8 Compelling Ways To Tell 140 Character Stories On Twitter

8 Compelling Ways To Tell 140-Character Stories On Twitter

With nearly 300 million users, Twitter is one of the most effective means of getting your message to your target audience. With a mind-boggling amount of tweets circulating on a daily basis, your challenge is to make your message stand out and get noticed. You also have to maximize the 140-character limit allotted per tweet.

Unfortunately, not all people have a natural talent for storytelling and writing good tweets. If you’re using your Twitter for social media marketing purposes, you have to learn how to write effective and concise content or else you’re in for costly mistakes that will leave your tweets ignored.

Importance of writing good headlines

The headline is the first thing that people will see in your message. 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 of them will bother to read the rest of what you’ve written. You have to use the headline to grab their attention so they will be interested enough to read your entire copy. According to a study, using an engaging headline can increase the conversion rate of your link or website by 73%.

Elements of a great tweet

So what makes a tweet better than the rest? There are two things to keep in mind here: Readability and “Re-tweetability.” This is especially important if you’re using Twitter to promote a product, service, or brand. Both these elements should be present in your tweet in order for it to be effective. With these two in mind, you can now write great tweets using these 8 ways to make your stories on Twitter as compelling and as accessible as possible.

1. Don’t forget the link.

In this case, the link is the extension of your message. Your tweet is just the intro to your story. This is why you should always include a link in your tweet so that it will lead readers to a photo, article, video, or blog post related to your message. You can save up on characters by using URL shorteners such as ow.ly or bit.ly.

2. Use only 100 characters as much as possible.

Tweeter allots 140 characters per tweet but if you want to increase the “re-tweetability” of your message, you need to leave a little space of a least 2 characters. See, when someone wants to retweet your message, they have to add the “RT” symbol and some texts of their own, so those extra 20 characters will be eaten up. Having extra space means the reader doesn’t have to edit your message before retweeting, making it easier to share. This rule can be broken from time to time, especially if it involves preserving the appearance of good copy.

3. Make good use of hashtags.

You can see hashtags peppered all over the place, even outside of Twitter. It can get irritating sometimes seeing them everywhere but face it, hashtags are here to stay…for now. There are good practices in writing hashtags. Some of them are:

Avoid using too many words together, except maybe for humorous posts. Writing #ihatemylifeitssoboringihateit looks ridiculous and you may end up losing followers for it.

  • Limit yourself to 1 or two hashtags per tweet. You can use up to 3 if you need to promote an article. A tweet full of blue, highlighted, and clickable words can be an eyesore.
  • Do not use the same hashtag in every tweet that you make. It’s understandable if you have to use the hashtag more than once to promote something but even self-promotion has its limits.

4. Hook the reader with a question.

Write a question related to the content you’re promoting and use it as the text for your tweet. Here are some of the good openers:

  • “Do you know how many people…?”
  • “Do you know the easy way to…?”
  • “Are you having trouble with…?”
  • “Do you ever wonder why…?”

5. Ask for help by using questions.

Asking for help or assistance can be an effective way in engaging followers. People often feel happy to share their expertise especially if a lot of people can see it. Here are some examples of the questions you can use:

  • “Can you recommend a good…?”
  • “Where can I find a…?”
  • “What can I do about…?”

If someone was helpful enough to answer your question, do not just leave the answer hanging. Strike a conversation with that user and commend them if their answer solved your problem. This will show your followers that you listen to their replies and you know how to show appreciation.

6. Add a personal touch.

Your followers are more likely to stick with you if they can see your personality through your social messaging. They will be glad to know what you think about the stuff that you re-tweet. With only a limited number of characters available, you can do this by saying short expressions such as “No kidding” or “Yuck.”

7. Add something original.

This involves playing around with the text of the message you’re retweeting to make your comment fit within the character limit. Putting words before the tweet which reflect your observation can make you look smart (assuming that your text makes sense) and can make people consider retweeting your messages.

8. Practice good grammar and perfect spelling.

There’s simply no excuse for poor grammar and spelling use, even in a 140-character setting. Accept that a lot of people will judge you on how you write and spell. Watch out for the little things that matter:

  • Use capital letters at the start of the sentence and every new sentence
  • Avoid text speak at all costs
  • Avoid using all caps in your text because it makes you appear that you’re shouting

Lots of celebrities break these rules in their tweets, something you shouldn’t pay attention to. Even if their tweets look juvenile or ridiculous, people will still follow them because they’re celebrities.

Same goes for punctuation. Correct usage of punctuation makes your copy look more professional. Know when and how to use you full stops and commas and put your apostrophes in the right places. Restrain the urge to end all your sentences with a punctuation mark.

It may all seem like hard work trying to incorporate all these rules into a compact message. If you find tweeting to be a tedious affair after knowing the do’s and don’ts, just keep in mind that a little bit of extra effort will go a long way in making your tweets hit the jackpot in terms of followers and traffic. Once you see the benefits of crafting well-written messages with all the right elements, you’ll never be careless in tweeting again.

P.S. Write good tweets and the followers will come.

Guest Author: Kimbery Grimms is a Social Media Today writer. She writes about business, marketing and everything digital. Follow her @kimberlygrimms

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Comments

  • A Long

    Great article Jeff.

  • http://www.bigskywords.com/ Greg Strandberg

    Great tips. I’d add images. When I want my tweets to get noticed, I shorten up that writing to account for the extra character eat up of that attachment. But we know tweets with images get more shares and more clicks.

  • Holly Young

    Thank you for the excellent tips. I’m new to Twitter so I appreciate the insight.