Created 15th August 2014
How to write better tweets
Tweets that are well written will increase your number of followers, retweets, clicks, favourites and conversions – something every brand wants. So how do you craft the perfect tweet? Here’s some advice from our copywriting agency team.
Better tweets tip #1 – remember you’re actually writing a headline and a call-to-action
Twitter’s 140 characters and ‘live’ feed mean you have limited time and space to appeal to your followers and get them to take action. That’s why your tweets need to follow the rules of great headline and call-to-action writing. The optimum number of words in a tweet is just eight – exactly the same as the optimum number of words in a headline. That said, followers are not interested in ‘selling’. You have to make them feel genuinely intrigued.
Better tweets tip #2 – stick to one idea
Tweets are meant to be short and sweet so don’t stuff too many concepts into each one. Even if you succeed in doing so, followers are less likely to read a tweet that looks complicated. Try to stick to one simple point which is clearly expressed.
Better tweets tip #3 – it’s all about them
Just like your non-twitter customers, followers want to know ‘What’s in it for me?’ Tweets should inform and/or entertain. So when you want users to engage, think about what you can add to the conversation that’s either valuable or funny. Make it unique or useful or interesting. Include links to relevant or helpful posts even if they’re not your own. Retweet useful information, adding your own comments of course, and perhaps re-writing the headline if it’s not great. This marks you out as an expert and someone who regularly delivers valuable content. Typical tweet formulas include:
• linking to useful content
• asking your followers a question about themselves
• asking for help or a resource
• tweeting a quick tip
• retweeting and endorsing useful content
• highlighting an inspirational quote
• using the classic problem/solution lead copy formula
• tweeting an eyewitness account as a story unfolds
• tweeting breaking news
• tweeting about a current trend or news story that’s relevant to your brand
• tweeting a statistic or fact that’s useful to your followers or about Twitter itself.
Better tweets tip #4 – use emotive words
The best way to grab people’s attention is to use emotive words. Try beefing up your tweets with verbs rather than too many nouns. Avoid jargon, passive voice or the third person, and do your best to write in present tense where possible. As with conventional copywriting, words like ‘you’, imperatives like ‘see’, ‘look and ‘make’ plus, how tos and superlatives like ‘the best’ and ‘the most’ are more likely to broaden your tweet’s appeal and to go viral.
Better tweets tip #5 – use two hashtags
Hashtags allow users to search for the tweets you’ve posted which are of interest to them, even if they’re not following you. They should be short and easily recognisable. As Twitter doesn’t recognise capitals, it’s easier to tweet two words that run together in a hashtag if both are capitalised e.g. #PressRelease. The optimum number of relevant hashtags is two. Any more and you’re likely to be seen as a spammer. Try searching the hashtag you intend to use, especially if it’s popular, to check that you’re not simply making a point that’s already been done to death. Try to put a new spin on your contribution to the conversation.
Better tweets tip #6 – add links to other media
Tweets get a better click rate when they contain links either to pictures, blog posts, or videos. Bit.ly is the most reliable link-shortener and is the service most trusted by Twitter users.
Better tweets tip #7 – tweet regularly
You want to build loyalty among your followers and get them to share your content. The way to do this is to write consistently high-quality tweets, and to tweet regularly, otherwise you’re going to get lost in their timeline. Businesses that tweet up to 20 times a day get more brand engagement and retweets. If you’re a small business, try tweeting at least four or five times a day. Don’t be afraid to tweet the same content several times. It’s easy for it to get lost among the 500 million tweets that are tweeted every single day.
“Businesses that tweet up to 20 times a day get more brand engagement and retweets.”
Better tweets tip #8 – really talk to your followers
It’s a real time service so even if you’ve scheduled tweets it’s important to check your feed regularly to thank people for mentions or retweets, or simply to respond to questions or to help or feedback (whether positive or negative) that’s been offered. Make your followers feel that you’re responding to them in a timely manner so that they feel it’s a real conversation.
Better tweets tip #9 – make offers that are exclusive to Twitter
Offering discount codes that are exclusive to Twitter, lead generation cards attached to tweets or unlocking content once a tweet has been shared/retweeted (Flock To Unlock) can encourage people to follow your brand.
Better tweets tip #10 – use your twitter bio to grab users’ attention
Your Twitter biography can be your best friend. Use it to tell people what you’re about, and try to add an entertaining twist. It’s also good to include a link so that they can find out more about you before they commit to following you.
Better tweets tip #11 – use perfect grammar and punctuation
Users tend to scan their timelines. They’re more attracted to shorter tweets that don’t use abbreviations (with the exception of ‘&’ for ‘and’), and which are properly spelled and punctuated. This because these shorter, well-written tweets are easier to read. Twitter users tend to prefer bit.ly shortened links too, as they regard them as more reliable.
Better tweets tip #12 – tweet on the weekend for B2C and weekdays for B2B
Not surprisingly, consumers have more time to check and interact with their Twitter timelines on the weekend. Despite this, many brands don’t take advantage by scheduling tweets on Saturdays when customers are more likely to be looking for information or offers from B2C businesses. Conversely businesses are more likely to check their Twitter feeds during the week, most specifically on Mondays and Fridays.
Better tweets tip #13 – if you want people to retweet, ask them to!
Research from Salesforce has found that when you ask your followers to retweet they will do so more frequently than if you hadn’t asked. And although everyone on twitter knows that RT means ‘retweet’, users who spelled retweet out in full got 23 times the number of retweets (as opposed to users who wrote RT, who only got 12 times the number of retweets).
Better tweets tip #14 – leave space for retweeters to add their own comment
Most savvy retweeters will want to add something when they retweet your tweet. For this reason, you should leave a few characters spare so that they have space to do so without modifying your original tweet. Research has shown that tweets of 100 characters plus links are ideal – leaving your retweeter 20 characters to add something.
Better tweets tip #15 – test, test test!
Stay ahead of your target audience’s preferences by split testing headlines for the same content and finding out what time of day they want to hear from you. Buffer offers a tool that will let you do just that.
Writing and scheduling tweets can be very time consuming. Did you know that Oxygen can manage your Twitter account for you, tweeting a specified number of tweets that are crafted to get your brand more attention? Call us today on 0845 2606 to find out more.