The Key Components of a Tweet

At its core, Twitter is a way for people to share whatever their thoughts are with the world. If you’re using it for personal reasons, that’s fine. But for your business, it’s a good idea to be thoughtful and purposeful when it comes to tweeting. For this reason, we’ll be looking at the anatomy of a great tweet today.

We will just be looking at the components of a great tweet today, this isn’t a guide on how to get the most eyes and clicks on your content. That will be next week when we talk about optimizing your Twitter presence.

Now, this is not a guaranteed formula that works for everyone in the same way. This is primarily a guide on what users put int

The Tweet

First things first, we’re going to break down what’s all in a tweet. Depending on your Twitter knowledge, this is either a crash course or a quick review. After that we will go in detail on the importance of each component. Below we have two examples of your average tweet.

The first one is a general tweet of information relevant to Target.

twitter tweet

In the body of the tweet there is the regular text of the message, and then there is a hashtag. This is created by using the “#” key. Next is a link. Of course, not all tweets must have a link in them, but as you can see the link is shortened in this example. We will go over that shortly (punny, ha!). At the bottom, there are tools of the tweet that let users interact with you.

Next we have a reply.

twitter reply

In the tweet we see the mention. This is including someone else’s Twitter handle in the tweet to alert them that you are communicating with them. When replying to someone else’s tweet, you’ll want to put a period in front of it allowing all of your followers to see it.

The Nitty Gritty

Here we’ll get into the details of what you should be thinking about when you’re sending out a tweet. We’ll talk a little more in depth about the things that we covered above, as well as some other things to consider.

1. Character Count

When composing a Tweet you are allowed 140 characters. With that in mind, research finds that the ideal length of a tweet is 71-100 characters long. This is long enough for you to get your point across, but short enough for someone to retweet and add their commentary

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 12.17.10 AM

2. Hashtags

Hashtags give you an added way to interact with your followers, they allow you to join “the conversation” that’s going on in the world. In the example above, Target included #LeapDay. Tons of people were using this hashtag on February 29th, so if someone was searching this hashtag, Target might pop in their results. Conversational hashtags can be integrated into your tweets.

While this is a specific example, in general hashtags are used for categorizing tweets. When you click on a hashtag it will take you to the results of all other tweets that contain that same tag.

3. Links

Links are important for getting people to visit other platforms that you are connected to, or other information that is relevant to your business. Due to the length of some links it is best to shorten the URL.

All you have to do is copy your website URL and head over to a site like bitly or ow.ly. They will take the URL and create a new, shorter link that won’t eat up your precious characters.

4. Mentions

Mentions are used when you want to alert someone to your tweet. Whoever it is that you are including in your tweet will get a notification that you mentioned them, and then it also links back to the account of the person that you are mentioning.  

5. The Period

It might seem a little funny to do so, but putting a period in front of tweet reply is actually quite the handy tool. When you reply to someone on Twitter, their handle pops up and this alerts them to your action. However, this becomes a conversation between you and the person, and whoever is following both of you.

By putting the period at the very beginning of your tweet, it makes it look like the tweet is a regular reply, but it goes on your timeline like any other normal tweet. Meaning that anyone who’s following you can see it. This means, based off of the example above, that if you’re following Target, but not Kerry Washington, you still see Target’s reply to her.

It might seem tedious, but it’s a little extra effort that can be a great benefit to you!

So for now, this is just an overview of what goes into making a great tweet. You do not need all of these things, for instance the link or the period. Those come into play situationally. But everything else is pretty standard, and helpful when it comes to tweeting.

Next week we will be getting into how to optimize these things in order to get the most eyes on your tweets!

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