Once you start Tweeting more, it actually becomes — dare we say it — fun. We think of it as a bonsai tree, trimmed down and shaped to perfection; and in this case, perfection means your Tweet is:
- Clean, with an easy-to-understand message
- Eye-catching, with imagery or video/GIF
- Functional, with something useful for your audience
- Organic, with personality/emotion (and not so clinical)
Here's what we know from the research (thanks, Simply Measured!):
Pictures, GIFs + Videos Are a Must. Tweets with images average TWICE the interactions and shares as ones without. Twitter automatically crops the image when it appears in people's feed, so make sure there isn't anything — ahem — embarrassing in that square.
Include a Link, Along With a Photo/Video. If you're sharing an article or website, you'll see that, if you add an image along with it, these Tweets tend to perform 29% better than just plain text Tweets with links.
Use Those Characters. The longer the Tweet, the better (if you can) — more than 120 characters used perform the best.
Add a Hashtag - or Two. Hashtags let people find your Tweet if they're looking for a certain topic or conversation. Using a maximum of two hashtags in a Tweet proves to be the best formula — but no more than that.
Tell Your Audience What To Do. Got an article you want them to read? Lead to that link with a colon, and a "read now." "Check it out, here:" and "Click here:," and "Chop now:," (notice we always use that colon!), etc., are all calls-to-action that lead your audience to the desired destination — and get 35% more engagement than the brand average.
Be Grammatically Correct, With Few Abbreviations. Don't abbreviate anything except numbers (two=2), states (NY), common acronyms (ASAP), and "with" (w/) — but there are exceptions; make sure it's common enough and clean looking.
Tweet EVERY Day. Top performing brands average 1-5 Tweets per day.
Some Twitter Style Rules
Cool it with the exclamation points!!!!!!! Please? As general preference, we like to not have two exclamation points ending sentences in a row — and only use one exclamation point at a time (none of this!!!!! unless it's from your personal account). An exclamation point, then a period, then an exclamation point works (or something in between) is best — lest you start looking a bit too excited.
Don't Auto-Tweet Your Instagram Posts. When you auto-Tweet an Instagram post, it only provides a link — not the actual picture, which is not conducive to getting your audience interested. Instead, either post separately to Twitter with the image, or for more advanced folks, check out a recipe at IFTTT.com that connects your accounts to post a native image on Twitter.
Too Many Hashtags + @Accounts Makes...Something About a Dull Boy. Hashtags and @-replies/tags are useful, but can get messy. As we stated above, don't use more than TWO per Tweet. Try to make your full statement/sentence without one, then use them at the end of your Tweet; it looks better to the eye.
Always Shorten Your Links. Those long copy-and-pasted URLs look gross — use a service like bit.ly or goo.gl, where you can paste your links and get a shortened version. You can also track click-throughs, so you can see how popular the link is.