Back to basics: drafting the perfect tweet
Twitter has proven to be a valuable tool for public relations and marketing purposes. Both B2C and B2B communications have successfully implemented Twitter as part of their social media efforts to engage customers and stay ahead on industry trends.
As Twitter becomes increasingly mainstream, however, some fundamentals seem to have fallen by the wayside. Whether you are just starting on Twitter or are a long-time user, here are the intended use of select fundamentals—and some examples of how they can be misused:
- The Hashtag. The # symbol, called a hashtag, is to be used for marking key words or topics in a Tweet. This is a tool originally created as a way to categorize messages while making searches for a specific topic easier. Unfortunately, the intended functionality of the hashtag is now often disregarded. Many people have a tendency to either over-tag a single tweet or use tags that aren’t relevant to the topic. Recently we are seeing the increased popularity of commentary-type or disclaimer tags, which, contrary to the intended functionality, are not able to either categorize or search.
- The Retweet. A retweet is a re-posting of someone else’s Tweet. The retweet feature helps other’s quickly share a Tweet with followers, while also attributing the original source. While re-posting can be useful, it is still important to continue to share your own original content. A lot of personal accounts have also started to abuse the system by constantly asking to be retweeted. The power of social media lies in the content you share. If the audience likes the content, they will share it on their own.
- Frequency. How often should you tweet? This concept is critical to being a successful Twitter user. While tweeting more consistently may bring you more exposure, the quality of your tweets is more important than the quantity. You can tweet 20 times in a single day, but the tweets become useless if the information you provide isn’t relevant. Between one and five times a day is generally a good rule to follow.
Ragan.com recently published a post with advice on how to skillfully craft a tweet, so that it will gain maximum exposure. Along with these tips, it’s equally as important to follow the Twitter basics. Abusing the system will not help you gain exposure. In fact, it may just lead you to fewer followers.