Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sweet Enough to (re)Tweet

Posted by Katie Noonan

For anyone new to the Twitter game, or those of you looking to improve your reach in 2010, this month’s Public Relations Society of America Public Relations Tactics publication offers strategies to get your tweets retweeted. Here are some helpful tips on what to do and what not to do:

This new form of media doesn’t require public relations professionals to reinvent the wheel. A catchy headline (like one you would use on a press release sent to the media), is all that is needed to draw people’s attention to your news and get them to share it with others.

Don’t try to say it all in 140 characters. A compelling headline with a shortened link (using tinyurl or bit.ly) can direct people to the full story or press release and make it that much easier for people to retweet your post.

Dan Zarrella, author of The Social Media Marketing Book and writer for Copyblogger, suggests using “nouns and third person verbs.” “Highly retweetable headlines talk about someone or something.” Just as you would never write a headline about news that happened yesterday or last week, tweets should be in present-tense as well.

Zarrella also encourages tweeters to speak directly to the Twitter community by saying things like “you should check this out,” or “study released today by xyz organization affects you.”

Tweets with “random first-person verbs and details about your life” should be avoided, Zarrella says. Just as we’ve said before on ThePRLawyer, no one cares that you’re having a Caesar salad for lunch or headed to the gym after work. Keep your tweets consistently interesting, informative and clever so that you will gain followers and get your news retweeted.

In December of 2009, co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone announced that the social media site will handle several billion tweets an hour every day in 2010. The challenge before PR practitioners will be getting your news to stand out among all the other Twitter chatter. In summary, using retweetable words and phrases as well as catchy headline-style writing is the best way to convey your message in order to compel others to share it with their network.

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