Courtesy of Guest Blogger, Jessica Burde, Inbound Marketing Specialist. Click here to learn more.
So you’ve heard all about the way Twitter can help your business (it really can!), you understand that Twitter is all about starting conversations with total strangers until they aren’t strangers anymore, you started your account, and you write your first Tweet--but before you finish writing, your words start turning red! Now the “Tweet” button is gone, and you can’t send your message. What happened?
It turns out, your tweet is too long. A very common problem for new Twitterers.
Twitter is an amazing platform for businesses, but writing tweets can take some getting used to. Here’s an easy step-by-step to help you craft the perfect Tweet.
Have an idea.
Each Tweet needs one idea. One simple idea. This idea can be “Come check out my awesome blog post!” or “It’s time for spring cleaning” or “hey, who likes jalapenos?” Sometimes just “Good morning, Lehigh Valley!”
Write one or two sentences.
If your idea is “Come check out my awesome blog post!” your might write, “How to Write a Tweet: a step by step guide for small businesses. Now on...” If your idea is “Good morning, Lehigh Valley!” you might just write that, or you might write, “Good morning, Lehigh Valley. Are you loving the warm weather as much as I am?”
Check your character count.
Twitter is a social media platform where everything is 140 characters or less. For reference, these two sentences are 138 characters long.
If your tweet is longer than 140 characters, you can’t share it. However, it’s better to aim for 120 characters. This allows you to include links and hashtags if you need to.
Twitter is a social media platform where everything is 140 characters or less. For reference, these two sentences are 13
That’s 120 characters, but we don’t want to just chop words off our tweet, we need to:
Rewrite the Tweet to make it fit.
Start by removing unnecessary words.
Twitter is a social media platform where everything is 140 characters or less. These two sentences are 123 characters long.
That helps, but still longer that we’d like. So we can rearrange our words a bit.
On Twitter everything is 140 characters or less. These two sentences are 93 characters long.
That’s actually shorter than we need, so I have extra room for hashtags and links.
If you can’t rewrite the tweet so it to be short enough, you can use abbreviations and grammar shortcuts. “b/c,” “w/,” “re:,” and several other “shorthand” abbreviations are very common on Twitter. Don’t be afraid to “LOL” if commenting on something funny, but try to avoid “RU coming?”--it comes across as lazy or unprofessional. Leaving the period of the last sentence in a Tweet is almost expected. Drop commas freely. Don’t drop your question marks.
Add Links and Hashtags
If you are tweeting about a specific web page or blog post you want to put the link at the end of your tweet. But first, go to Bitly. Bitly is a free “link shortener” which will take your 40 character link and shrink it down to around 20 characters. There are other ways to shorten links, but Bitly is the easiest for a new Twitter user.
Hashtags are words for “#” in front of them. Hashtags are the way people on Twitter find things that interest them. Someone who is interested in online marketing might follow #seotips. If you offer life coaching services, you might use #lifecoaching. Hashtagify.me is a great place to find hashtags relevant to your business.
Congratulations, you’ve written your first tweet. Double check for typos and click “Tweet!”