Jeanne Alexander

Creating Powerful Tweets

The perfect tweet can eCreating Powerful Tweetsngage readers and promote your business in just 140 characters. While it may not be easy, there are ways to ensure quality in your tweets to strengthen relationships with followers and advance your company’s marketing goals.

The first step to composing a powerful tweet involves a bit of deliberation before you ever touch the keyboard. You must determine a voice that will be used in all tweets which is relevant to and representative of your company. Don’t be afraid to have some personality, Twitter in general has a casual feel so it’s acceptable to let a little flair shine through. In fact, your followers will probably appreciate that you don’t sound like a bot. However, you must be sure to stick to the voice you choose to provide continuity between tweets and develop that personal relationship with followers.

When composing a tweet, the most important question you can ask yourself is, “Is this shareable?” Getting retweeted by your followers is probably the best way to get new ones as it expands your range of influence exponentially. For something to be shareable, it has to be important enough to the user that they want to share it with all of their followers. Generally this means the tweet was in some way helpful, inspiring, funny, or newsworthy.

According to Poynter, a recent study shows that tweets that include media, such as a photo or video may receive up to 3 or 4 times more engagement than those that don’t. Including infographics, photos from news articles, behind-the-scenes and company photos, as well as videos from YouTube or Vine can be a great way to garner retweets. Posting media in Twitter also allots you more screen real estate due to Twitter’s latest redesign which pulls previews of your links and photos straight to the post. When posting media to Twitter, be sure to consider how it will affect the appearance of the image gallery on your profile which should be a solid representation of your company.  Monitoring your gallery can give you insights to what you frequently post and how often you are utilizing media. Based on this information you may want to increase media usage or tweak what you are posting to give a better idea to followers about your company as a whole.

Another great way to engage followers is to ask questions, listen to their answers, and respond. This creates positive conversation between your company and the user and improves your credibility. Also, as you interact with a user, your Twitter handle will appear on their feed and you have a chance to engage with their followers as well.

A further way to keep followers involved is to provide content which can’t be found anywhere else. Not everything should be cross-posted between Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites. Twitter is unique among social media because it involves such short pieces of information. It was designed so that it was possible to reach a large audience quickly, easily, and candidly, which you should use to your advantage by emphasizing these qualities. Consider conducting informal surveys or giving special promotions only to Twitter followers.

In order for your business to seem relevant within social media and to identify with your audience, it is important to adopt some of the cultural aspects of the website. For example, it is extremely important to include hashtags in your tweets- try to utilize one or two in each. Hashtags are linked to Twitter’s search function, so use them to denote keywords in order to be discovered by non-followers. Along with hashtags, make use of other Twitter functions such as mentions and replies on a regular basis to stay engaged with followers.

As a professional, it is important to remain engaged with the culture without sacrificing professionalism. An essential way to maintain that professionalism while working within the confines of Twitter is to use proper English. Avoid “text-speak” and other acronyms, abbreviations, and shortened forms of words unless directly relevant to the conversation, generally accepted vernacular, or specific to Twitter (“RT” as retweet, for example.) Also, a recent study by UCLA and Hewlett-Packard’s HP Labs found that objective language is more shareable than emotional language, so make sure to leave that caps lock key alone.

The perfect tweet would contain a professional yet candid tone; a shortened link to an image, video, or article; a message utilizing good punctuation and grammar; and no “text-speak.” It should also contain about 20 blank characters at the end to encourage retweeters to add content or reference your company. The perfect tweet engages your followers with questions and original content, maintains credibility and professionalism, and encourages the ever-important retweet.

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