Writecombination Social Media
by Andrew Knowles
01-Aug-13

How to write a great tweet

Writing a tweet is easy. Almost anyone can bash out a few words on a keyboard and fire their missive off to the world by hitting ‘Tweet’.  

But there’s a world of difference between an ordinary or regular ‘tweet’ and a ‘great tweet’. If your timeline is anything like mine, it’s overflowing with ordinary tweets - strings of text that pass by without a first, never mind a second, glance. 

Over 9,000 tweets are posted on Twitter every second. How many are never read by anyone?

The tweets that get noticed are the ‘great tweets’. These are read, retweeted and replied to. They generate new followers, start or continue conversations, and contain links that get clicked.

So how do you write a great tweet, one that stands out from the crowd?

The secret of writing a tweet that attracts attention

If there was a formula guaranteed to make a tweet successful, the creator would be extremely wealthy as a result. The reality is that the factors that make a tweet ‘successful’ are a complex mix that includes:

  • Who writes the tweet
  • The audience it’s addressed to
  • The subject matter
  • The time of day
  • The situation of the reader

The famously banal ‘I’m having a cup of tea’ tweet takes on a new dimension when posted by a celebrity and read by an avid fan, or when posted by a family member you haven’t heard from in a while. But even then the tweet only works if you happen to be reviewing your timeline just after it’s posted.

Know what you want from your tweet

At the heart of the formula for the successful tweet is knowing what you want that 140 character message to do for you.

If you’re posting a message just to let off steam, and you don’t really care who reads it, then the simple act of tweeting gives you the result you’re looking for.

But if you’re trying to promote a message - about your products or your cause - the measure of success is the level of response the tweet generates. This could be retweets, new follows, comments or link clicks. All these are relatively easy to measure. 

What’s harder to assess is what constitutes ‘success’. If you’re measuring clicks on a link, how many clicks equate to ‘success’? One? Five? Eleven? To a certain extent it’s all relative - if your tweet garnered three clicks last time and ten this time, that’s an improvement and you should think about what made the difference. Better wording? Different time of day? 

Learning to write a great tweet is a blend of inspiration and experimentation, along with finding ways to measure the results. 

 




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