Twelve ways to make your Tweets go further
A view from Gordon MacMillan

Twelve ways to make your Tweets go further

Gordon MacMillan, head of editorial at Twitter UK, reveals what successful brands are doing to enhance their social media presence.

When it comes to crafting the perfect Tweet, there’s no shortage of ideas out there. Here at Twitter UK, we wanted to find out more about what you should do to make your Tweets go further, so we commissioned new research that has uncovered 12 Styles of Successful Tweets. We’re hoping that the study will help brands, and anyone else for that matter, be better on Twitter.

The research, conducted for Twitter by Flamingo Semiotics, looked at more than 6,000 engaging Tweets.  The important thing to say is that these 12 styles are by no means a definitive list, and no one needs to master all 12 styles.

The 12 Styles

The styles, ranging from the informational and rallying through to the comic and the absurd, are very different from each other. We found that successful accounts have a good grip on four or five styles, which fit with an account’s personality and tone of voice, do very well.

The ‘new news’ Tweet

This Tweet cuts through the clutter, it gets to the point quickly and has a newsworthy headline. It should be factual, current, and not too frequent. The best way to write it is with full sentences and with facts that make people sit up and pay attention. With this Tweet, it is important that you explain, and that you do not assume. It is news after all.

The ‘quick take’ Tweet

Something has just happened, and there is a small window of time to respond. We often see these from brands and influencers whose opinion carries weight. Here the trick is to keep it simple and use short sentences. The advice is to use words like this, that, or those to explain what’s going on, and always keep it conversational. For example, ‘think’ instead of ‘I think.'

The ‘just like us’ Tweet

This Tweet often comes from a well-known personality — it shares a personal side, giving the feeling they are ‘just like us’. It is a fun Tweet, so use emojis and expressive punctuation! This style of Tweet where great candid pics can work powerfully to help convey emotion.

The ‘that’s BS!’ Tweet

This Tweet is there to set the record straight. It does it in a humourous or annoyed manner to debunk outlandish statements. It is a perfect Tweet for the times we find ourselves living in. The trick to writing this one is to ask rhetorical questions and to be bold when highlighting absurd claims. Use a Quote Tweet here you Retweet with your dismissive commentary.

The ‘rallying’ Tweet

Another strong Twitter contender for 2017. This Tweet brings many voices together behind a common cause or social movement. It is about focusing on an issue and talking about people as a group: i.e., we are all in it together. The best way to write this one is to ensure you keep repeating and restating to spread the word.

The ‘deliberately surreal’ Tweet

This one is all about classic British humour. It makes a joke by deliberately taking something ordinary and combining it with the absurd. You do not need images here, instead write your joke as a script or dialogue. It might offend some, but this style of Tweet works best when written in lowercase and without punctuation.

The ‘so wrong it’s right’ Tweet

It’s the tongue-in-cheek Tweet where a user deliberately misunderstands a situation to make it comedic. The trick here is to keep it short and pithy. It should be written like a joke to draw people in and laugh at the overly serious.

The ‘go mock yourself’ Tweet

This one is about personalities or brands that everyone knows Tweeting in a way that pokes fun at themselves. There are great examples of this one out there. It is often used as a retort and written in a deadpan in tone. It is also important that readers know the context to get the joke.

The ‘outRAGEously funny’ Tweet

These Tweets go after those in power, expressing the defiance or helplessness of those who send them. The best way to write this one is to exaggerate for effect and use black humour.

The ‘utter nonsense’ Tweet

This one is all about the first person. The Tweets read like someone’s ramblings. They come in bursts and fail to make any sense whatsoever. Often they use sensational language and are either under or over-punctuated.

 #Fail and #winning Tweets

These are two closely related Tweets. One celebrates every day (or massive) fails we all find hilarious. The #winning Tweet celebrates those insignificant triumphs. It’s all about exaggeration, surprise, and offers the chance to use a great pic for the punchline.

Hopefully, the 12 Styles of Tweet will provide plenty of food for thought. What we are sure about is that there is something here for everyone and within the different styles you will find a few that will help you be more successful on Twitter.