How to write effective Twitter updates

Spring break is not too far off, and here I am, making plans.  I love to travel, but I loathe packing.  Packing is the most stressful part of travel for me.

I have this ideal I strive for: one, manageable-size suitcase accommodating every article I need to wear on vacation.

I have yet to attain this model of packing efficiency.

What I always end up doing is packing an impossibly stuffed suitcase, then realizing at the eleventh hour that I am asking too much of a single piece of luggage.  So I have to start over and pack two reasonably filled bags.

I was thinking about this in relation to Twitter.  Sometimes people tweet like I pack.

But just as I have had to come to terms with the real-life limitations of luggage, you can’t expect your tweet to do too much.  Say, for example, you are promoting an event.  Well, an event has several aspects to it.  So identify those individual aspects, and tweet each one, separately.  Don’t try to stuff everything you need into one bag, er, tweet!

Here are some quick Twitter tips for you to remember today

  1. One tweet = one idea, link or call to action.  Don’t make a tweet do too much.  Just as I have learned I can’t fit my evening clothes and fitness clothes in a single bag, you can’t expect your readers to absorb everything in a single tweet.
  2. Keep your tweets short (or you risk busting the zipper on your bag).  You only have 140 characters to work with.  Don’t use all 140 or you want have any room to bring back souvenirs.  I mean, you won’t have any room for people to retweet with a comment!  So leave a little breathing room in your tweets.
  3. In luggage, identification is everything.  And so it is with Twitter.  Are you referring to someone real?  Such as a featured speaker, or author of an article?  Use his/her Twitter handle, plus name, if you have room in the tweet.  Write it like this: David Hyson @dhyson (remember not to put punctuation flush against the Twitter handle or it won’t link to the person’s account).  If you only have room for one, use his/her Twitter handle. In Twitter search, both are important, and the person to whom you referred will thank you (often publicly) for the mention (and bump in search and followers).

If you have any Twitter update composition tips to share, or packing tips for that matter, be sure to leave them in the comments!


About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a mom, teacher, and blogger. She is also the creator of "Living Well With Autism," an online resource for caregivers of children, teens, and adults with autism and related special needs.

Posted on February 23, 2011, in Twitter Tips and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.


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