How’s Your Tweetability?


Great Writing, Twitter

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In this crazy mixed-up world of social media, we’re constantly looking for new ways to reach our core audience, find new customers and create new evangelists.

At the center of this quest is my one, favorite constant: great writing.

As PR people, we get paid to be the best writer on the team. Clients look to the writer to crystallize the story and tell it effectively. We have to engage the audience, create a hero with whom to identify, create action and convey the importance of what the audience is reading.

Bust that down to 140 characters, and you’ve got quite a job on your hands.

So what do you do? Whether on twitter or any other social media platform, I adhere to some basic guidelines:

1. Tweet the headline. You don’t have to get the whole story in; that’s what the link is for. You do need to put enough information in to intrigue the reader. What’s the one thing you want your audience to know? Write that, and save the rest for later.

2. Use keywords. Whether preceded by a hashtag (#), ampersand (@) or just on its own, any word can be searched in twitter. So use words that people are looking for, and make your messages not only more interesting, but better search fodder. You’ll be identified and categorized by the words you use most (like the word cloud at right) so choose wisely.

3. Be entertaining. Why do you remember song lyrics written from before you were born but can’t remember what you had for lunch? That’s because there’s an entertainment factor to the recall, and it’s fun. (A million repetitions of a song doesn’t hurt, either) Same rules when you use social media: make your messages fun and they will attract more eyeballs and more clicks.

4. Always link. With rare exception, my tweets always connect the reader to additional information. Telling your whole story on a webpage is easier and more complete. And by directing people to interesting content, you expand and grow your credibility and become someone people come to for your stated expertise.

5. Involve others. Whether retweeting or proactively calling out other users’ handles in your tweets, get people who you admire and play with online in on your act. It instantly engages their network, and expands your circle of influence. Works in the opposite direction too, so everyone wins.

There are plenty other ways to effectively use twitter. What are some of your ways? Would love to hear.

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