Convince Anyone: 7 Strategies for Highly Persuasive Tweets

The power to influence people is something many people want — and one of the reasons you may have finally started your own Twitter account. Whether you tweet on behalf of a cause, a company, or yourself, it always feels good to release a tweet that has some power in the internet world. “Twinfluence” is the concept of how much total influence you have through your Twitter, but here are 7 strategies to make any one individual tweet much more persuasive.

1. Link to a reputable source. This strategy holds true for any work that you want to be taken seriously. Of course, not every tweet requires a link. But even if you’re tweeting an original thought, accompanying it with a link to an interesting related article will add depth to your message. Of course, linking to a D-list news source will probably work against you — you don’t have to go as mainstream as the New York Times, but you want to be credible.

2. Include several hashtags…but not too many. Using tools that Twitter popularized — like the hashtag — shows that you at least know what’s up in the social media world. Even if you’re just tweeting for something silly like #areasonwhyimsingle, you show that you care about connecting with the same themes as other Twitter users, boosting how persuasive your own tweet might be.

3. Be Polite. One of the easiest things to do on the internet is to be rude. Twitter makes rudeness come particularly easy, since the concept of the site encourages you to spout off your thoughts as soon as you think them, to increase your number of tweets, and therefore your number of followers, and therefore your influence. But if you’re trying to make an individual tweet persuasive, be polite — your positive reception will increase exponentially.

4. Don’t Repeat the Same Tweet Over and Over. We get it. You disapprove of Emma Watson’s new haircut. You think the Rapture movement is a huge joke. You disapprove of the super injunction crisis. Whatever your point is, unless you have a new angle or a new development to share in your next tweet, move on. Even if you’re trying to hammer your point home, your audience will wonder whether you’re actually thoughtful and articulate or whether your stream of monotonous tweets are just your way of venting emotion.

5. But Be Consistent. If you want your tweet to persuade people, you’ll have more credibility if your audience knows this topic is part of your expertise. Thoughts on the subject related to your username or your bio will serve as clues that your tweet is worth reading, because after all, you’ve shaped your Twitter identity around this theme.

6. Use the Question and Answer Format. When you pose an evocative question and then give a short answer, you reveal your ability to incorporate a rhetorical device into your tweet. You also show the extent to which you are interested in open-ended topics, perhaps revealing your open mind and signalling to others that they should listen to you.

7. Target Someone Relevant. If you’re going to tweet @ someone, make sure that Twitter user is actually relevant to the content of your tweet. That being said, replying and tweeting with people accomplishes the same thing as using hashtags — it shows you understand the point of a social network. This strategy demonstrates that you are willing to interact with other Twitter users, which shows that you really are willing to stand by your point publicly.

What makes a tweet particularly convincing to you?