Friday, 25 February 2011

6 Ways to Maximize the Use of Your 140 Character

Here are some tips for making the most of those few characters you get to use.

1) Use shorthand codes. BRB, LOL, RT, TY, etc. Some may call it tech speak or leet speak. Acronyms and abbreviations for commonly used words and phrases. Check out this list of popular Twitter shorthands and if you like to use more colorful shorthand there is also a NSFW shorthand list. That’s Not-Safe-For-Work for you shorthand beginners.

2) Be clear and concise. Make sure you are not being redundant. Remove any words that might be irrelevant to what you are trying to convey.

3) Use URL shortening. This one is pretty obvious and is even built in to Twitter. However, there are some URL shortening services that can save you a few more characters than TinyURL. I use IS.GD and another popular one is XR.COM which even allows you to customize the URL.

4) Use special symbol characters. You may not know it, but Twitter accepts more than just normal characters. You can actually create hearts, stars, smilies and other symbols that can represent words or ideas in just 1 character. TheNextWeb has created a great tool called TwitterKeys which allows you to have all these symbols at your fingertips.

5) Use labels. Labeling your tweet has some cool benefits. A label is like a tag at the beginning of your tweet. Your followers will know exactly what you are sharing right away and they may even increase your chances of being re-tweeted. Here are some examples… (Reading:, Stumbling:, Digging:, etc.)

6) Be simple. This is a writing tip from Copyblogger, “…simple words work better than big ones. Write ‘get’ instead of ‘procure.’ Write ‘use’ rather than ‘utilize.’ Use the longer words only if your meaning is so precise there is no simpler word to use.”


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