We’ve all heard the social media horror stories of brands employing hashtags before knowing their true meaning (like DiGiorno did) or had our personal social feeds bogged down by aimless content, such as spam or personal rants. Users’ tolerance for low-quality social posts has diminished, and with that comes the expectation for brands to portray the best possible image across their corporate social media channels with relatable, relevant content for their followers. To remain significant, brands often seek the help of PR professionals for advice on becoming well versed in the language of social media – specifically Twitter.
While working within Twitter’s 280 characters may sound like a piece of cake, perfecting ongoing, succinct messages can be tricky. Our in-house content writer, Jordan Stanley, whipped up her favorite do’s and don’ts to ensure that your social media content not only reflects your brand image but shines among bogged-down newsfeeds.
DO: KEEP IT SHORT
DON’T: LEAVE OUT THE ESSENTIALS
With Twitter’s recent word count expansion from 180 to 280 characters, it’s tempting for users to try and max out on character count. While it’s an easy pit to fall into, try and keep it short and punchy where you can. When there’s an opportunity to be witty, give it a shot — but don’t try to be witty all the time or you may start to lose credibility with your followers. While keeping it short is essential, don’t forget to address the when, where and why. While this may sound like common sense, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment when writing and forget the important details.
DO: TAILOR YOUR CONTENT TOWARDS YOUR AUDIENCE
DON’T: PIGEONHOLE YOUR BRAND
Twitter users should always keep their target audience in mind when crafting tweets – even though some people choose not to follow this rule. To fully connect with your audience, it’s helpful to use relatable language – such as using industry-specific terms that show your audience you have extensive knowledge on the topic at hand. Keep in mind that the Twitter-sphere is a public place and, while brands look to offer friendly content to any single user researching that brand, be sure to pepper in language that allows people less familiar with your industry to still follow along.
DO: ADD IMAGES
DON’T: INCLUDE IMAGES UNRELATED TO YOUR CONTENT
Twitter feeds don’t need to have a well-curated aesthetic like an Instagram page, but it should tell a story and capture the reader. Today’s social media users have short attention spans, and images will stand out in their busy feed, locking them in. But be careful as tweets that include links may auto-generate an image that could be unrelated to your tweet. These can be overridden with new images, so feel free to replace them with a graphic or photo that better represents the brand. If you’re in need of fresh imagery, try out stock image websites like Pixabay or Pexels, or if you’re feeling crafty, create your own on Canva or Adobe Spark.
And before you hit send…proof, tag and don’t forget your #hashtags.
Looking for more tips? Check out V2 cofounder Maura Fitzgerald’s take on the intersection of social media and PR from her recent trip to Poland where she shared insights with the students at the University of Warsaw.