In Part 1, I spoke about treating Tweeters (Twitter users) as humans, by which we discussed no auto DMing, and lowering your self-promotion.
Writing effective Tweets
If you are writing a new tweet, i.e. not retweeting (RTing) or replying to someone else’s tweet, you can get noticed by a few tips.
Leave enough space for “RT @[name]: ”
I like to re-tweet (RT) the old-fashioned way. AKA I like to put “RT @” in front of a Tweeter’s “@” mention name. This way, their name appears in the tweet. It feels more personal to me than pressing a button (although I do this occasionally)
However I can’t do this is the Tweeter didn’t leave enough space!
The point of leaving 6 characters “RT @” plus “: ” plus your mention-name is so people can RT this old-fashioned way! So, sometimes, if there isn’t enough space for me to write a RT then I won’t (can’t) do it.
It sounds lazy, or obvious, depending on how you look at it, but people will be physically able to RT your content if you leave the space in your original tweet to do so. For me, this means I always leave at least 18 characters.
(Whoops – my secret’s out!)
Use # (Hashtags) in moderation
If I typed “#author” into my tweet and sent it, a blue hyperlink is created. This means my tweet with “#author” is searchable by any Tweeter, whether they follow me or not. A handy tool, I hear you say? Yes.
However, hashtags can be abused too!
No hashtags – Tweeters won’t find you and it’s harder to gain a bigger following if no one is seeing you!
Wrong hashtags – you use unrelated hashtags (i.e.#people) for a tweet about an author’s favourite lines in books. Or, you use obscure hashtags, which people don’t use and you’re the only one, perhaps besides one or two others, who use it. I.e. #lovecoolwritingtips
Too many hashtags – this isn’t wrong, per se, but it makes you look plain desperate, and you cut out space for titles, comments and RTing. Don’t take a stab in the dark and use six random hashtags in the hope they all work. Use related tags for writing tweets (i.e. #writing, #amwriting, #writetip).
»Titling tweets «
An oldy but a goody: use action verbs. E.g:
“GRAB attention in your writing by KILLING the boring stuff.”
“How to USE bad reviews to IMPROVE book sales.”
Choose verbs carefully because they’re what people notice.
Start/End: the strongest parts of sentences are the starts and ends, just like novels — the middle is the weakest. Start with a bang and/or end with a bang.
Be personal. You have a Twitter account to say something that no one else can do, so add a comment! Do you have an absurd humour to add? I don’t so I don’t go for humour. I have an obsessive personality, so when I love a book, I’ll rave and OMGosh and share constantly.
I know you have 140 characters and all but … keep it concise. I used to use up every character when I started Twitter (don’t go back to check, please? Oh, you can’t :D ). Using up all 140 characters can be ineffective because your message runs the risk of getting lost among wordiness and useless baffle. Yes, even in only 140 characters.
Say something different! Search for a tag, i.e. #writetip, and you’ll find many “Top tips to…” and “10 ways to…”
What isn’t being said? You could try the flip side, and say “I hate tip lists and here’s why”. I’d be more likely to click on the latter tweet because I want to know why this Tweeter has said something that 98% of others aren’t! I’ve already read 100 posts on writing tips, but this person has done the opposite and I want to know why.
Don’t always do this — vary your tweets (which is next) — but an odd tweet like this heightens your chance of standing out from the crowd.
Vary tweets. I know many people who (I won’t name) send out the same tweet, the same TYPE of tweet. Mostly, this occurs with self-promotion. Only someone would annoy others so much if it benefited them.
Please, if you have a new post or book or message you want to share, mix it up.
I try to limit annoyance with: re-posting old blog posts, replying to tweets, reposting others’ content and tweeting random lines (no link tweets). (I hope I don’t annoy my audience.) It looks bad if someone can see the same post in one screen — fill up the space with other meaningful tweets.
Next up is how to find useful content to tweet (besides your own ;) )
Do you have any tips to add on writing effective tweets?
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