The Little Blog Book of Twitter Etiquette (Chapter Two)

This cute little bird’s looks are so deceiving – don’t be a male Screaming Piha when tweeting on Twitter!


For those of you who don’t recall, there was a Chapter One back in June, 2012. Who knew it would take so long to issue a Chapter Two? In this installment, I will help you craft the perfect tweet.

Well, as perfect as one can write whilst communicating within the rapid-fire, real-time, cattle-processing shoot called Twitter. Here we go…

Tip #1 – Decide Your Tweet’s Purpose; Craft; Rinse; Repeat: This step seems obvious, but if you hope to capture eyeballs, it’s good to have a plan. There’s nothing wrong with creating a holding pen for a series of targeted tweets via tools like HootSuite, SocialOomph, or Twaitter (now

If a tweet is standalone, but you intend to promote its link to a blog post or white paper multiple times, change the wording for each release of the post. Share links to articles that might inspire and share photos that might entertain your followers! And don’t forget – it’s okay to tweet spontaneously.

Tip #2 – Practice (in Less Than 140 Characters) Makes Perfect: One reason I use Twitter is that, as a writer, it forces me to be succinct. It’s best to use proper and full words when possible, but go ahead and use acronyms or ye olde ampersand (&) if you need to conserve your characters. Think of writing for Twitter as advertising or tagline/slogan writing and you’ll do just fine. If you need help with your staccato efforts, give this a whirl…

Tip #3 – Talk Directly to Your Followers; Don’t Shill Soulless Capitalism: Obviously, Twitter is available to you as a broadcasting platform. But if you want tweeps to like you and learn to trust you, you also need to interact with them in a social way, without a hidden monetization agenda. This is known as engagement, and it’s been well documented by many social media professionals.

When you push out tweets that link to your most recent blog post or newsletter, don’t just tweet “Phoebe’s Phine Things December 2012 Newsletter & Sale:” Try this instead: “Okay gals, Phoebe’s Phine Things has everything you need to satisfy your most phinicky gift recipients this year:” Isn’t that better?

Tip #4 – Save Room for (Linked Article or Photo) Dessert: If you intend to embed a content or media asset link (like a non-pornographic photo, etc.), don’t max out at 140 characters. You’ll need to include your link as part of the 140 count, so find a URL shortener that you like and create an account (if necessary). The usual suspects include,,, and others mentioned in this post from Lauren Dugan of Media Bistro.

Tip #5 – Sling Those Hashtags With the Best of Them: This one could be its own future blog post, so I’ll be brief. If you want to attract more kindred spirits and potential clients/customers, research the words and phrases (aka hashtags) you should include in your tweets to make them more searchable.

For example, when I tweet business articles and my blog posts, I typically use the #smallbiz and #SMB hashtags. If I’m proclaiming my love for a book, I’ll include #books, #FridayReads, and/or #amreading in that tweet. I know you’re catching on, so get in there and start finding the hashtags that make sense for your tweets. If you have a sense of humor, never hesitate to occasionally create your own hashtags (#badgrammarhurtsmyeyes)!


If you’re an active Twitter user, what is your approach to tweeting? Any tips you’d like to share regarding the fine art of communicating in 140 characters or less? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Lori Shapiro is the owner of By All Writes LLC, a business writing, editing, and research company in Marlton, New Jersey. She revels in shielding her clients from the pain of writing their own print and web marketing copy. Call her (856-810-9764) or email her ( for a no-obligation project quote today!

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