Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Advanced Twittering: 5 Tips For More Effective Tweets

After about 3,500 tweets, I started to have ideas about how my twittering could be more effective.

These tips may help you get more attention, engagement, clicks, replies, and new followers.

1. Tweet Completely
Not everyone is reading all your tweets in a row. A single tweet can show via RSS,, in a Google Alert, etc. If your tweet relies on a previous tweet for context, it won't make sense.

On the other hand, you could write several tweets lead from one to the other (like soap opera climaxes before commercials) to get people to read your whole flow... but remember that it's hard to find a series of tweets that's older than a few days. And I think something like this could come across sounding contrived- the opposite of the authenticity you need in social media.

Quick! Get to the Meat of Your Tweet!
Depending on where your tweet is viewed, readers might only see the first so many characters. When I use Twitterberry, I see 32 characters, and their content influences whether I click to see the rest of it.

If you're not one of my closest twitter friends, and the first 32 characters are not interesting, I might not read any further.

3. Try Links in the Middle of Your Tweets

Sometimes it makes sense to not run a link at the end of the tweet. More people may click on it if it's in the middle or at the beginning- partly because it looks different, so it draws the eye.

Comments after the link may draw the eye back to the link again- so it gets seen twice, and it's more likely to get clicked.

4. Separate @replyname From Links

If your link is right next to someone's @replyname, you've got two links too close together. The link you tweeted isn't as discrete, obvious, or actionable.

I realize I'm talking micropsychology here, but this is microblogging!
For links: Use a tiny link service like or that tracks clicks. Use analytics to see what works. Although split-tests aren't really possible, quantifying clicks has helped me see what topics are most interesting... although how you present a link also is important... ugh.

5. Don't ALWAYS Put An @replyname at the Beginning

If it's at the beginning and not a reply to me, I might ignore the tweet.

But if something interesting is said about the @replyperson before their name, or something else interesting comes before their name, more people will read it.

I'd love to see eyetracking studies of these!