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How to create better tweets for your business

How to create better tweets for your business

Posted 23rd May, 2019 by William

At the start of 2019, Twitter released a list of the tweets that had been most liked and retweeted by the British public throughout the year.

The list included one from footballer Harry Maguire asking his neighbours to take the bins out the following Monday because the English football team was staying in the World Cup, and one from former Friends actor David Schwimmer promising police he wasn’t the perpetrator of an alcohol theft, as caught on CCTV in Birmingham.

The rest of the list featured tweets that related to everything from Harry and Meghan’s Royal Wedding and the birth of William and Kate’s royal baby Louis, to Danny Dyer’s tweet about Love Island and Liam Gallagher’s suggestion to get Oasis back together.

Despite being about wildly different topics from hugely different people, all the most popular tweets of 2018 shared one thing in common – none of them came from a brand or a company.

So what does this mean? Do businesses need to up their game when it comes to social media?

The short answer is: yes.

When you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut with tweeting. You know you need to do it because everyone tells you it’s good for business, but the pressure of having to create new tweets every day can turn the process into a chore.

In this blog, we’ll take inspiration from the most popular tweets of 2018, and even those that were successful in years before, to help you re-inject some pep into your Twitter feed.

First – a recap of the basics

At tsoHost, we’re not in the habit of teaching grandmothers to suck eggs. We know that most of our blog readers will already be up to speed with the best practices of Twitter.

Just in case you need a recap though, here are a few basics:

  • Tweet at optimum times. A study by Buffer found that tweets made on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays had better click-through rates than other days of the week. Other research suggests that the best time to tweet depends on your industry. Social Spout found that the best time to tweet for consumer goods engagement was Saturday at 13:00.
  • Use between one and two hashtags. Social media studies suggest that tweets with a hashtag have double the engagement than those without. However, they also show that tweets with more than two hashtags experience a 17 per cent drop in engagement.
  • Use images. Experts believe that tweets with images get 89 per cent more likes than those without them.

5 tips for creating better tweets

Don’t over-engineer

If you plan for a tweet to go viral, chances are it won’t. 9 out of 10 of the UK’s most popular tweets of 2018 were either impulsive or reactive.

It’s a similar story for the US list, which includes a tweeted video of an unplanned event – an iguana owner is filming his pet climbing up to the table to eat off a dinner plate before the little reptile loses his footing and falls.

Use tweets to you as inspiration

One of the most popular tweets of all time came about because American fast food restaurant Wendy’s paid attention to the tweets its customers were sending them.

In 2017, a teenager called Carter Wilkinson tweeted the brand asking how many retweets it would take to earn a year’s worth of chicken nuggets. Wendy’s replied saying 18 million and the thread went viral.

Many businesses, big or small, would have simply ignored this tweet. After all, Carter wasn’t asking for customer service or product advice and he wasn’t interested in buying anything. However, the tweet ended up with 3.5 million retweets’ worth of attention.

If you’re lacking inspiration for your Twitter communications, you could strike rich by listening to your audience and building tweets off the back of what you hear.

In February this year, Wendy’s posted a tweet it had been sent by someone that was purely a commentary on the Superbowl. Wendy’s simply replied with ‘Sir, this is a Wendy’s’ and the post got 4.7 thousand retweets.

Sure, Wendy’s has millions of followers, but it goes to show how a little engagement can be worth its weight in gold.

Imagine your tweets as Interflora offerings

As you probably already know, Interflora is a company that delivers flowers and gifts to people’s homes. If you order an Interflora delivery for someone, you’re most likely expressing a sentiment to them or showing them you care.

According to researcher Earnest Dichter, one of the main things that motivates people to share information or content about a company is that they want to help out a person or show they are thinking about them.

So, when composing your next tweets, think about how your audience might use that tweet going forward. Consider how that tweet could help your audience help someone else.

Aim for self-explanatory images

We mentioned in the Twitter best practice section that images can improve the effectiveness of a tweet. However, certain types of image are more successful at doing this than others.

When Buffer analysed the content of its most successful tweets, it found that most of them contained images that were self-explanatory – i.e. they didn’t take any interpretation and users could understand their meaning at a glance.

It wrote: “When it comes to successful tweets, a picture is worth 140 characters in quickly capturing the attention of your audience.

“For that matter, you can get even more mileage with a picture that tells a complete story.”

Take insight from 100,000 happy moments

Research by Berger and Milkman found that positive content is more likely to go viral than negative content. So, it pays to create content that makes people happy.

Inspiration for things that make people happy can be taken from the HappyDB database – a crowdsourced collection of 100,000 moments that make people happy, collected when researchers asked 10,000 people ‘what made you happy in the past 24 hours?’.

When statistician Nathan Yau analysed these moments, looking at the most mentioned subjects, verbs and objects in sentences, he found a series of patterns.

Top of the list of subjects that made people happy were: I, we, daughter, son, husband, friend, event and wife.

The list of verbs that made people happy included: got, went, had, made, found, watched, received and bought.

And top of the list of objects that made people happy were: time, dinner, home, game, job, car, dog and friend. This list also included little things like movie, pizza and book.

Categories: Tips, Marketing, Small Businesses

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