Microblogging, with services like Twitter, is a great way to grab readers and direct them to more information (and to your website). But we need to make sure we still follow the paths of connection and clarity.
We first need to make a connection with readers, something they will immediately understand or, even better, emphasize with. People are more likely to respond to a common experience or a common idea.
Then we need to make sure what we write is clear to all the readers we want to reach. We need to avoid unfamiliar jargon or references. In Twitter, we also need to avoid using too many unfamiliar hashtags and links.
In this first tweet under “freelance writing,” the writer has included lots of links but doesn’t make the main idea clear. It seems like a foreign language to those of us who don’t follow the account. Notice that there are only four retweets and three favorites.
This tweet, on the other hand, has two sentences that any freelance writer can emphasize with. Notice that it has 32 retweets and 67 favorites. Yet, there aren’t any links, other than the account’s profile, in the message. It makes the reader work to find out more.
This tweet has a combination of a sentence any drag racing fan would understand followed by a variety of links. This tweet is different than the first because it gives clear information on the subject as well as provides links for finding more information.
I really love this tweet (and it’s not just because I’m a Ranger fan). It compactly provides everything a reader needs to know about what’s going on and ways to easily find out more. A hashtag link is provided in the text. Even non-Ranger fans will understand what it refers to since it is under the Rangers’ account. It taps into a subject any sports fan can relate to – it’s game day. It also includes a neat photo that says it all for a Ranger follower: new, clean ice over the Ranger logo. Another season of hockey begins. The tweet even connects to the fans’ anticipation. It’s like waking up on Christmas morning.
This last tweet was written by a professional, but amateurs as well as writers new to the technology can learn from it and apply the principles to their own microblogging.
The text in microblogging may be brief, but we still need to remember to follow the paths of connection and clarity.