Twitter has many uses but often ‘newbies’ or non-tweeters get hung up on the 140 character limit.
“I can’t keep information down to 140 characters” they say, or “Twitter isn’t very good at detail”.
Think of it like this – Twitter is the headline. [And yes, this is handy advice for journalists too, grappling with how and why they might use Twitter. Attention media managers: Twitter shares your news of the day! It’s not your enemy, it’s your lure.]
Twitter is today’s equivalent of the headline. It can share the news in a nutshell and propel people to read on. You might even think of it as your sandwich board on the footpath. Just include a link to further information – and that’s where you can go into detail without the restrictions of a small status update.
Many of my clients create a lot of content every week. They’re producing enewsletters, brochures, annual reports, news releases, posters and more. I like to remind them that if the content is already there, they can extend this onto social media platforms like Twitter. You don’t need to invent your content from scratch. And you don’t need to hide your content away on your official site or with your enewsletter database. Share your expertise publicly, build a new audience and establish your expertise.
So cut your content up into headlines and share it on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook; whatever suits your objectives. Take each one of your major ideas or pieces of news, and turn them into simple sentences that can build an information stream. Of course, you need to remember to read other people’s ‘headlines’ and comment where you can. Don’t be a broadcaster only.
Finally, don’t be fooled into thinking Twitter is made up of small sporadic thoughts that disappear into the ether – Twitter can be a bulletin board for lengthy conversations that become quite complex and profound.
It’s just laid out differently.