It sounds like something out of a strange dystopian novel. From here on out, all speech will be limited to 140 characters. Doesn’t matter who you are, either. Not even the president can exceed that length.
As fictitious as it may seem, however, the character limit imposed by Twitter is very real. Rather than fleeing such a linguistic straightjacket, however, the world has taken to Twitter’s content amplification platform the same way a mob takes to free donuts.
Indeed, Twitter has become one of the world’s most widely-used conversation media tools, deploying more than 500 million tweets a day for approximately half that number of users. Unfortunately, all that twitters is not gold. And with so many attempts at content amplification taking place, it’s easy to get lost in a shuffle of mediocrity. But with a little extra polishing, your tweets can stand out like nuggets in a pan. You just need to know how to master the art of conversation marketing. Here are the fundamentals.
Be a tease – Think of your tweet as a headline. If you saw it on a newspaper, would you buy it? If the answer’s no, then your readers probably won’t follow through either.
Choose words wisely – If brevity is the soul of wit, then precision is its younger brother. There’s no need to say that Beyonce’s an incredible singer and dancer, for instance, when you can just call her multi-talented. Let the accompanying link you offer do all the heavy lifting for you. Use your allotted 140 to grab your readers’ attention and kick your content amplification into high gear.
Use lots of images – If you really want to enjoy the benefits of conversation media, remember that a picture’s worth a thousand words. That’s why it gets more engagement. According to one study, tweets with a pic perform twice as well as those with text alone.
Be insightful– You can actually do quite a bit in the space of a tweet. Instead of repeating something dry and pointless, use a little interpretation to create meaning for the reader. Ask questions. Point out inconsistencies. Instead of “Pictures on Twitter get more engagement,” for instance, try “Pictures on Twitter get more engagement. Why do we prefer images to information?”
Know thyself – Find ways to embed your personality in those 140 characters you have. Let your readers know who you are. Crack jokes. Make pithy statements. Retweet insightful and engaging content. Compose a couplet. Tell a brief story. Whatever compels you, let it compel others.
Avoid over-advertising – Too many promotional messages kills content amplification by killing engagement. People come to Twitter in search of interesting and relevant content, not to wade through heaps of clutter.
Be conversational – Keep your tone light and friendly. Help your readers see you as a human being, rather than a branded entity.
Interact with others – When someone tweets at or responds to you, answer back. Remember: it’s a conversation. If you get trolled, stay upbeat and stay on message.
Tweet early and tweet often – Here’s another secret of content amplification: Tweets published in the morning and afternoon get about 30% more engagement than those sent out at night. By the same token, accounts that tweet 4-5 times a day get more followers than those that tweet sporadically.
Issue a call to action – Whether it’s clicking a link or following your handle, you want the reader to do something. Spell it out in a way that’s friendly and encouraging. When readers know what do with your content, the experience is richer for them. They come to see your material as meaningful and gradually a dialogue ensues, which is the reason conversation media was created in the first place.