Et Al / Technical Writing

10 Answers to the Age-Old Question 'What Do I Tweet?'

A big question mark made by stacking various jigsaw puzzle pieces and then making them take that specific shape. The pieces are scrambled and on both sides against a white background.

Image by Horia Varlan.

When I talk to business owners about Twitter, I often get the question, “What do I tweet?” Even though they are leaders in their industries in real life, these businesspeople are at a loss for words online. If you, too, are at a loss for what to say on Twitter, here is a basic list to get you started:

  1. Tips. What pieces of short advice can you give? Make them immediately actionable. A weight loss tip, for example: “Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Drink at least 8 – 8 oz. glasses of water today.”
  2. Statistics. Has an industry-related study been recently released? Pick your favorite, the most interesting, or most applicable statistics and offer them to your followers.
  3. Quotes From Others. Reading an excellent book? Look up to another expert in your field? Pull out one-liners from them and give ’em a tweet.
  4. Quotes From Yourself. If you’re writing a blog — you are, aren’t you? — use your best thoughts and share them with your followers. Your followers and your blog readers may or may not be the same group of people.
  5. Questions. Part of being a leader-expert is being curious, so ask questions of your followers. Don’t be afraid if you don’t know all the answers.
  6. Answers. Be on the look out for industry-related questions using alerts (Google Alerts, Twitter Search, Facebook Questions, and LinkedIn Answers will get you started). Send an answer to the original tweeter. If your answer is too long for a tweet, write up a blog post and include a link in your answer instead.
  7. Multimedia. Use your smart phone to capture pictures and video of office antics, new products, and client testimonials. Then upload them to services like TwitPic and TwitVid. Include a clever description to get your followers to follow the link.
  8. Top 10 Lists. Tweet one item from your list every 15 minutes or so. This gives some longevity to your tweets. If you need to give each item an explanation, write a blog post and include a link.
  9. Brainteasers. What a better way to engage your followers than to stump them! (I, at the very least, am a sucker for a good brainteaser.) Get your followers thinking outside the box.
  10. Follow Friday. Every Friday give a shout-out to one or two of your followers and recommend that the rest of your followers follow them too. Give them a good reason. For example, “Follow @galtconsulting for advice about strategically planning your business.”

Commit yourself to trying out a new kind of tweet every day for the next week or so, and don’t forget to add retweets from experts, links to articles worth reading, links to your blog posts, and mentions/replies to others as you tweet from day to day. Have fun mixing up your Twitter stream!

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2 thoughts on “10 Answers to the Age-Old Question 'What Do I Tweet?'

  1. Good tips. Looking at my life choices and leaning back toward tweeting the business separate again. This is bookmarked for future reference. 🙂 n

    • I go back and forth between how I handle my personal and business Twitter accounts, too. I’ve had the personal longer, so I generally get more responses on that account. But I don’t like to inundate my personal followers with all the resources I share professionally, so I use the @aus10cre8ive account for those. I’m not sure if my solution is best, but that’s what I’m doing right now.

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