ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Bernadette Schwerdt
Bernadette Schwerdt As the founder of the Australian School Of Copywriting, Bernadette has helped over 5,000 individuals and businesses use words to engage, promote, inspire and sell. In an astonishing career spanning more than 20 years, Bernadette has achieved incredible advertising, sales and entrepreneurial success – and she’s inspiring thousands of others to do the same. An accomplished public speaker, business coach and author of best-selling copywriting bible Writing For Profit, Bernadette fearlessly innovates in the sales and marketing industry, specialising in the power of communication. As the former Guest Marketing Reporter on Channel 9’s The Small Business Show, and the Executive Producer of Fairfax Digital’s online business chat show “Secrets of Aussie Online Entrepreneurs”, Bernadette is a recognised expert at coaching and guiding businesses on how to deliver exceptional marketing results on a limited budget. In today’s tough economic climate, this has never been more important. To enrol in one of Bernadette's courses, or for more information, visit http://www.copyschool.com. Watch interviews with Australia’s top entrepreneurs and download valuable resources here: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aussieonlineentrepreneurs YouTube: http://youtube.com/ozbizsecrets

Bernadette Schwerdt has written 45 article(s) for us.

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5 Twitter Tips for Writing Tweets

August 22, 2012 | Bernadette Schwerdt

Do you want to get your Tweets read? Use these 5 Twitter tips to get your message out there.
Do you want to get your Tweets read? Use these 5 Twitter tips to get your message out there.

If you’re Richard Branson, you won’t have too much trouble getting your Tweets read.

But if you’re Nigel No Name with no reputation to speak of, you may have some difficulty getting traction.

So what can Nigel No Name do to get his Tweets read?

When writing Tweets, it’s worth applying the principles of copywriting, and in particular, the art of using Headline Formulas, to increase your Tweet readership.

For example, instead of thinking of your Tweets as 140-character messages, you really must think of your Tweets as a series of little advertisements. 

To be really specific, it pays to think of your Tweets as headlines in a newspaper. 

For example, if you are a real estate agent and you see a big headline on the front page of your daily newspaper that reads:

 “Housing Market Plunges Overnight”

… chances are you’ll be checking that story out in a hurry.

But if you’re a 19-year old university student living in a share house in Carlton, who’s biggest worry is who ate the last slice of pizza from last nights’ left overs, then that headline is unlikely to be of any concern.

So, in essence, writing great headlines is about relevance. 

And by definition, that means knowing who your market is.

These two key elements are essential pieces of information when writing copy for any medium but they take on a staggering level of importance when it comes to writing for social media, and in particular Twitter.

For example, how many times have you seen Tweets that look like this?

SmallBizCoaches Forum. # Networking skills #business #marketing #coachhttp://www.coachingozforum. /ZJQQgcqm/twitter.pic./#425Ej

Pretty unattractive to read, right? Sure, you can get a general idea of what the Tweet’s about but really, to the novice user, this Tweet is just hard work and you certainly wouldn’t waste too much time giving this one the flick.

Compare that with the Tweet below. It’s offering the same information about a small business forum for coaches, but notice the differences:

Top #Smallbiz #Coach earning a million per year tells how she built her client base. Join the webinar. Starts now. Pls RT. bit.ly/Kc8y

Here’s what the second version did differently:

  • It included a benefit in the Tweet:

This Tweet promises the reader the chance to learn how a coach makes one million dollars a year. For a novice coach, that’s a pretty good offer because finding clients is the number one issue they all face starting out. Try to make sure your Tweet offers your reader something relevant they’ll value. Make it worth their while to click through.

  • It doesn’t go crazy with hash tags (#):

As important as hash tags are, there shouldn’t be too many and they definitely should not hijack the message. 

  • Engage a strong call to action:

Use action-oriented words like “Join…” or “Check out…” or “Download…” so that people know what they have to do to take advantage of your resources.

  • Ask people to Retweet or RT (forward to their Followers) your Tweets:

The simple task of including the words “Pls RT” is all people need to get them to send it on. So easy. So simple.

  • Use short links:

Long links look lousy. Twitter will often shorten your links for you but why take the chance when you can use www.bitly.com to do it for you.  It’s a free tool. Use it. Often.

As a professional copywriter, I’ve been using headline formulas for years.  And why wouldn’t I?  They’re tried, tested and get results so investing effort in creating my own is not a good use of my time. Don’t be afraid to use Formulas if you want to slash your writing time in half. They really do work.

There’s lots you can do to get your Tweets read and acted upon, but applying some copywriting skills, and treating them like headlines in a newspaper is a great starting point.