Twitter is an annoyance to some, a joke to others, and it has become so pervasive that it’s one of the strongest social marketing tools available today. Writing effective tweets can funnel readers to your blog and contacts and potential clients to your site. It has the power to brand you as a social media pariah or increase your sales exponentially. Beware; Twitter is a double-edged sword. Use it with care.
1) Don’t info-dump.
Tweets are limited to 140 characters. That’s short… really short. So you’ll have to learn to express yourself in short bursts. There’s a temptation to try to cram as much into that 140-character space as possible. Don’t. Instead, focus on one attention-grabbing focus point, and promote that. Think of Twitter as a headline- a tool to draw the reader in and leave them wanting more.
2) Be re-tweetable
140 characters is a really small space, I know. But if you want to be picked up by others in your network, (in other words, if you want your message to spread beyond your own list of followers), you’ll need to leave space for re-tweeting. Even local bloggers should embrace the re-tweet. More than global bloggers, local bloggers depend on word of mouth. The maximum for an easily re-tweetable tweet is 120 characters. Leaving those extra 20 leaves space for the @username and a brief commentary by the re-tweeter. It’s a small sacrifice to make for a larger potential audience. Make it.
Photo by Dhaval Jani
3) Be personal
Of course your professional Twitter account is a chance to promote your business. You’ll want to keep your tone professional and tweet about interesting trends in the industry, your latest job, that shiny award one of your designs won, but don’t forget that Twitter is also an opportunity to get to know your audience, and to let them get to know you. So, occasionally tweet about the race your kid just ran, the new restaurant you’re trying out, or the latest mega-budget film you’re going to see. Just don’t get carried away. No one wants to hear about your Aunt Betsy’s bunion treatments. Trust me. Be personal, but keep it professional. If you wouldn’t share the story around the water cooler, don’t tweet it.
4) Be accurate
Nothing turns tweet-readers off as fast as bad grammar, spelling and garbled, unclear messages. Take the time to edit your tweets. Make sure they make sense, are readable and contribute something to your audience’s knowledge base. Inspire. Inform. Don’t exasperate with your bad spelling and txt spk. It’s annoying.
5) Fit in links
Use a link-shortening tool. Twitter (and most bloggers) recommend Bit.ly. Your audience is unlikely to Google your blog, no matter how interesting/humorous/useful your tweets may be. Include a link with your tweets, and this is critical: make sure they work.
Twitter can be one of the best tools bloggers and designers have for attracting new clients. Use it carefully to succeed. #asanexampleImadethissentence120characters.
|Tom Chu works for PsPrint and PsPrint Blog. When he’s not sitting behind a computer, Tom likes watching sci-fi movies and Japanese cartoons, hitting the golf course and playing with his four dogs. You can connect with Tom via Google+ or Twitter.|