Those that are contemplating starting a social media program always ask “What does a tweet look like?” The short answer is that it is anything that fits in 140 characters or less. That answer doesn’t really help the new guy very much though so let me try to explain it a little better.
It is true that a tweet is 140 characters or less. While 140 characters doesn’t seem like enough space to say anything, by using a little shorthand (abbreviations and such) and using a link shortener, you will be surprised at how much can be said in that 140 characters. I know I was. 140 characters is actually longer than the average classified ad and is close to as much text as in any other kind of print advertisement. The point I am trying to make is not that you should be tweeting just advertisements, but that if these types of print ads is enough space to get a message across then tweets are too.
The point of social media is to be social. It is to develop relationships with your customers and prospective customers – anyone that chooses to listen to you (follows you) on Twitter. It is your opportunity to share a little of yourself with others. (For more information on types of things to tweet about, you might be interested in this post.)
Ok, let’s look at what can be said in 140 characters or less.
“(The Comedy Attic) This coming weekend! We are so very excited to bring Tig Notaro to The Comedy Attic! No Moleste! http://bit.ly/aIDA6Z”
This is a tweet that @ComedyAttic posted and it is 136 characters (without the quotes, of course). They were able to tell who they are, who’s going to perform at their place next weekend, the name of the performance and a link to additional information. That’s a lot of information and I can’t think of anything else they would have wanted or needed to say.
“Must be a sign! RT @pncakluvr: Passing the @TacoBell offices in Irvine, as I munch on Nachos Bell Grande. What…are the chances??”
This one is a little different. @TacoBell wrote “Must be a sign!” and then retweeted (RT) what @pncakluvr said about @TacoBell. This retweet is 134 characters and is acknowledging that @pncakluvr mentioned @TacoBell. They are kind of saying thank you for the word of mouth advertising.
“Thanks for a great Saturday. You made it special.”
This tweet by @zydecos is very short – only 52 characters but what an impact it makes. It is letting their customers know that their business did well on Saturday and that it was because of their customers – customers that they really appreciate.
As you can see, quite a lot can be said in 140 characters or less. The best way to answer the question “What does a tweet look like?” is to go ahead and sign up for your free account at Twitter and just start looking around.
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Photo credit: YiyingLu