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Tips for Twitter

Twitter’s limit of 140 characters creates some risks. Here are some guidelines for maintaining a professional tone for your tweets:

1. Ask if a tweet is the right format for your message. Step back if you find yourself struggling too hard to fit your message into the site’s character limit. Instead, try turning your message into a blog post or a page on your website. Then post a tweet with a link and a brief statement of your topic, e.g., “Check out http://blahblah.com for my thoughts on last week’s conference.”

2. Use contractions and active language to keep your tweets short. Twitter is casual, so go ahead and use contractions like “they’re” and “it’s,” even if you’re writing about business. Save space in tweets by using active rather than passive language. For example, write, “The committee will announce the winners” rather than “An announcement of the winners will be made by the committee.” (To learn more about active and passive language, click here.)

3. Be casual but maintain standard English. It’s fine to type “&” instead of “and,” and someone breezing through Twitter may prefer “info” to “information.” But don’t use spellings like “nite” instead of “night,” which saves only one character. Also, some readers will be confused if you tweet “I can’t w8!” instead of “I can’t wait!” Balance careful writing with informality.

This guest tip was written by WriteItWell.com, your editing partner.

Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010, at 10:39 am


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