Do you titillate with your tweets? Are you helping or hindering the sweet tweets of others? Do you wanna call out some 'tweeps,' bringing the heat via tweets? The 140-character power is in your fingers. With a little creativity and ingenuity, one can use the musings contained in a tweet to make some progressive motions and elicit desired reactions from followers. A tweeter can do endless things in a limited space...
"But out of limitations comes creativity" - Debbie Allen (American actress)
I recently got the attention of an intelligent and creative blogger...via Twitter. No, I didn't quench the Diet-Coke desires of Ian Lurie; I did it with a tweet, referencing an SEOmoz content and blogging post:
"Are you Shure about that title? You may wanna read this epically-gnarly post penned by
@dan_shure via @SEOmoz first http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/are-your-titles-irresistibly-click-worthy-viral"
Maybe Dan wanted to show his appreciation for my recognition; or, it was my pun-fused tweet that summonsed his attention, inspiring a retweet...and a quote for my own post (thanks Dan!):
"I most definitely re-tweeted you because the text you used was unique, interesting, and got an emotional reaction (I actually smiled and chuckled out loud a little bit). I appreciate each and every time someone shares an article of mine, but I'm more likely to share back with my followers if it has something new to it; a clever description, something funny... anything that adds value really."
As his post displays, titles are important and often creatively overlooked; but online marketers do not write off the importance of content and circulation. If you need the wake up call, read Gianluca Fiorelli's enlightening search engine trends post about the new landscape of Google. Gianluca calls attention to three major aspects of online marketing: technical SEO (solve SEO tech problems in under an hour thanks to Dave Sottimano), social media, and content marketing. Addressing content circulation on Twitter hits upon two of the three concerns.
So it's understood; we have 140 characters to play with using Twitter. As Dan Shure suggests, we want our titles to be 'click worthy,' and as Gianluca's post suggests, attending to content and social is integral; parlaying the click-worthy sentiment to Twitter's social media platform seems like a sound decision. Well, I think it's a good idea. (Hopefully some people
retweet, I mean, agree with me.)
While some URL lengths are a bit prolix, we can shorten them using a service such as bitly.com; as the slogan goes, you can shorten, share, and track your tweets. A shorter URL widens tweet real estate, allowing creativity to move on in...
I like to consider myself a writer and poet, much like Shakespeare. The 'Bard' wrote in prose ('normal' as my high school students called it) and in verse (both rhyme and blank, but let's not get too into it; we're not in copywriting class!) forms. He often wrote his plays in verse because the rhythm of the language is intriguing and it was easier for his performers to remember (not always so easy for English students!).
While you can stray from novel sentiments, tweeting a shortened URL, you could choose to be poetic and try a rhyming couplet. It breaks down to two lines of ten syllables (the two, respective end syllables rhyming) each. Try it; get all the party people in the house to pen some poetry. Here's an example with a short URL in tow:
"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;/And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. http://bit.ly/yNyoEU"
[That's 114 characters;so, it's likely many rhyming couplet derivations can fit along with a shortened URL, making for a sweet-sounding tweet.]
Let's reference Dan's post using my own rhyming couplet:
"If you're in need of wit in your titles,/Be Shure to check this, its content vital http://mz.cm/AmS85H"
Let's use another poetic example, a haiku. A haiku is a short poem of three lines of five, seven, and five syllables respectively. Let's read one as an example:
the first cold shower
even the monkey seems to want
a little coat of straw
Let's again reference Dan's article using a haiku:
"Good content alone/left astray by lame titles/Rest a-Shure-d, there's help http://mz.cm/AmS85H"
(only 94 characters - it fits)
I understand; many of us are not highly-invested, poetic enthusiasts; however, as Shure mentions in his post, pay attention to sound and don't deny its seduction; poets and writers have been leveraging sound for well over 400 years. SMO practitioners do it today; I recently observed the Cadbury UK brand, generating some sweet user-to-brand social media engagement with puns and wordplay.
I hope you apply creativity, now let's give help further validity...
While we hope writers are creating creative titles, we can give them a little help, whipping up attention-grabbing (and possible re-tweetable) tweets.
I mentioned shortening tweets to get more poetic but what if the opposite happens? What if shortening a tweet makes it less click worthy? That's not aligned with online marketing goals, right?
For instance, what if I tweeted about Dan's article in this manner:
"Good post on creating better titles http://mz.cm/AmS85H"
It helps giving content a social push but the above is rather boring and generic. If you don't have the social clout of a Rand Fishkin or Danny Sullivan, you're not calling much attention with a tweet's presence alone. If you're looking to add some 'swagger' to your tweets, you could approach 'influencers,' getting them involved in your content circulation efforts, as Rand suggests in this post on generating viral content.
While it's great to recruit 'influencers,' creating content's social motion, be sure you're not fielding a 'Bad News Bears' team of helpers, those who may ironically shove content out of the way of other tweeters' interests. As Joanna Lord reminds us in her paid search marketing post, we should really be thinking about content 'curation,' how we create, promote, and maintain it; brands need to devise a plan regarding content creation, implementation, circulation, and lifespan.
If you catch a cohort, fan, or follower tweeting your content but not attaching the creative 'ring' it deserves, try giving them a little help. For instance, Matthew Panzarino wrote this post about using Bing on an iPhone. Danny Sullivan must have read it and wanted to give his own title a suggestion; he did via his tweet:
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) February 3, 2012
(It collected 8 retweets and 4 favorites)
Actually, I dig Danny's title better. It is likely people were intrigued (I was) and clicked on the content link; so, be 'shure' to watch how other people view your content. Actually, I'm using Dan's words; I should reference him. Dan Shure calls attention to this in the comment section of his post:
"That brings to mind, I meant to mention something else as a tip; Carefully watch how OTHER people describe your content. For example, Rand tweeted this post as "How To Make An Irresistably Click Worthy Title". If he meant to change it or not, I actually like that version a lot! And just as in your comment, I've often noticed others describe content better than the person who wrote it."
So it seems the notion of 'helping' is out there in the Web cosmos. Can you pick up the creative slack for a lagging cohort, fan, or follower? It may make a difference between a click versus a 'diss.' Speaking of versus sentiments....
Sometimes you write out of a sense of duty, need, and passion. Of course, you'll want such notions to turn heads. What can you do to provoke attention to your content? Dial-up a target's handle on Twitter. Do you remember when Rupert Murdoch was making a fuss on Twitter? An important figure in search decided to pay him some mind, using the Simpsons as a vehicle of vociferation.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 23, 2012
(It received 50+ retweets and was favorited 15 times)
Hey, if Danny is doing it, why can't I? I read a post by Wall Street Journal writers and entertained my own views on the subject matter, writing a post then tweeting my re-post to them:
I wanted to get attention; I think that's a way to get some. I'm not the only one. Jonathan Allen of Search Engine Watch wanted to get Bill Barol's attention with his article; like Sullivan, he tweeted about it:
— Jonathan Allen (@jc1000000) January 25, 2012
Being a fan and recently observing Danny's more direct tactic, I decided to 'help' Jonathan's message find its (target) audience with my tweet:
— Anthony Pensabene (@content_muse) January 25, 2012
Jonathan 'favorited' my sentiment, which brings me to another point...
Favorites - Tweets for the Brand's Soul
Dan Shure recently tweeted, inquiring about 'favoriting' tweets:
"Q: Why do people favorite tweets? To save for later?"
I gave a reply:
@dan_shure From a branding perspective, favoriting fan-motional sentiments is a positive for new and potential followers I think"
Think of your Twitter profile from a branding perspective. When people view your profile, they can click on your favorites. Your favorites become a prior-content 'testimonial' trophy case, where followers view past fan attention and celebrations of your brand's content. External validation is great for facilitating content movement; also, it's great for branding and proving trust on the Web as Rand reminds in a post.
Are you 'favoriting' tweets from brand followers and supporters? Why not? Supporters are tweeting a branding masterpiece! Additionally, followers can come upon past, favorited posts and decide to give them a retweet, re-exposing your content to the 'Twitterverse.' Speaking of branding, as referenced above, some shortened URLs blindly lead viewers to destined URL. Are you leading them righteously?
Tweeting Ethics Effects/Affects
Many readers are accustomed to the ways of marketing. Link building sometimes ventures down the seedy paths of link baiting, where clever marketers attempt to persuade unsuspecting consumers. Are you baiting with your tweets? I'm not telling you to disengage from fishing for link followers. I am suggesting you consider the ethics of what is and what is not clearly divulged to consumers. Danny Sullivan assuaged many concerns with his Google privacy post. More recently, we saw levels of transparency influencing consumer views of Pinterest, a company using affiliate links.
I've displayed ways to persuade followers to pay attention to tweets; but, remember your responsibility to your brand's followers and consumers - to offer an exceptional level of customer service.
Get to Tweetin
By now, I hope you won't return to regularly-scheduled Twitter programming. As displayed, through sweet tweets, one can intrigue, help, hurt, brand, and bait. All that sets you apart from desired outcomes is the arrangement of characters… What we tweet in life echoes in Tweeternity…What can you do with 140 characters?