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The Hidden Secrets of 140 Characters

by Ericka Andersen
July 27, 2012

1. Use hashtags. Check trending topics nationally and locally. If it’s possible, find a way to make the hash tag relevant to the content of your tweet. Then, you will get the tweet into a stream of conversation that is being seen by multiple thousands of people.

2. Ask for retweets. Twitter studies show that when you ask followers to retweet your messages, they will do it. Spell out “retweet” instead of writing “RT,” as the former is proven to get more action.

3. Be clear. It’s easy to give a rambling opinion on Twitter but resist the urge. Facts, statistics, and studies speak for themselves and are often the strongest message. If 75 percent of people disapprove of Obamacare, that’s way more powerful than you making a snarky comment about how misleading Obama has been.

4. Use declarations (sometimes). You don’t want to be the boy who cried wolf, but using an all caps declaration can often help in getting your message out there. Use “BREAKING” or “MUST-READ” on special occasions to signal importance.  At Heritage, click rates are always higher when these kinds of terms are used.

5. Go even shorter. A tweet may allow you 140 characters, but like your speedometer, it doesn’t necessarily want you to hit the limit. Tweets that are around 120 characters tend to do the best. Leave space for someone to easily retweet without going over 140 characters. Simple, clear messages can be shortened easily. Take a minute to edit your tweet down to the least characters possible. You’ll be surprised how much can be eliminated to get the bare bones point across.


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