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Author Steve Boseley, who has posted on my blog a guest post on the best time to tweet, recently published a post filled with tips on how to compose the perfect Tweet. I’m copying here his main tips, but I urge you to check out his complete post if you’re using Twitter to promote your books, as he also has some great tips on Twitter etiquete.

Tip #1: People Are Looking For Bargains

Here is what people are looking for on Twitter:

Tweeting Tips | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Image via Steve Boseley

Notice a pattern? Yes, the two most popular items are discounts and promos, and free stuff!

Tip #2: Ask A Question

Phrasing your tweet is obviously paramount to its success. One remarkably successful way to increase interaction with a tweet is to phrase it as a question:

  • Why it is important to always…
  • Why you should never…
  • What is the one thing…

Asking questions offers an answer or an explanation, and fills something called ‘The Curiosity Gap’, a term that describes the gap between what we know and what we would like to know. This also imbues you with a level of authority. The content should be enough to pique your interest, but not enough to give the whole story away.

Tip #3: Ensure Retweets

There are a number of things to consider when you want others to promote your message by Retweeting. The most important ones include:

  • Tweets that ask for a Retweet receive 12x the Retweet rate than those that don’t. If you actually use the whole word (Retweet instead of RT), the increase is 23x.
  • Tweets that include a link receive 86% more Retweets.
  • Simple or slang conversation is not Retweetable. Some of the least Retweetable words include: Haha, lol, watching, bored, listening, work, home, bed, and tired.
  • If you’re sharing blog posts, studies show that 65% of people prefer title case (the first letter of each word is capitalized) over all lowercase or ALL CAPS.
  • Images give an 89% boost in ‘favourites’ and a huge 150% boost in Retweets.

Finally, the number of characters in your tweet is also important. The average length of a viral tweet is 62 characters, while the most Retweets are for tweets between 71 and 100 characters. Twitter itself goes further, by saying even shorter Tweets are more effective. Tweets with fewer than 50 characters generate 56% more engagement than Tweets with 50-100 characters.

Tweeting Tips | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Image via Steve Boseley

Tip #4: Use The Right #hashtag

Only 24% of Tweets use hashtags, even though, using them will double your engagement, but don’t get carried away: tweets using 3 or more hashtags receive a 14% drop in engagement.

Here are the most popular hashtags to do with books:

Tweeting Tips | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Image via Steve Boseley

Tip #5: An Example Of A Great-Response Tweet

Steve also offers an example of a tweet that has performed pretty well for him even though it contains no hashtags, no @mentions or rich media (streaming video, ads that change, etc). This is what he did right:

  • He starts with his offer.
  • He creates a sense of urgency. This could be putting a timescale on something, mentioning that there is only a limited number of a certain product etc.
  • Ends with a call to action that explains the click expectation.

Check out Steve’s complete post, How to Tweet Like a Pro

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