There’s both an art and a science to writing for Twitter. To stand out from the crowd, you want to be creative and clever, but you also need to be smart and strategic in order to drive a high level of engagement.
It’s not easy for even the best copywriters to strike such middle ground in 140 characters or less.
But many brands today manage to capture the right voice on this online communication channel, in many cases enhancing the impact of their words with equally compelling visuals. They’re able to come across as entertaining as they are educational, as personable as they are promotional.
Culled from a custom timeline (which you can see here) I’ve been curating on Twitter, here are 10 terrific tweets that would appear to go more than a long way toward commanding the attention of followers amid even the most cluttered Twitter streams. Read them. Enjoy them. And learn from them.
1. Ask a question.
One of the best ways to capture the attention of your followers and increase the level of engagement with them is to ask a simple question. Tie it into the use and enjoyment of your products and services, though. That way, you’re also getting good feedback and potential glowing testimonials.
Tea time, me time. How do you enjoy Single Serve Steeped Tea at home? pic.twitter.com/viPpk7QuFM
— Tim Hortons (@TimHortons) October 19, 2014
Example: Tim Hortons
2. Provide timely information.
Twitter is rife with commentary and opinion, especially during a breaking news cycle. So why not deviate from the norm and share some good, old-fashioned common sense? Educate your audience. Arm them with facts, figures and information they can put to immediate use.
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) October 18, 2014
3. Give people the stage.
Highlight content other than your own in your social streams. Recognize your constituents’ contributions. They’ll not only appreciate their work being placed in front of a larger audience, they’ll feel like rock stars.
— The Ritz-Carlton (@RitzCarlton) October 19, 2014
Example: The Ritz Carlton
4. Include a Call to Action.
Don’t be shy. Make a bold statement. Be abundantly clear what action you want readers to take by using Twitter Lead Generation Cards to embed a Call-to-Action button. It’s a good way to separate the tire kickers from those who are seriously interested in what you have to offer.
Explore Alaska's must-see wilderness. Enter to win a free 10-day Alaska Cruise and Land Tour vacation for two! https://t.co/l9mkuKetm3
— Holland America Line (@HALcruises) October 16, 2014
Example: Holland America Line
5. Be conversational.
A bevy of brands are providing customer service on Twitter. But not all of them are reaching out to potential customers quite like Staples is in this tweet. Don’t hesitate to let your hair down. Be colloquial and catchy, if that’s what it takes to connect with your constituents.
— Staples US (@Staples) October 15, 2014
Example: Staples US
6. Motivate your followers.
Almost anyone can do this on Twitter. Say things to lift people’s spirits and move them to act on their own behalf. Self-help affirmations play well in just a short sentence or two. If there’s an association with your brand, even better.
— Degree Women (@DegreeWomen) October 20, 2014
Example: Degree Women
7. Support a good cause.
Do good by doing well. Donate a portion of your proceeds to a well deserving nonprofit organization. You and your constituents get to feel like you’re making a difference, while the beneficiary of your largesse gets a nice financial boost. Everybody wins.
October is breast cancer awareness month, so come on down to Lucky Strike and help support the cure! pic.twitter.com/jI8lg5LWO4
— Lucky Strike Boston (@LSJillians) October 17, 2014
Example: Lucky Strike Boston
8. Offer a choice.
Don’t give people a chance to say no. Have them tell you which of two or more choices gets their vote. Don’t give them an easy way out. You may not be able to control the conversation on Twitter, but you can certainly steer it in the right direction.
Which do you go with? pic.twitter.com/xAeXCbACut
— Hess Express (@HessExpress) October 17, 2014
Example: Hess Express
9. Celebrate the weekend.
What can you do to identify with the largest possible audience? What does almost everyone have in common? Anytime you can address something of near universal appeal, your content has a far better chance of falling on interested ears.
— Avis Car Rental (@Avis) October 17, 2014
Example: Avis Car Rental
10. Illustrate your point.
Twitter, like most other social media channels, has become a much more visually oriented medium. You might say a picture is worth a thousand words there. Accompany your text with supporting imagery. Reinforce your messages with bold, colorful graphics that practically jump off the screen.
You are what you eat. pic.twitter.com/TyphOPNPlN
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) September 30, 2014
Example: USA Today
Note: This post, “Lessons Learned from 10 Terrific Tweets,” was originally published on ClickZ on November 4, 2014. To read the post there, click here.