Ok, you got me. I may have paraphrased a word or two (or seven) from Jesse Pinkman’s famous quote (played by Aaron Paul) in the Emmy-winning TV show, Breaking Bad. I should also point out since I am coming clean, that “Tw” is not a symbol for any existing chemical elements (unless we create Twhydrogen). In the show, Jesse and Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston) devised a successful chemical formula for producing a consistent, top-quality methamphetamine (“meth”) product for its consumers. This formula eventually became the backbone of their empire business.
The same tactic can be brought into the Twitterverse (do people still call it that anymore?), except without all the drugs and violence, of course. By developing a strategic content marketing formula tailored to your Twitter followers, you will be able to consistently create high-quality Tweets that will reinforce and drive home your message.
Here are 8 tips to help you build a meth-odical Twitter formula and prevent you from Tweeting bad.
More isn’t necessarily better
Just because you have 140 characters at your disposal, doesn’t mean you need to use up every last one. In fact, statistics show that Tweets between 100 and 115 characters are 34% more likely to be ReTweeted (“RT”) than Tweets outside of that range. Plus, it is always good to leave some free space for your followers to add their own bit if they wish to personalize their RT.
Tweet like it matters
Even though Twitter is regarded as an informal social platform, punctuation, spelling and grammar still matter. Statistics confirm that Tweets containing some form of punctuation (e.g. period, colon) have a higher RT percentage than those that do not. In other words, stop Tweeting like a 7 year-old trying to jump start his rap career. Da dayz of twtin lik dis r ova! Tweet legibly or you may see your followers count diminish quickly.
The Kanye West Rule
Unless your name is Yeezy (I refuse to call him Yeezus!), or you just gave birth to a baby cow, there is absolutely no reason to Tweet in all CAPS. It is hard to read and adds no value to your message. Even mega news publishers don’t deliver breaking news in all caps:
Peak at the right time
While the quality and quantity of your Tweets unquestionably matter, also as important is the timing of those Tweets. Choosing the right time to post your Tweet can be the difference between achieving maximum exposure and wasting time on a dud.
According to KISSmetrics, maximum click-through rate (CTR) is achieved by Tweeting during midweek (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and weekends.
Specifically, CTR is highest for Tweets around noon (lunch hour) and 6pm (getting home from work), which makes sense.
Your followers will listen
Now before you start getting all power-hungry like Mr. White, let me clarify this: unless you’re like Rihanna and have 32.3 million followers, chances are that your individual influence in your social circle may be somewhat limited. That being said, there is still proof that your followers will respond positively if your Tweets ask them to. Studies show that Tweets have a 23x higher chance of being RT’d if it contains the word “retweet”, and 12x higher RT rate if it contains “RT”. Not too Shabby! Use this insightful statistic to strengthen your social pull when you are seeking response from your followers.
Learn the art of #hashtags
We’ve all seen those Tweets with more hashtags than the original message itself. Why does it happen? #IHaveNoClueButItNeedsToStop. On average, Tweets that contain one or more hashtags are 55% more likely to be RT’d than the ones that don’t, but Tweets with more than two hashtags receive 17% less engagement. In other words, the magic range to aim for is one to two hashtags per Tweet. Use it effectively, and they can add great value and humour to your message.
Link your audience
Given that Twitter is one of the most effective social tools to quickly share information, it’s not surprising that Tweets that include links are 86% more likely to be RT’d. Specifically, Tweets using pic.twitter.com are 94% more likely to be RT’d - the highest RT percentage compared to its rivals Twitpic, Instagram and Facebook. Videos are also widely spread, with 700 YouTube links being shared on Twitter every minute.
Who doesn’t love starting off their day with an inspirational or witty quote? Better yet, who wouldn’t want to share quotes that make them sound intelligent and funny? Maybe that’s why studies show Tweets “including quotation marks were 30% more likely to be RT’d than those that did not”. There, you see how intelligent I just sounded? S-m-r-t. Wait...
While it may not be obvious at first glance, successful Tweeting and the meth-cooking technique created by Jesse and Walter do have one thing in common - they are both forms of art, backed by proven formulas and statistics. Develop your formula for success, stick to it and, before you know it, your days of Tweeting bad will be over.