Writing for Twitter is a real challenge due to the 140 characters limitation. This aspect makes Twitter a microblog platform: when you tweet, you want people to click on a link in your tweet and read the full story somewhere else (for instance on a blog or a website). Therefore, it’s crucial that your tweets are written in a seductive, teasing way.

Let’s work with the 3 key elements of a tweet:

1. Headline

A headline is a call to action or catchy sentence that makes people want to click on the link you provide. So you need to put great effort into this! The following example says it all > your headline needs to make people curious to learn more:

Teasing Tweet by Jeff Bullas

I’m sure that if Jef Bullas had written “Facebook uses an algorithm called Edgerank ” less people would have clicked the link (or retweeted or favorite). Your tweets have to be just as catchy as your blog titles. There are a few headline formulas that you can use that work really well:

  • 10 tips to … > the higher the number the better!
  • How To …
  • Negative headlines like “The Number One Mistake Everyone Makes on Twitter” (a great example by Social Media Guru Gary Vaynerchuk)

Another tip is to use more action words (more verbs, fewer nouns). For example, “Must Read”, but don’t do this for all your tweets, or it won’t work anymore and you’ll lose credibility. You can also check the “Most effective calls to action on Twitter guide” that Twitter has set up.

2. Link(s)

In general, tweets contain one or multiple links where more info can be found. There are, of course, exceptions like tweets that only contain quotes etcetera. Now, when you add a link, I advise using a URL shortener like bitly. Most Twitter applications do this automatically, but I still see some long URL’s in tweets from time to time, like the example below.

tweet with long url

Adding a link like this doesn’t make sense. First of all, the URL contains the same words or sentence as the tweet. Next to that, you only have 140 characters, so why waste them by using a long URL?  That said, a little side note: you don’t need to use all your 140 characters, leave some space, so people can easily RT or add something to your tweet like “Nice!” 😉

3. Hashtag(s)

Adding a ‘relevant’ hashtag might help to show your tweet to more people than just to your followers. Don’t overdo it, and limit yourself to a maximum of 3 hashtags per tweet. Look up the hashtag that you want to use so you know in advance that it’s a common one, and that people are actually looking for it. Making up your own doesn’t make sense unless for campaigns & competitions that you set up tied to it, and even then, you have to be careful. 😉

I hope this information will help you, and if you have other killer tips, I count on you to leave a reply!