is indexable and can be searched for on the search engines, so be sure to add your keywords if you can fit them in naturally in your tweets.
  • The optimum length of a Tweet to get retweeted seems to be somewhere between 70 and 110 characters.

How to Write Effective Tweets

In order to write effective tweets, start by defining exactly what type of content you’ll be developing. This will greatly depend on knowledge of your target audience, and what you know they will find useful, relevant, entertaining or engaging.

  • Is your audience looking for educational content such as tutorials or tips and how-tos?
  • Are they hungry for information or entertainment?
  • Do they want to stay tuned and know all the latest news and trends of the industry?

You can find out what your target audience is hungry for by listening to their conversations. Once you know what type of content they are hungry for and more likely to share with their connections, then you are in a better position to define this crucial element of your content strategy. This is why it is always important to start every campaign by first of all listening to your audience. The content you share should always be useful, of high quality and relevant to your target audience.

So, what should your tweet look like? Let’s start by describing what it should not look like.

Consider the following message aimed at seo pros and small business owners:

I’ve just released a new blog post today. In it, I’ve provided some valuable tips on how to perform competitive research. – http://bit.ly/11sOdHu #seo

This is a pretty long, boring tweet and the message contained in it has been lost in the tedium of the tweet. Even though the writer appears to be sharing information that is relevant to his or her target audience and has even used hashtags to give it more exposure and make it more targeted, there is nothing compelling about it, and it will likely be ignored by most readers.

There are so many ways you can make this tweet much more effective and interesting. First of all, start the tweet with the headline of your post followed by a compelling statement.

Start with your core message.

How to Perform Competitor Research –  http://bit.ly/11sOdHu < essential reading for SEO professionals #seo #competitorresearch

This tweet is compelling and interesting. It is aimed at a specific audience, and goes straight to the point without waffling. Starting your tweet with the headline as your core message is a powerful strategy. It lets the reader know exactly what they are going to learn if they click your link. By including the link in the middle of the tweet, it means the reader doesn’t have to read the entire tweet before they get to your link. If they are drawn in by the headline, they can just click on the link without necessarily having to read the entire message.

Furthermore, by using the words “essential reading for SEO professionals”, it makes the reader feel that they must read the tweet or else they’ll be missing out on “essential” information. Using the hashtag means the tweet will be picked up by your target audience.

Note also that the tweet is only 106 characters, compared to first tweet, which used up the entire 140 characters. This is important because if anyone wants to retweet the tweet, there’s enough room for them to include their own message before sending it.

Provide value in your tweets.

One great strategy you can adopt in your tweet is to take one of the key, compelling points in your post and including it directly within your tweet. This means you’ll be offering value from within your Tweet, which will give the reader a clear sense of what to expect when they click through.

For example:

Optimizing title and description tags for target keywords is crucial for #seo. More great tips here – http://bit.ly/11sOdHu

When you use this approach, your readers get a clear sense of the value you’re providing in your tweet, which entices them to read more. In addition, you’re giving them a lot of free characters so they can add their own messages. As you would have realized by now, we are not aiming for 140 characters. We are aiming for much less because we want our tweet to be engaged with by our readers.

Engage your audience with questions.

Sending out questions to your Twitter followers is a tactful way to draw them in to the value you are providing in your tweet. With this strategy, you are not asking for help, advice or suggestions. Rather, you are tactfully asking if they need your help, and telling them where to get the help they need.

Consider the following examples:

  • Still struggling to outrank the competition? You need to read this – http://bit.ly/11sOdHu #seo
  • Still paying for backlinks? Be sure to read this – http://bit.ly/11sOdHu #seo
  • Still think answer marketing is ineffective? Check this out –  http://bit.ly/11sOdHu #seo #marketing

These tweets are most effective when you have a great understanding of the challenges, issues and problems faced by your target audience. They are a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of your target audience, and tells the reader that clicking your link will help them find meaningful solutions to their problems. Again, it uses a strong and compelling statement – “You need to read this” . Furthermore, notice that we’ve left a lot of characters for our audience to retweet the message to their followers.

Use images in your tweets.

Instagram allows you to share pictures from your mobile devices directly to Twitter. Using Instagram while you promote your business through Twitter can help show some type of personality through your business.

If your aim is to build brand awareness and create a brand identity through Twitter, you need to be ready to connect with people on levels they don’t expect. Your aim is to develop an emotional connection with your viewers. A picture of you carrying your child or funny pictures of your pet or pets will strike a chord with some of your followers. They could even form the topic of discussion with some users.

Encourage audience participation.

Anytime you write and publish a blog post, you want people to not only read it, but comment and share it with their connections. If you have written a blog on how to build organic backlinks, try to spark some interaction within your tweet in the following manner:

How to build organic backlinks for #seo – http://bit.ly/11sOdHu < have you got any tips to share? We’d love to hear them!

Stay consistent.

How often you tweet is up to you, but it is important that you remain active and consistent. The average time that a small to medium sized business tweets on Twitter is 4.5 times a day, but if you’re posting educational content, that figure can increase up to 10-20 times a day. Make sure you tweet at different times during the day so that you can catch people in every time zone.

Publish across different time zones.

When you publish an article or blog post, tweet about it across the day to hit different timezones etc. Do not, however, post the same tweet at different times of the day. Try and tweet a mix of the personal  information as well.

When you finally sit down to write your perfect tweet you need to make sure it passes through these key filters.

Ask yourself these questions before you hit that send button:

  • is it interesting and readable?
  • is it interesting enough to click?
  • is it compelling enough to be retweeted?
  • would you retweet that tweet if you came across it on Twitter?

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