The other day I received an email from a client about Twitter. He was trying to send out nice, readable tweets, but having a hard time with the wording. He needed help by getting some tips how to write for Twitter.

A lot of my clients are on Twitter. And chances are, so are you. And you will run into the same problem: How to write on Twitter.

Writing in 140 120 characters

Writing a message with a limited amount of characters is hard. The message must be understandable, attractive, comprehensible and if possible provoke an emotion. And that with so little (characters) to work with!

The tweet might be 140 characters but staying under 120 if you want the tweet to be shared is advisable. While a lot of Twitter tools make sure retweeting doesn’t cost you characters some (mobile) applications do take a few characters when retweeting. Making sure you have 20 characters free for those cases is just smart.

So how do you make great tweets in 120 characters (or less)? Here are 7 tips:

How to write on Twitter

  1. Link
    People love reading articles other people read and loved. So if you find something awesome, link to it.
  2. Summary & opinion
    Don’t forget to summarize the article and why you love it. Make sure we know why we need to read it. There is a lot of information coming in every second. Why should we spend time on this article?
  3. Use keywords
    Want people to find your tweets? Use the right keyword in your tweet. If you are talking about solving financial trouble it’s probably smart to use the word ‘money’ in there since more people will search for that. If you want your tweet to be seen by change management experts, make sure that words is used in the tweet.
  4. Shorten
    If you have too many words get out the ones that don’t matter. ‘The’, ‘a’ and the likes are great but sometimes you also notices you want to put too much info in there. Remove that info and shorten the tweet.
  5. Don’t shorten
    Don’t go too far in shortening a tweet. Sometimes I receive incomprehensible tweets because people kept removing words (or letters from a word) till only they knew what it said… That doesn’t help the greatness of the tweet at all.
  6. Mention
    If you find an article because of someone else, or the article belongs to someone else mention them. It is just courteous and good manners, but also great in retweets because they know it is getting retweets.
  7. Not too complicated
    Don’t make the sentences or the words too complicated. We need to be able to understand it without having a PhD in the matter (Only exception if you are targeting people with a PhD specifically, but even then…)

What tips works for you to create great tweets?