Spring 2011
Sweet Tweets By Carolyn Howard Johnson

What makes a good “tweet?” One that lets your branding-your voice-come through loud and clear. Here’s a sampling of what works-and what doesn’t.

From @CardsPR

“Sweet. Teary. I love this lady! ~Sniff~ http://blog.hallmark.com/2010/01/22/a-lifetime-of-cards/”

This is even shorter than 140 characters and shows tons of personality. The address could be shortened using BudUrl.com and it could tease us a bit more to get us to click on that link. The link leads to a blog about recycling greeting cards. So it might read:

Sweet. Teary. I love this lady!~Sniff~Neat, crafty ways to recycle greeting cards. www.budurl.com/RecycleCards.

From @jewelrynow

“http://www.relievingpainsnaturally.com/ GUARANTEED TO BE THE BEST PRODUCT YOU’VE EVER USED, OR YOUR MONEY BACK”

This is an example of how some use blatantly commercial tweets. They’re okay, but most independent retailers and their customers appreciate a lighter touch. Even though this Tweeter appears to be pitching a product other than his or her own, many find ALL CAPS offensive. How about simply, “I hate being in pain. This has really helped me. www.budurl.com/xxx.”

From @Handmadenow

“Just added! Twilight Inspired Earrings! http://ow.ly/WKx1”

Short, easy to read. Just what your customers (followers) expect and that’s information about new products. Note the word “inspired?” It has emotional impact.

From @companyworks

“Balloons giveaway-release doves on your wedding day or special occasion! Ends next week. http://bit.ly/7dBzwN”

This is a good example of how to tweet a promotion. Time limited. Short address. Seasonal interest. Using words like “giveaway” or “free” always makes a difference. Using a hashtag before the word “#giveaway” would increase its effectiveness.

From @HolidayGifts

“Get the ingenious handbag holder that keeps your purse off the ground. http://bit.ly/4VyfCd”

This one couldn’t be better. It makes followers curious. Gives them a benefit. Has a shortened address (URL). It uses a full sentence. It doesn’t smack personality but it also doesn’t sound too canned. Everyone understands that a Tweeter has only so many characters to get a message across.

Editor’s note: While the tweets featured here are original, user names have been altered to preserve privacy.

Carolyn Howard Johnson

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of the award-winning How To Do It Frugally series of books for writers including Frugal and Focused Tweeting for Retailers. More information...




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