Twitter has long established itself as the ultimate platform for sharing and exchanging link content. For bloggers and brands, Twitter has surpassed Digg, Stumbleupon, Delicious and Reddit, and is only rivaled by Facebook as the most effective and consistent way to build website traffic through social marketing.
Better still, by building an engaged and relevant community, marketers can continue to reap the benefits of that traffic on a daily basis. Almost by accident, Twitter provided us with a new and improved take on permissive marketing, which has allowed the network to leave other social sharing websites in its dust.
It’s not all gravy, though – it’s easy to make mistakes that can be very costly indeed, leaving your tweet (and content) all but ignored. Continue making those errors, and Twitter will be about as beneficial to your brand and website as a typo-laden, badly-drawn flyer at your local community centre.
And while it’s perfectly acceptable to link to your own content, if you over-sell it, self-promote too much, or adopt the habits of salesmen of old (even slightly), you’re very quickly going to be overlooked. Worse, likely it won’t be too long before you’re labelled as nothing more than a spammer.
Reality check. Only two things really count when striving for the perfect tweet:
- Maximum readability
- Maximum retweetability
Collectively, these are vital. One does not favour the other. For maximum benefit, both of these elements needs to be perfect every single time.
1. Think Like Your Readers
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s easily overlooked. For your tweet to be perfect, it needs to appeal most to your readers, to the majority of your network, and not to you.
Unless you’re a world-famous celebrity or brand with millions of devoted followers, adopting an attitude of ‘they’ll know what I mean’ or ‘everybody likes this!’ will almost always backfire.
You have to take the time to craft your tweet accurately and pleasingly, thus ensuring that it will be appeal to the highest number of readers.
2. Use Consistent Excellence To Stand Out From The Crowd
Take a moment to peruse your Twitter feed. Refresh the page. Who stands out? Why?
Through prolonged Twitter use we all become tuned into paying attention to certain things in our timelines, notably the avatars and usernames of our favourite profiles. But a friend or valued associate sharing new content isn’t always enough to make us click on that link. We trust their judgement, and we have liked some of the things they’ve shared in the past, but this hasn’t turned us into a robot, automatically clicking on everything they tweet.
Conversely, there are many times when we suddenly notice the tweet of somebody we’ve only recently started following, or have previously not paid much attention to, because it was excellent. It ticked all of our boxes, and we read the tweet and clicked on that link.
This has an additional benefit in that because the tweet was so good, subconsciously we’ll make a little note about the user (particularly their name and avatar) and are more likely to notice them the next time they update. This attention will rise exponentially if their tweets maintain a consistent quality.
Likewise, if the quality of updates dips too sharply or wanders too far off-course, we’ll start to pay less attention, and in severe cases this can lead to a total tune-out and unfollowing. Hence, while being occasionally excellent is better than nothing, being consistently excellent is better than everything.
3. Sell The Headline (In A Non-Salesman Way)
People need a really good reason to click on your link. Remember, at any given time (and in almost any Twitter client) the reader is faced with a number of choices to make – there might be as many as a dozen different tweets on their screen, and a lot more if they’re using columns or groups.