This is part of an ongoing series of articles on how to deploy specific social network updates to utilize the Social News Strategy in the most effective manner.

Twitter is all about instant engagement with any of the over 200 million Twitter users. This platform for mass communication is powerful enough to message millions of people at once, release news before anyone else and even topple governments! But before we get to overthrowing dictators, lets analyze the proper format and capabilities of a Tweet.

Tweet Formatting

Since Tweets must be less than 140 characters (including spaces), your message must be short, sweet, and to the point. Don’t know what to write? Start by analyzing the 5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Get More Retweets [Infographic]. Here you will find topics and strategies that are proven to drive engagement on Twitter.


Only having 140 characters to work with poses many communication problems, which is why hashtags became a popular community-born way to solve this issue. Using a hashtag is a great way to organize your message around a specific theme, sentiment, or meaning.

Extremely popular hashtags are ‘trending’ during times of heavy use on Twitter. For example, large conferences and concerts may coordinate hashtag use to become a trending topic on Twitter during the event. This is a great way to be discovered by other Twitter users and coordinate audiences, since trending topics appear more often in search results.

Follow and use popular and trending hashtags commonly used by your target audience community. This practice will attract target audience members by being relevant to their interests. Hashtag research will also provide ideas for themes and categories for future tweets.

Multimedia & Rich Snippets

Additional multimedia like links, images and video can increase engagement with your Tweets. However, these resources take up precious message space. Use a URL shortener to shorten URL paths to links, images, and video content. Choose a shortener that reports click statistics so that you can track audience engagement.

Rich snippets can be used as a 2-for-1 and preserve precious message space. Rich snippets allow for images and brief text previews in addition to the 140 character message. Of course, this only works for web properties that are properly set up for rich snippets, which includes most online news and information websites. All you have to do is paste a link and Twitter will do the rest. If the page is set up for rich snippets, then the image and text preview will automatically appear.

The Tweet Link ‘Sweet Spot’

The title + analysis + link format is an effective strategy that has been proven to earn followers and syndication (Retweets). Hubspot recently released data that provides insight into engagement on Twitter by analyzing various posting strategies. One strategy that stood out included information and links in Twitter updates. A ‘sweet spot’ was found when 60-80% of updates were the title + analysis + link combination. This combination drove the most ReTweets in the study. Hubspot also noted that this strategy was used by all of the non-celebrity accounts that are in the top-100 most popular profiles on Twitter!

Putting it All Together

An effective Tweet will include a timely article link, thoughtful summary and a rich snippet. It is best to choose trusted and authoritative industry resources that have their content already set up for a rich snippets. Combining all of the ‘little things’ into as many tweets as possible will drive the most engagement and grow your Twitter following with members of your target audience.

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