With more than 110 million tweets being sent per day, it’s easy for most messages venturing into the Twittersphere to get lost in the timeline shuffle. Unless you’re Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber or CNN, so much of what people tweet ends up being seen only by a few followers or goes unnoticed altogether. So how do you get your missives to stand out and get retweeted? Here are some tips:
Quality: Good writing gets noticed in part because it’s easy to read. Make good use of your 140 characters by making them good ones. Always spell correctly. Use proper grammar. Write using an active voice (such as “Jane shared her quilting tips”) rather than a passive voice (The quilting tips were shared by Jane). Don’t over-abbreviate—not everyone abbreviates words the same way and tweets containing too many abbreviations slows readers down as they try to decipher your words’ meanings. Always shorten links. Use all caps and punctuation sparingly and for emphasis. The easier you make it for people to read your tweets, the more likely they will want to read them and come to know that your tweets are worth reading when they see your avatar appear in their timeline.
Content: People follow you for a reason. Maybe you represent a company that specializes in search engine optimization, or you’re a long-time sewing expert who loves to tweet about quilting tips and fabric sales. When it comes to tweeting, create content that is appropriate for your account. If your followers follow you mainly because you said that you will tweet about basketball news and NBA players, you probably don’t want to start sending multiple paid tweets for Acai berry products. An offbeat tweet now and then is fine and acceptable, but remember to stay focused on your purpose for tweeting and why people follow you. You know the saying: “Give ‘em what they want.” Give them anything else, and your tweets might become a turn off. Even if people don’t begin to unfollow you, they might simply tune out and overlook your tweets whenever they appear.
Frequency: If you send out several tweets a day—great! However, if those several tweets are crammed into the same hour, you will be missing out on the opportunity to reach more of your followers who tune in throughout the day. If possible, spread out your tweets more so that you increase the odds that more eyes will see them. If your schedule does not allow for checking into Twitter more than once a day, consider assigning the task of sending tweets to someone other than yourself. Often companies manage social media accounts in shifts, which allows them to interact and be available more for customer service questions (some companies even post their ‘tweeting hours’ on their account bios). There is debate over whether or not people should use a service that allows them to schedule tweets. Some argue that if you tweet you should also be available to respond to comments about those tweets. I agree that conversing with your followers is imporant. However, if you do not have the staff to support extended time on social media, a compromise might be in order. Try a mix of real-time tweeting and scheduled tweets. Log in to Twitter when possible to send real-time tweets and monitor follower feedback. Some services that can help you get started in scheduling are Social Oomph and Twuffer.
Twitter is all about reading. The easier you make it for your followers to read your tweets, the more likely your message will get noticed…and retweeted. Happy tweeting! ~Erin