April 20, 2014

How to Write Tweets that Get Read and Retweeted

rapper 50 cent twitter king

Tips for ruling Twitter -- like rapper 50 cent.

Even after amassing a hefty number of Twitter followers, you’ll still need to engage them in meaningful ways to keep them. Part of that task involves writing easily consumed, retweetable tweets. Even if the linked content totally rocks, a poorly crafted tweet likely won’t get retweeted. For what it’s worth, I’ve compiled some of hot tips for taking full advantage of the Twitter platform and enchanting your followers.

Like a Sassy Skirt – Short and Sexy

Keep your shirts on, people — we aren’t advocating “adult-only” tweets. We want you to gently tease readers with your tweet. In other words, intrigue followers with a juicy, but brief, tidbit in the message; those with any sense of curiosity will feel they simply must click the link to see what it’s all about.

Even though you’ve got a whopping 140 characters to compose a sparkling, engaging tweet, try not to max out this space allowance.

Why? To leave room for others to add their own fabulous comment to your message when retweeting, of course.

When creating an original tweet, keep your message to a total of 120 characters or less. I know, it’s sometimes challenging to include all you’d like to say about a link in such a short space. But with practice, you’ll get the hang of it.

On the other hand, don’t tweet a link with a one word message, or worse, none at all. It violates Twitter etiquette in my view and in the view of many other social media enthusiasts. It’s like asking for a charitable donation without giving any details about the organization or cause. #fail

Do a Little Pre-Tweet Sleuthing

Tweet your sexiest content when your followers are there to see it. Use one of several free or paid Twitter community analysis tools to get the scoop on their habits.

Twiangulate free twitter analysis tool

Get powerful Twitter analysis using free Twiangulate tool.

The free tools, SocialMention and Twiangulate, work great for hashtag research, keyword analysis, pinpointing your most loyal followers, and mutual friends between you and others.

My team and I haven’t checked out any of the paid services yet, but plan to do so next quarter. I’ve heard great things about SocialFlow, which will set you back about $100 smackers a month. It sounds like a lot of money, especially if you aren’t sure if it’ll bring any real value to your business, but some enthusiasts claim the service’s flagship features can increase clicks by over 50 percent. If this is a typical result of using the service, it’s probably worth the dough.

social flow social media tool

This analysis tool will set you back a C-note per month.

Make a Message-Link-Message Sandwich

A message-link-message sandwich will get more orders (reads and retweets) at the drive-through (your followers’ Twitter feed stream).

Think about it.

The message represents the bread in the sandwich and the link is the meat (or the soy-based patty for you vegetarians). Would you eat a sandwich that had one slice of bread with the meat left to dangle beneath it, or lay naked and unadorned on the top of it?

Maybe, but probably not.

A delicious tweet sandwich by Twitter Chef, @texascopywriter

So put your link in between parts of the message accompanying it in a tweet.

Hootsuite and other similar platforms, as well as link sharing apps for use on blogs and websites, automatically place links at the end of tweets. It only takes a few seconds of scanning a Twitter feed to see that, even when manually crafting a tweet, people usually place the link at the end right before any hashtags.

I’m guilty of violating this rule, ad nauseum, as well. I get in such a rush, I frequently don’t take the time to reorganize the tweet to engage my followers more effectively. #noexcuses #doasIsay

But, I’m going to change my ways. From now on, I’ll serve up the perfect tweet sandwiches to my followers when cooking up original messages (excludes any RTs of tweets originating outside of my tweet kitchen).

Don’t Tweet in Vain

Whether tweeting your own links or sharing content from another edgy, popular site, don’t tweet the exact headline associated with the story. Instead, customize it to target your particular followers, or a certain group within your community. Building strong, loyal relationships takes time and effort.

If your followers aren’t worth your time and effort, it will show in your tweets. Your social media relationships will never grow past the meet and greet stage. Really think about how to engage your readers. Ask a question, reword original post titles, relate the content link to a controversial topic or hot current event.

If you can’t find an angle to the content that your readers will see as meaningful, don’t tweet it.

Trust your followers. Nurture and engage them with your tweets. They’ll love you for it.

 

Image credit: Vibe Magazine (vibe dot com)

About Samantha Gluck

Not only am I the chief editor of this multi-author online magazine, I'm a content creator and social media marketing strategist with a background in journalism, finance, & healthcare. I began my content marketing agency, All Media Freelance, LLC, in 2010 and lead a well-rounded, talented team of multi-channel content strategists and niche writers. I've developed and managed print and digital content projects for health care, fitness, financial services, mental health, non-profit, and automotive publishers, as well as for biotechnology brands.

Comments

  1. Samantha – Great points on Tweets. I sometimes go to the end with the 140 – guess I will be sure to shorten them up. I love social mention and miss their email alerts that haven’t worked in a while. (They keep saying they’ll be back up in a week.) I am off to check out Twaingulate – Thanks Samantha!
    Lisa recently posted..Is Stumble Upon Still Worth Your Time?My Profile

    • Lisa,

      I do the same thing — using all 140 characters. But I try not to. It’s frustrating when I want to RT someone’s awesome post and they’ve not left me enough space to add my personal touch to the tweet. I have to just RT as is or get really creative. Let me know what you think about Twiangulate. I love it and will probably use it with increasing enthusiasm as I actually write out a regular periodic Twitter plan for our various pending projects. XO Samantha

  2. Good stuff as always, Samantha. I actually just posted about Twitter myself, as I’m trying to get a lot of RTs from very specific users. I usually put my links at the end, but I’ll try reworking things as you suggested. And thanks for the free Twitter analysis tools. I’ve been meaning to hunt some good ones down!
    Andrew Kardon recently posted..My Twitter Experiment: Getting Stores to ReplyMy Profile

    • Hi Andrew! I’ll check out your newest on Twitter later today. I always learn something new from other freelancer tips and musings about social media — especially Twitter and G+. Yeah, I’m probably going to spring for the paid tool later this year (sometime in second quarter). Things are growing at the company and we’re expanding. I’ll have the official site(s) up for AMF, LLC and my new venture with The Prof as well. It will be a sister company to AMF — associated by legal paperwork, but actually stand alone as its own entity. Exciting. XO

  3. Thanks Samantha! I didn’t think about doing the message-link-message sandwich before. Now that you mention it I have seen others do that and it definitely looks effective! Taking the time to show some creativity in how you use Twitter is clearly an important part of your online brand image and definitely one that we should all take the time to prioritize.
    Kalen recently posted..Why Google’s New Algorithm Change May Not Affect YouMy Profile

    • Yep. I don’t always take the time to employ all of my creative prowess when tweeting from someone’s site, or even crafting my own (especially if I’m rushed), but I have been making a more conscious effort to do it when possible and it does work. It’s just a little more appealing than a generic tweet or retweet. I do, however, set Fridays aside for total social media engagement and I pull out all the stops in my #FF recommendations. They get noticed in a big way and I love making the recipients of my special recommendations smile. That’s what it’s all about anyway, right? Giving to others — paying it forward.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing. XO

  4. Yay! A real life “How to Do Twitter” piece. Twitter still baffles me, and I feel like, if I could just figure out how to work it without having to sit in front of it 24/7, I’d be in a good place in my life, you know?
    Laura@Catharsis recently posted..Mother’s Perspective: Living Together Before Marriage is a MustMy Profile

    • Laura,

      The time to “figure” out Twitter for you (a teacher) would be when on some of your longer holiday breaks. I know what you’re thinking: “Are you kidding? My children will be off too! Hello?” But unlike writing a coherent #BOSS post for your site, tweeting doesn’t require as much undivided concentration (theoretically — accidental tweet sends can occur). I recommend tweeting a LOT during these times. Download Tweetdeck or Hootsuite on your smartphone and tweet like an obsessed crazy woman in grocery lines, at stop lights, when your here and there and everywhere. Get creative…your personality is awesome already. Let it shine through in the tweets you personally create. When tweeting content from other websites or RTing directly from Twitter, make sure to verify the post isn’t just a catchy headline with a bunch of craziness and bad grammar (fail) in it. It will change your Twife! (see how I did that? Life–twitter)

      xo

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