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5 Elements of the Perfect Tweet

By Cedric Jackson, July 4, 2017
5 Elements of the Perfect Tweet

Of the social media platforms, I think Twitter is the most interesting. Its built-in limitations actually make it more versatile, in ways, than platforms like Facebook that don't have things like character limits as part of their structure.

Twitter is also the most influential platform when it comes to direct social interactions between users. Granted, you don't have to talk directly to people, but folks are just more prone to strike up conversations on Twitter than on the other networks. In fact, that's where the concept of hashtags originated. They were a means of bookmarking and easily finding specific conversations. That was less necessary with Facebook given its more bulletin board- /Usenet-styled conversation hierarchies.

As both platforms evolved, well... we know where this story is going. Twitter's influence – even on giants like Facebook (who quickly adopted the use of hashtags) – is remarkable, and that is why, I think, it's important to take seriously what you post there and how you present it. Don't manufacture “Covfefe” moments with your audience by being too casual with Twitter.

So what are the building blocks of a perfect tweet? Some of these might seem a bit obvious, but I will issue you this challenge: Once you're done with this article, go back and read a few of your more recent tweets. I think you will discover that, with some of these things fresh in your mind, you will see room for improvement.

Element #1: A Personable Tone

Remember that the goal of a good tweet is not just to inform (it stopped being a status update site a long time ago), but to engage. You want your tweets to do one of two things: a) start a conversation, or b) motivate people to take some kind of action. A personable tone is vital for success in either approach.

Think about it: Unless we're talking about his or her boss, most people don't typically do things for people they don't like. You must maintain a personable tone if you ever expect people to take action on your tweets or engage you in conversation.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and recommend that you try to be a little less cautious with grammar in your tweets (just like we are when we speak). A casual, friendly tone is the stuff this platform is built upon. You are welcome, and encouraged, to use contractions, idioms, and even a little slang in your tweets if it is appropriate to the conversation or CTA.

Do bear in mind, however, that “personable” does not necessarily have to mean goofy, funny, or madcap. Your Twitter account is not the basis for a sitcom (unless, of course, you're promoting a sitcom, in which case, just ignore that analogy), so don't confuse “personable” with “silly.”

Please also be careful not to dive into salesman mode in your effort to be personable. You have to be creative about how you promote on Twitter. The tone and structure of the message will go further in selling its concept than any direct sales language ever will.

Element #2: Inclusive Language

I have emphasized in the past how making the message about the reader (using “you” liberally) is vital to securing conversions and that is very true. On Twitter, though, you might find that more people respond to a more inclusive approach.

Remember, we need to think conversation here and that means “you” and “me” together. If you're having trouble with CTAs like, “Click here to learn more...” try something like, “Let's talk about that...” and see if your click-through rate (CTR) improves.

Place yourself on the path with the reader. One of the most powerful marketing tools on social media is simply being present. That means tweeting regularly and always being mentally in front of your audience. What better way to make that mental connection than by including yourself and your brand in the conversation in an active way?

Element #3 – Open-Ended Discussions

If you are trying to strike up conversations, open-ended questions or concepts are the best possible way. You get what I mean: Shy away from questions with “yes” or “no” answers. Words like “what” and “which” are great ways to start questions in your tweets. Don't like the question format? You can kick it “Family Feud” style, too: “Name something you wish you could accomplish with your copy that you aren't right now, and... go!”

Element #4 – Self-Imposed Character Limits

I'll make this short and sweet since I've mentioned it many times before: Reserve characters for @mentions and additional comments on retweets. The perfect marketing tweet is around 100 characters, give or take. My “Family Feud” example is 97 without the quotes, and it gets the job done nicely. You can also add visuals to attract attention to the tweet and I recommend it if the image reinforces the message in the tweet.

Element #5 – Hashtags

It might seem obvious that you should use hashtags on Twitter, but what many marketers and business people get wrong here is how they use them. For starters, you need to use good ones. Some hashtags are more effective than others are, and ones you make up rarely get much attention. Use a good hashtag tool to help you narrow down the best ones to use in your tweets.

Hashtag placement is also a big deal. The most effective ones appear at the end of the tweet or are one of the keywords in the tweet. Limit hashtag use to no more than two, and never place them in line together #like #this.

Final Takeaway

It is important to know your tweet's purpose and frame it in a way that is going to get you the results you want. The above elements should all be present in your tweets. Need some advice on how to do that or just a second set of eyes that know what to look for? A good custom writing or copywriting agency is a great place to start. 

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