Weekend Favs July Four

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from Flickr or one that I took out there on the road.

Fireworks on the Lugano Lake

Good stuff I found this week:

LAPA – Nice collection of landing page examples from around the web

Synup – Another player in the local marketing software category with some nice features

Open Space – New York based unique spaces for short term rent and collaboration

Twitter 101: How To Craft the Perfect Tweet

Two twitter birds fall in love holding a red heart background. Vector file available.

photo credit: bigstockphoto.com

You’re a small business owner, trying to make an impact in the wild world of social media. Twitter is tempting. It’s not only a slick way to share your branded content, but it’s also a great platform for sharing other news and tips you think your community would enjoy.

The fact that Twitter exists in the first place, however, suggests our own collective impatience as a culture. If we wanted lots of words and links filling up our smartphone screens, we’d head over to Facebook. The twitterverse is a different type of platform, where people want things short, fast, and very much within their control.

Here’s how to play by the rules of Twitter and craft great tweets in the process.

Keep It Short(er)

How much shorter can you get than 140 characters? We all have so much to say, it almost seems unfair. But, how about 120 characters? Why, you ask? Because shorter tweets are … well, shorter.

Shorter tweets are easier to read, and better for retweeting. Those extra twenty characters you’ve kindly sacrificed will now be more easily usable for your followers. The extra characters allow them to add their own handle and hashtag if they wish to retweet and/or create a modified version of your tweet. At 120, there’s less risk of your precious message being cut off or truncated – all the more reason to tweet those extra characters forward

Front Load

When crafting a tweet, put the main topic of your message as close to the beginning as possible. Consider these variations.

  1. 25 ways to make customers smile through great service.
  2. 25 smile-inducing customer service tips.
  3. 25 retail tips to keep your customers smiling.

Which one of the above tweets tickles your fancy? If you guessed “a” … you’d be wrong. It’s okay, it happens. For best results, “c” is your best bet. Tweet “c” not only explains that you’re about read retail tips, but it also details how many tips there are – all within the first three words. This is called front loading. Wait, am I suggesting that we’re all so impatient that we need to put the crux of our info at the front of our sentences? Yup.

Keep It Low

So much about Twitter is real estate. The available space you have to craft your tweet is a tiny one. Avoid the tendency to capitalize the first letter of every word, as we might do on other marketing platforms. Rather than Stopping the Eye with Random Capitalization … let the eye flow.

This may seem strange – to ‘not’ want to clash against the rest of your customer’s twitter feed. If all tweets look the same, isn’t it a good idea to use some varied capitalization to catch the eye? Nope. The Twitter experience is a smooth uncluttered scroll. It’s best to go with its flow. Think of random capitalization like bad fashion; you’ll stick out, but for the wrong reasons. Stick with lowercase.

No Tricks. All Tweets.

Recently, I saw a headline, “A Dolphin and a Dog Meet … and You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!” I immediately thought to myself, “Self, what do we know? We know that dogs are inherently friendly, and that dolphins are even friendlier. So, I’m going to guess that the dog and dolphin get along swimmingly.”

And, wouldn’t you know it, I was right. They got along just great. Which sort of annoyed me. These types of tweets and headlines are click bait. “Click-baity” headlines are like those faux-Oreo cookies your supermarket sells. They’re tempting. They’re cheap. And, they’ll make you feel bad as soon as you’re done with them.

People are on twitter because they want the facts and they want them fast, with no filler. Setting up a tweet so that people “have” to click the link to see which direction your story is going to go just isn’t nice. So, be nice. Be clear. Save your followers some time.

FoScreen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.14.43 PMr instance, assuming you had the aforementioned stellar interspecies video clip, why not tweet something like: This dog-meets-dolphin video clip is a thing of pure joy. With only 140 characters, it’s not a time to be mysterious. Keep things honest, and you won’t hate yourself in the morning for tricking your followers for a cheap click.

 

Improve Your Images

A quick Google-ing will tell you that tweets with images work, big time. Tweets with images are 94% more likely to get retweeted, and 89% more likely to get favorite’d over tweets without images.

What kind of images work best? The easiest answer is relevant ones. If your tweet is in regards to a report or stat-filled article you’d like to share, include an image of a graph. Be sure it’s still clear enough to be read on a mobile device. If it’s not, use a screenshot of a portion of the graph.

If your tweet is not about data, add a cool, conceptual stock image that ties into the topic at hand. Twitter is a good place to have some fun and to express your brand’s personality, and images are a clever way to do just that.

Conclusion

Play by the rules that Twitter set up from the get-go. Keep things informative, short, fast, and clear. Doing so will keep your followers engaged and informed while building trust between them and your brand.

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 6.01.30 PMBrian Masefield is the social media and copy manager of Bigstock, an online marketplace for royalty-free photos, vectors, and video. For more design tips, you can follow Bigstock on Twitter.

The Demise of Facebook’s Organic Reach

Since its launch in 2007, Facebook’s Pages have promised businesses a free online presence with which to connect to customers, offering the opportunity to publish updates and promotional content directly into their news feeds. Yet for the past year, Continue Reading

How to Use Infographics Effectively

Because of the constant bombardment of information we experience on a daily basis, the average human being now has a shorter attention span than a goldfish! In the digital era, marketers have to change and adapt their strategies in order to get their Continue Reading

Why Your Business Must Focus on Google Local Listings

Marketing Podcast with Mike Blumenthal If you run a business that relies on local customers then you've probably come to the conclusion that being found online - even though a purchase may be made offline - is paramount to your success. All the Continue Reading

16 Step Checklist for the Perfect Blog Post

You work hard to create content - sometimes on the fly in the midst of the raging storm that is entrepreneurialism. In the rush to get the thing out though you can diminish its impact through oversight and sloppiness. You might even do your brand Continue Reading

How to Leverage News Stories on Social Media

Social media has revolutionized the way people talk about news and major events. Really, it is just natural. When you hear about an interesting event or news story, what do you want to do? Most want to share the news with their friends and family, Continue Reading

Weekend Favs June Twenty Seven

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week. I don't go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a Continue Reading