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twitter headline checklist Socialmediaonlineclasses

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​ALL NEW FOR 2016.

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Want to stand out on Twitter?

Need to learn how to write a great tweet?

Easy. People have been doing it for over one hundred years:

Headlines.

Look no farther than newspaper editors and fiction authors: they've mastered the art of the tease — writing short, detailed copy leaving readers hungry for more.

A compelling headline includes several characteristics:

1. SHORT

Twitter’s 140 character limit forces you to be concise, and if you want to be retweeted, you’ll use even less, so others can retweet your post.

You’ll need room for them to include RT@yournamehere:

twitter headline checklist short

Because my initial tweet was short, Beverly had plenty of room to include RT@sm_onlineclass

2. DETAILED

The average life of a tweet is 20 minutes.

200 million tweets sent everyday averages about 140,000 per minute.

That’s a lot of competition, so include as many details by answering who, what, when, where, and why.

Sure, you can say “Check out my new blog post,” but make me care about it. What’s in it for me?

twitter headline checklist detailed

I tell people exactly what they'll get in this blog post about hashtags

“The Ultimate Guide to Hashtags . . . 20+ images, examples, 64 tactics & #infographic” tells you not only what’s in the post but also what you can download from it.

3. COMPELLING

Effective tweets are persuasion in a compact form. You are establishing your credibility and convincing people your content is worth reading. How? Offer results.

jay baer twitter headline
Jay tells exactly what Nicole’s guest post offers, not just once, but twice. She tells you how to get easy results with backlinks to your blog.

4. SENSORY

Terry Kay, New York Times bestselling author of To Dance with the White Dog, declares the way to be effective in your writing is by using descriptive action verbs.

Apply this to tweets for your business. Instead of “How to Beat Your Competition,” be more descriptive with “3 Marketing Strategies to Dominate Your Market.”

Ask yourself: does this verb help my followers picture this?

twitter headline checklist sensory

You can practically smell the aroma of this coffee from the tweet

5. PROFESSIONAL

In Twitter’s early days, users wrote inflammatory “Is iPad the New Kindle-Killer” type of tweets; after the shooting of Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords, all media and even politicians changed to a more professional, toned-down dialogue.

No longer were they calling bills “job killers;” instead they were “job destroyers.”

Phrasing counts; be conscious of the tone of voice you use on public forums.

Even when you are calling out someone or a brand for something they’ve done wrong, be constructive.

twitter headline checklist professional

CNN sticks to the facts here, pointing you to their article for more details. No sensationalist details are necessary.

6. PLAYFUL

Pack more punch into your tweets by including a play on words.

Newspaper headlines have done this for decades with great success:

“Small step for man, giant gaffe for NASA”

“Sneezy? Grumpy? If you visit Disney, use hand sanitizers” 

The American Copy Editors Society showcased the best headlines of 2014 here.

Comedian Steve Martin is an intelligent voice on Twitter who enjoys having fun with words:​

twitter headline checklist playful

Yep, THE Steve Martin plays with language on his Twitter account

Make a habit of incorporating these features into your tweets, and you’ll see higher click-through rates on Twitter, you’ll drive more traffic to your website, and get more followers.

You’ll be writing great headlines that let your brand differentiate itself among a sea of unremarkable tweets.

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