Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Write Better Tweets: Pretty Good Advice for Any Online Community

"How To Write Better Tweets"
Lisa Barone, Social Media, Small Business Trends (January 27, 2010)

"As silly as it sounds, there's an art to Twitter. Combining a call to action with useful information all inside 140 characters is something that takes practice. The same way journalists had to learn to use the new medium of blogging, tweeting is a new skill that must be mastered. It's more personal, it's more succinct and it's real-time. But just because the information passes more quickly and in fewer characters doesn't mean it's less important. In fact, incorrectly tweeting can be a recipe for total brand disaster and each word counts.

Below are some tips on how to write better tweets to help reach your audience and also to keep your foot out of your mouth....

It's a short article, with some quite good advice. And what I'll call micro-case-studies to back up the shoulds and shouldn'ts.

Like letting people know who - and what - you are:

"Own your account: If you're tweeting on behalf of a company, make sure you disclose that both in your tweets and in your profile. If you try to hide it, it will be found out. If you're a marketing assistant for Dell tweeting about how much you love Dell computers…and then someone puts together that you actually work for Dell, that's going to be an online reputation management nightmare...."

On Twitter, I'm Aluwir, and I try to be pretty up-front about who I am and why I do what I do. (Check out A Small World of Websites™ for my blogs and websites: shameless self-promotion, or disclosure? You decide)

You've probably run into product reviews - and then found out the reviewer works for the manufacturer. Or, worse, that the magazine is owned by the same firm that owns the manufacturer. If that magazine doesn't have good cartoons, you may never buy it again.

The "Watch your grammar" section was good advice, too. I'm a recovering English teacher, but that's not what I think so. I've also been an advertising copywriter - and the last thing you want to do in marketing is make the reader work to figure out what you're trying to say.

"Leave room for retweets" is the advice I'm taking home with me, so to speak. I tend to fill the available space when writing - and this section explains why that's not a good idea on Twitter. Not if you want folks to retweet what you wrote.


Dragonblogger said...

Good article and sound advice for writing on twitter.

Brigid said...

"I'm a recovering English teacher, but that's not what I think so."

The friendly neighborhood proofreader returns!

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