Twitter is one of the most widely used social media platforms, and for most brands, it’s somewhere you want to build a presence.
But the thing is, it’s surprisingly challenging to write a good tweet.
Because of that pesky word count.
Twitter’s 140 character limit stems from the intrinsic technical limitations of SMS text messaging.
It’s not 2007 anymore, and that’s not as much of a concern these days.
But it’s still a hallmark of Twitter, and part of its distinct identity in the social media landscape.
It’s surprisingly hard to say anything of substance in 140 characters or less.
The need for hashtags can make it even harder to stay within the character limit.
It can be pretty frustrating at times.
In a recent article for Entrepreneur, digital marketer Josh Steimle offers some tips for making sure your message fits in a single tweet.
A few tweaks to your wording and sentence structure can make a big difference.
Get rid of intensifiers.
Adverbial intensifiers, like “very,” add emphasis to an adjective.
Stephen King (whose book On Writing is a must-read for writers, even if you don’t like anything else King has written) said, “The road to hell is paved with adjectives,” so let’s get rid of those as well while we’re at it.
I admire the work of expert writer Darren Rowse over at @problogger, so I dug through Rowse’s Twitter feed to test a hypothesis.
As I suspected there was not an intensifier to be found.
Cut filler words.
Including such phrases as “it is,” “there are,” etc., adds no meaning.
Original tweet: BREAKING: Comey statement confirms whatever it is you personally believed about President Trump before the statement was released.
Revised tweet: BREAKING: Comey statement confirms what you believed about President Trump before the statement was released.
William Zinsser, the author of On Writing Well, wrote, “Look for the clutter in your writing and prune it ruthlessly. Be grateful for everything you can throw away.”
Use contraction subtraction.
Even if you save only a couple of characters by using contractions, you’ll have that much more room to respond and retweet your tweets.
If it fits your brand, you can also use shorteners, like “w/” instead of “with” and “&” instead of “and.”
You can find more ways to keep things short and sweet on Twitter over at Entrepreneur.