5 Basic Components Of The Best Tweet Ever

Sometimes I get a little ahead of myself pontificating about the far-reaching opportunities a smart Twitter strategy can bring B2B companies — citing stand-out case studies, stunning metrics, etc. Over the past 5 years, Twitter has connected me to the press, to analysts, and to crucial industry influencers (and to some goofy people as well TG) that I never would have had the chance to meet in person.

There’s definitely some luck involved (e.g. Is my target analyst even listening?), but there’s also a very real science to each tweet (and I’m usually too quick to assume others are in on the ‘method to the madness’). I want to take a step back and start at the beginning. How do you create the best tweet ever?

Here are the 5 Basic Components of the Best Tweet Ever:

#1. A GOOD HOOK

This one seems obvious, but there’s much more to it. It’s not just about the one good hook, it’s about multiple hooks from the same piece. You don’t want to tweet your big idea or your splash in Forbes once and then consider it a day. No, you want to extend the life of a blog post or your 15 minutes of fame as much as possible. How? Well, the first tweet should probably be the headline (as long as it’s catchy), but your second and third tweets should be great quotes or unique data from your piece. Here are examples of good hooks that could link back to this very post in three separate tweets spread out throughout the day:

  • Headline: 5 Basic Components of the Best Tweet Ever
  • Quote: “Think of hashtags as SEO for Twitter”
  • Data: Tweets with <100 characters get 17% higher engagement

Extend the life of your content and your big wins; and if you have room, feel free to add data points to the end of any tweet. Big Data equals Big PR.

#2. SHORT LINK

With just 140 characters per tweet, you’re going to need all the space you can get. Don’t waste it with a long link to a post. Today, most social media mavens tweet from tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite which shorten links automatically. If you’re still a little intimidated by tools, use bit.ly or goo.gl to create short links for links within tweets. According to Buddy Media, tweets with fewer than 100 characters get 17% higher engagement than longer tweets. Short tweets leave followers with more room to not only retweet but to also add a brief comment.

#3. BYLINE

Twitter is not the forum to simply broadcast company news or wins. You’ll very quickly be ignored or worse unfollowed and become irrelevant if you choose that route. Twitter is a 2-way conversation, so it’s good practice to give great writers and industry leaders out there a shout out. When you’re at a football game, a huge public place with a million things going on (like Twitter), and you think there’s been a good play, wouldn’t you yell something like, “Tebow – NICE PASS!”  On Twitter, it’s the same, except you use a person’s twitter handle (e.g. @TimTebow nice pass!). Bottom line: have some class and properly give attribution; you will be rewarded! Once you @mention someone, your target blogger or speaker now has you on their radar and may return the favor one day. Best case scenario they RT your content to their hundreds of thousands of followers. Could be as simple as including “by @jennymoebius“.

#4. PUBLICATION/BLOG ATTRIBUTION

For the same reason the byline is important, including the publication or blog is equally important. First, you want your followers to know where you’re link is taking them. Is it a reputable publication/website? Second, you want whomever is running the outlet’s twitter handle to notice you cared enough to mention them in your tweet. Remember that the writer and the outlet will have separate twitter handles with different and diverse followers. Good practice to be on both their radars to ultimately reach the most people. In the publication’s case, if you call them out in a tweet, they may feel more compelled to retweet your content to perhaps millions of followers (likely your target audience!). Again, Twitter is a conversation. If you’re going to look smarter by tweeting another’s content, acknowledge them. It’s the least you can do.

#5. HASHTAGS

Want to see all the tweets with social media news today? Your best bet is to search #socialmedia. Think of hashtags as SEO for Twitter. Twitter is in and of itself a type of search engine. If you want your tweets included in specific trend searches, use hashtags. I find that event hashtags are especially useful! Event hashtags allow you to follow hot topics (quotes/data) and top industry leaders at events without even needing to be in attendance (see “What I Learned from #Big3PR — from, shhh, the tweet stream“). And if you are lucky enough to be at a show, event hashtags group your thoughts in with all the other great attendee and speaker insights at the show. Not to mention that using and participating in event hashtags will increase your (relevant) followers immediately. According to Buddy Media, one or two hashtags in a tweet increased engagement 21%; however, more than two resulted in a 17% decrease. The lesson: more than two hashtags is considered spam, but two get the job done.

Now that we’ve reached our fifth component, here’s an example of the best tweet ever:

5 Basic Components of Best Tweet Ever http://wp.me/p26cfG-4K by @jennymoebius via @moebiusink “Tweets w/links get 86% more RTs” #socialmedia

Last tip…if someone RTs your best tweet ever, don’t forget to thank them (see #3 above), but instead of simply saying “@jennymoebius thanks!” think again about how to best extend the life of your tweet; keep at least the hook and the link in your “thank you” so your followers that may have missed it the first time around have another opportunity to see it. For example, if @crescendocollab RTs the tweet above, here’s how you do it:

Thanks for the RT! RT @crescendocollab 5 Basic Components of Best Tweet Ever http://wp.me/p26cfG-4K by @jennymoebius #socialmedia

If you have any questions or feedback on the break down above, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to shoot me a note. Thanks!

2 Comments »

  1. A good hook is definitely important for a great tweet, especially if the tweet is for your online business or blog. And you’re right. Shortening your tweet links is useful. One URL shortener that can come in handy is ssl.gs. You can earn $5 per 1000 clicks. This way you’re “killing two birds with one stone”, so to speak.

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