While there are no rules for tweets on Twitter such as there are in English for when to use various sentence constructions, there are better practices for tweets.
And I often I notice someone who has missed an opportunity to share valuable information because of not utilizing these better practices.
Here’s an example of an ineffective tweet on Twitter:
Someone tweeted in a reply: Great article — thank you.
Only problem is that links to two different articles had been tweeted within the previous half hour. Which article was being referred to? And why not share the link of that article in the person’s tweet so others can read this “great article”?
I see this type of missed opportunity over and over again. Someone will send a public reply to someone else with a great article link. The second person will respond thanking the person for the link BUT WITHOUT PROVIDING THE ARTICLE LINK IN THE THANK-YOU TWEET.
And then I get annoyed for two reasons:
1) It’s a missed opportunity for the person sending the original link as well as the person saying thank you.
2) Now I can’t read the article myself because there’s no link attached.
Now what about the other end of the spectrum? The people who only engage in Twitter by tweeting their own blog links. These people are not truly participating on Twitter, and anyone checking out their profile can tell this easily by seeing that all the tweets are blog links.
Let’s now look at an effective tweet on Twitter that doesn’t have a link:
Not all your tweets must have links; for balance you do want to occasionally tweet without a link. Yet even here you want to give some thought to what you are tweeting.
For example, before I saw the movie “Invictus” I tweeted that I was about to go see it. I did not include a link – people could figure out for themselves where to look up a review of the movie – yet I tweeted this as an offset to my many tweets with links. I wanted to tweet something personal but not something mundane such as how late I got up today.
As you read the tweets you receive in your Twitter stream, think about which ones you appreciate the most and which ones annoy you the most. Then try to emulate the former and eliminate the latter in your own tweets.