Tweeting is not a divine act; therefore, most tweets are far from perfect. However, with a little elbow grease and up to 140 characters worth of keyboard taps, just about anyone can craft a beautiful, interesting and timely tweet. But before we get to the secret of the fabled ‘perfect tweet’, let’s recap some other tips and tricks for an optimal Twitter experience:
First of all, always, always keep your readers in mind. You must know them, you must think like them and you must know what they’re reading. Between the communication trifecta of Message-Medium-Audience, audience should be uppermost in your mind when you tweet.
Second, get the mechanics right; that means ensuring proper and consistent spelling, grammar and punctuation. And while you’re at it, avoid excessive chatspeak and needless abbreviation. Unless your tweet is running way too close to the 140-character mark and every single word counts, spell everything out.
Third, and in the interest of brevity, use bit.ly to shorten URLs that would otherwise eat up precious space.
Fourth, consider three more general social media strategies: use your tweets to amplify your story; engage other Twitter users so they pass on your message; and convert tweets into leads by establishing an authoritative reputation and providing great content.
Done and done? In that case, let’s move on to the juicy bits:
The perfect tweet is made up of 100 or fewer characters for the main message, followed by about 20 characters for the link, followed by… around 20 characters worth of blank space? Yep. White space is important, too.That’s the bare bones, the blueprint, the formula. To take things further, let’s look at each section of the perfect tweet:
Begin with the message: insert a clear call to action, one to two hashtags, as well as a mention or retweet, if necessary. Remember that the best Twitter messages are headlines, noteworthy facts and questions for others.
Next, about 90% of your tweets should link to other content, whether it’s in the form of articles, blog posts, videos or pictures—just make sure that it’s relevant to the preceding message. So, link away! Keep in mind that these links don’t have to come at the very end of the tweet; you can integrate them into the message section too.
Lastly, remember those lost 20 characters? Here’s why you need them: so retweeters can add their own content to your tweet. Remember that you want your audience to engage with your tweets, and what better way for them to do so than to give them the opportunity for their own take on your message? Every character—or lack thereof—has a purpose. Simple. Ingenious. Smart.
For more useable Twitter tips, see Gerry Moran’s Marketing Think website.
Word Count: 455; Mercado News
March 17, 2013: http://mercadonews.com/v5/index.php/Tech/the-perfect-tweet.html