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Twitter has become one of the easiest ways to communicate, and probably one of the best platforms to spread a message quickly to a vast audience.  It has become more than just a social media tool — with the way it has changed how information is passed on, it can now actually be considered a medium in itself. The need for brevity in tweets only lends itself well to the quick delivery of information, with everything condensed in a single statement and perhaps a link to more details. It only takes a few seconds to become informed and even quicker to pass the message along, making Twitter an ideal avenue for advocates, politicians, journalists, public personalities, and even businesses to reach out to a large number of people.

With this accessible and easy-to-use service on hand, how does one make the most out of Twitter? Here’s a few tips and tricks to help you get your message across effectively:

 

image credits – viralblog.com

 

Be straight to the point.

Twitter’s specific character limit means conciseness is key.  Even when there are links for more information, you have to make sure to convey the gist of your message in the actual tweet. Think of tweets like newspaper headlines, which would tell the reader what you want them to know regardless of links. News outfits and bloggers make good use of this tweeting trick: for example, a recent tweet on @Copyblogger reads: “Ten Timeless Persuasive Writing Techniques”, followed by a link to the full post. This tells the audience what the post is about right away, rousing immediate interest. Even with tweets without links, it’s important to relay your message succinctly and clearly, such as something like “Donate to Red Cross Japan quake relief efforts now. Text DONATE (amount) to 8910. #HelpJapan”.

Provide links.

It’s important for your tweet to be informative enough even for the passing reader, but once you’ve created an interest to your topic, you should be able to address the subsequent need for more information. Link to a page that has the complete details, or to any page relevant to your message. Linking in tweets is both convenient and ultimately effective in getting your point across, because you are able to immediately provide more information.

Bestselling author Francesca Lia Block (@francescablock) recently encountered problems with her bank, causing the threat of foreclosure on her California home. A concerned individual started a signature campaign not only to help Miss Block save her home, but also to spread awareness of problems faced by customers of Bank of America. This petition link has been tweeted many times over, with only a handful of signatures left until the goal of 1,500 signatures in a matter of weeks.

Use hashtags.

Hashtags are words in a tweet prefixed by a # sign. Putting a # in front of any word makes it into a link that leads to a search result of that particular hashtag. Hashtags give you access to what other people are saying about a particular topic. Using relevant hashtags would put you on the radar of people interested in that given topic, exposing your message to a wider audience. From current events to other sundry topics, whether it’s President Obama’s #SOTU, or an advertisement of #usedcars, hashtags give readers unique access to greater information that you should take advantage of.

Be careful what you tweet.

While tweeting may have become a rather personal, direct approach to talking to an audience, it’s important to maintain credibility and authority while doing so. Twitter makes it so easy to send out information that any erroneous or even misleading statements made could be spread faster than you could delete and retract a tweet. You might have been able to delete the original tweet, but the information might still be available elsewhere, after having been retweet or reposted by other people, defeating the purpose of deleting the erroneous tweet. It always pays to be conscientious when tweeting even about the simplest things, in order to send out the right message.

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Posted by George Shaw

George Shaw is an advertising and design consultant for Cardprinting.us, an online provider of multi purpose plastic cards and keytagprinting services.

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