1 cup of knowledge, a dash of insight and a pinch of humor. Isn't that the recipe for a perfect tweet?
If only it were that easy. What does that look like in the real twittersphere? What's the perfect combination of 140 characters to release to the world?
Earlier this month, All Twitter's Shea Bennett gave some insight into the perfect tweet that I wanted to recap for our readers. Shea is right on that the essentials are readability and retweetability.
To help you achieve Tweeting Perfecton, check out these 6 tips.
1. Think Like Your Readers
This is really just about knowing your customer. Don't tweet in a way that just appeals to you. Know who is reading your tweets and what they want to hear. Think like they think and you'll appeal to them. The result is more clicks, more retweets and more engagement.
2. Sell The Headline in a Non-Salesman Way
No one wants to feel like they are being sold something. Even so, people need a good reason to click on or engage with a tweet! That is the conundrum that needs to be balanced for the perfect tweet. "This is cool" and "Buy my stuff now!" are among the worst statements to make next to a link. Steer clear also from making extreme promises or overhyping to your readers. If people find they can't trust your words, they will ignore them.
3. Use Correct Punctuation
Just do it. Some people might not mind when you don't, but those that do, mind a lot! Use commas, put apostrophes in the correct places, employ parentheses when appropriate. Additionally, watch out for programs that auto generate tweets. While very helpful, some use erratic punctuation and hashtags that give a less than professional impression.
4. Check Your Spelling
Comeon, guys. You probably know how I feel about spelling mistakes and the need to proof your own work. I've posted about it before. This goes for all tweets because this stuff matters. One caviat to this is "text-speak" such as "R U going?" or "Going 2 restrnt!". Obviously, this is not ideal. Sometimes in the twittersphere, however, it is very tempting to abbreviate because you can save yourself a few of your precious 140 characters. You need to avoid this at all costs. Here and there, I'll let you get away with a "u" instead of "you", but you are definitely better off taking an extra moment to craft the message differently and use proper spelling than resorting to text-speak.
5. Prepare For The Retweet
Brace yourself. The perfect tweet shouldn't utilize all 140 characters. Yes, I am taking away some characters. To properly prepare for retweets, you need to leave room in the tweet for someone to retweet it. This is because many retweets add either your twitter handle or the retweeter's twitter handle to your original tweet. So, sorry, folks, but I am about to remove a piece of your 140-slice pie. Actually, 20 pieces. That's right, the ideal tweet is 120 characters, leaving 20 blank characters for retweeting. Granted, Twitter's internal retweeting removes the need for a shorter retweet (because it just copies your original message directly) but not everyone uses that specific type of retweet. So, strive for 120 characters when you can, but do not sacrifice the quality of your tweet.
6. Shorten Your Links
Can I say this enough? Use Bitly to shorten your links. DanZarella, the social media scientist, shared a great chart that shows why Bitly is the best URL shortener. Try it, learn it, love it.
Thoughts on our steps to the perfect tweet? What else would you advise?