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Don’t be a Twit on Twitter


Twitter bird speach bubblesFollow these tips for optimising your character count and harnessing your hashtags.

1. Short and shorter
Agreed, 140 characters doesn’t feel like much and you probably want to squeeze lots in! But it’s tweets of less than 100 characters which achieve a 17% higher engagement rate than longer ones1. Remember if you leave spare characters other people can respond or retweet with their own comments added.

2. Maximise your retweets
Retweets are a good way of increasing your audience and getting closer to prospects. Evidently most retweets occur when tweets contain:

  • a direct request; if you feel strongly about your tweet ask for a retweet or ‘RT’
  • third-person singular pronouns; that’s ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’ or ‘one’
  • indefinite articles, so ‘a’ or ‘an’ rather than ‘the’

3. Build a relationship with your followers
Don’t start off by selling, selling, selling! Develop a relationship with your followers by interacting with them first, making your tweets a two-way conversation. Having a conversational tone humanises your business.

Twitter recommends a ratio of 80/20, whereby 80% of tweets drive engagement and only 20% are actually promotional. For every 2 of your sales tweets there should be 8 providing useful content, responding to followers’ comments or retweeting. Remember people buy from people – so connect with them first.

4. Switch on to timings
Research by Buffer shows evenings and late nights are the best times for getting favorites and retweets, while early morning is best for the most clicks.
The most popular times to tweet are noon – 1pm worldwide and 4pm – 5pm in Central Europe but they’re not the best times to tweet. The high volume of tweets makes it difficult for your tweet to stand out in someone’s timeline.
Try tweeting at non-peak hours and experimenting to see what’s best for your audience.

5. Make it visual
People are incredibly visual and attention is drawn to images. Tweets containing images are retweeted twice as often as those without2.

6. Include a link
Although Twitter is handy for sharing information in various formats, it’s mainly used for sharing links to content. According to Twitter, clicks on links account for 92% of all interactions. But don’t go overboard. A single link a day gets on average a 30% engagement rate. This drops off quickly for 4 links a day to around 7%.
Use link shortening sites like or to save valuable space and gain access to basic insights about the number of clicks the link received.

7. Be positive
Nobody wants to follow a depressing tweeter. Keep your tweets upbeat and you’ll inspire followers to take more actions. Steer clear of the negative whether it’s stories, language, quotes or images.

8. Embrace the hashtag

HashtagNot only are hashtags extremely helpful for organisation purposes but tweets with hashtags get twice the engagement levels of those without3.

However, don’t abuse the hashtag, save it for when you need it. Twitter suggests no more than 2 hashtags per tweet.

Within a tweet highlight a key word with a hashtag and then use another at the end to connect your message to a trending topic.

9. Include a call to action… ssshhh
Don’t tell people what to do, nudge them towards the right action. With clear direction, in the form of suggestions, they will reach your site or product and believe it was their choice to do so.

Create a sense of urgency by including a deadline and add an incentive if necessary eg: ask for a reply, offer a free download or a prize.

Contact us to learn more about developing your Twitter strategy.

(Sources: 1 Buddy Media report, 2 Stone Temple, 3 Buddy Media report)



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Caroline Birchall trading as The Paper Dove

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