The Anatomy of a Tweet - Twitter Marketing Tips

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To best leverage Twitter as a channel for business growth or personal brand development, you must first understand the tools you have at your disposal on the platform. 

The short form content style and rapid updates that are at Twitter’s core make it a great channel for sparking and participating in conversations, and in turn growing a brand and driving traffic to business platforms (ex. Websites, blogs, ecommerce stores etc.). The element that drives these conversations is a Tweet, or what Twitter calls its post format. 

Similar to posts on other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram, Tweets can be created using multiple formats like video, text, and images, and offer features for social bookmarking like location tags and hashtags. The features of a Tweet give content creators options in terms of the types of posts they can leverage in their Twitter marketing strategy.

In this blog post, we’re going to examine the anatomy of a Tweet so you can understand their characteristics, and the opportunities those features present for helping your Tweets get exposure and engagement. 

Blog Contents:

  • Tweet Copy
  • User Profile Tags 
  • Media (images and video)
  • Links and Link Preview Images 
  • Hashtags 
  • Tweet Favorites
  • Retweets
  • Comments 
  • Twitter Polls

1. Tweet Copy

Copy is the one of the most basic elements of a Tweet. Over the years Twitter has changed the number of characters users can include in a Tweet, expanding from 140 characters to today’s 280. This character limit has been a relatively controversial aspect of Twitter, as users tend to want more characters, but at the same time, the character limit is what allows Twitter to maintain newsfeeds full of real-time updates. This is why Twitter has evolved as a source for news as it happens, and also enables it to be utilized as a search engine for information and conversations about current events.

Follow these tips in your Tweet copy to best take advantage of Twitter’s character count.

Best practices to follow for Tweet copy:

  • Use variations of copy length and format. This can be accomplished by taking advantage of the features listed in this blog post, and having a content mix that includes things like video, links to articles, images, etc.
  • Format your copy. Breaking up walls of text in longer posts by adding spaces between paragraphs, using lists, and even including emojis will make your posts easier to read, and make them stand out more in newsfeeds 
  • Use an engaging tone that matches your brand voice. While you want to stay within the realm of your brand voice in your copy (ex. A B2B IT software company will likely have a more serious tone than a B2C toy company), you still want to come across as welcoming, and encourage conversation 

Get inspiration for your own Tweets with these "10 Content Ideas For Building Your Personal Brand On Twitter"

Easlo grew his Twitter following to 200K+ and earns $200K+ per year. Use his "Twitter Operating System" to build your personal brand on Twitter.

2. Twitter User Profile Tags 

Twitter features the ability to tag other accounts in Tweets, similar to the way in which you’d tag a friend or brand account in a post on Facebook or LinkedIn. Using the “@” symbol before a profile name or company page name in your post copy will embed a URL to that page within your Tweet when you share it, and also notify the user you tagged. 

Advantages of tagging user and brand accounts in your posts: 

  • For the people you tag, your Tweet will show up in their followers’ Twitter feeds, leading to more Tweet impressions, and higher potential engagement
  • It increases the likelihood that the tagged account will engage with your Tweet, taking actions like leaving a comment, liking or retweeting the Tweet. See the section below on retweets to learn more their value
  • It adds variety to your Tweet copy
  • It allows you to attribute 3rd party content to the author when you share it. Ex. if you share an article from another company, and want to give them credit in your Tweet. 

In another blog post, we break down "Tweet Examples to Use in Your Twitter Marketing Strategy," where you can see examples of profile tags and other aspects of a Tweet's anatomy in use.

3. Media (images and video)

Tweets give you the option to add images and video. By clicking the media button, you can upload image and video files from your computer or phone to include in your Tweet. 

With image Tweets, you can add a single image, or multiple images in a collage format. The maximum number of images that can be included in a Tweet is 4 images. 

Media content like images and video not only offer an engaging content format to include in Tweets, they also enable you to establish your Twitter branding, having your personal brand or company brand represented on the platform. 

Twitter image size specification: 

  • Tweet including a single image: 1200 x 675 pixels 
  • Tweet including two images: 700 x 800 pixels per image
  • Tweet including three images: Left image: 700 x 800 pixels, Right images: 1200 x 686 pixels
  • Tweet including four images: 1200 x 600 pixels per image
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9.
  • Maximum file size of 5 MB for photos, and 5 MB for animated GIFs on mobile and 15 MB on web. See Twitter’s guidelines for more details on image and GIF specifications

Basic Twitter video specifications to follow when creating and posting videos:

  • Recommended video resolution: 1280×720  for landscape videos, 720×1280 for portrait videos, 720×720  for square videos
  • Recommended video aspect ratio: 16:9 for landscape or portrait videos, 1:1 for square videos
  • Maximum video file size: 512MB
  • Maximum video length: 140 seconds
  • Supported video file formats: .MP4 and .MOV
  • Recommended frame video rate: 30 or 60 fps

Sprout Social has a great (and regularly updated) social media image size guide and social media video size guide that you can use to figure out the optimal image sizes across platforms.

Benefits of including images and videos in your Tweets:

  • Video consumption is increasing on Twitter, with video views increasing by 62% on the platform from 2019 to 2020. This presents an opportunity to take advantage and earn your own engagement
  • Tweets with a visual element stand out more in the newsfeed
  • Images and video offer another opportunity to communicate information within the context of your Tweets
  1. Links and Link Preview Images 

Another common Tweet type is a Tweet that contains a link. Tweets containing links function similarly to LinkedIn or Facebook posts with links, in that they display the URL and enable users to click the link and be redirected to another website. 

Links can also display a preview image if the web page or blog post being shared has a preview / feature image set up in the web page’s open graph data (the information and image that is displayed when a web page is shared on social media platforms). 

Tips for linking within Tweets:

  • Try link shorteners like bitly, or the link shortening tools built into platforms like Sprout Social and Buffer to save characters given Twitter’s limited character count
  • Links are a core part of social media marketing strategy, as they enable social platforms to be leveraged as top of funnel traffic drivers for landing pages and blog posts. However, Tweets containing links often receive less engagement than Tweets without links. So it is a good practice to have a variety of Tweet types in your strategy that serve different functions ex. Image and copy Tweets for engagement, link Tweets to drive traffic 
  • Setup preview images on your web pages and blog posts to give link Tweets a visual element and increase the likelihood of link clicks 

Want more Twitter marketing tips? Check out this blog post: "20 Twitter Marketing Tips to Help Grow Your Brand"

5. Tweet Hashtags 

Given Twitter’s short form content style, high volume of content in newsfeeds, and reputation as a news source, hashtags are particularly useful on the platform. Operating like hashtags on Instagram or other social platforms, Twitter hashtags bookmark Tweets that use the same hashtag and make them searchable by that hashtag. Users can click a hashtag within a Tweet to see the most recent and most popular Tweets that have used that same hashtag. 

This makes hashtags invaluable for increasing Tweet impressions, and also opens up the opportunity to see and engage in conversations that are happening on Twitter focused on the same topic. 

Tips for Including Hashtags in Your Tweets:

  • Conduct hashtag research using the Twitter’s search function to see what hashtags are trending or most popular in your niche
  • Research hashtags in your industry to see what conversations are happening about those topics, and include those hashtags in your own Tweets to get them into the conversation
  • Aim to include at least 2-3 hashtags in your Tweets. These can be included organically within theTweet copy (which will also save characters rather than duplicating a word to include it as a hashtag), or in a list at the end of your Tweet 
  • If you need to include more hashtags than this suggested number, you can, but be aware that Tweets with too many hashtags may come off as spammy and lead to poor engagement 

6. Tweet Favorites

Tweet favorites function like a like button on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. This is one of the most popular and basic ways for users to engage with a Tweet, and serve as an indication of its performance and reception by your followers. 

When someone favorites a Tweet, it has the dual benefit of causing the Tweet to receive more exposure via the Twitter algorithm, and also sometimes Twitter will actually display it to followers of the individual who liked the Tweet. Both of these scenarios encourage further engagement, and signify the importance of the favorite button. 

Measure your Tweets’ average number of favorites over time to see if your efforts on Twitter are yielding increasing engagement. You can also try measuring the average performance of different types of Tweets (ex. Link vs. non link posts, like in the example discussed in the link preview section of this blog) to see which Tweet types in your Twitter marketing strategy are having the most impact

7. Retweets

Retweets are Twitter’s equivalent of a post share feature, and are the most coveted form of engagement in the platform. Like with a post share on Facebook or LinkedIn, a Retweet from another user takes your Tweet and shares it on their newsfeed where their network can see it. 

Retweets unlock new impressions for your Tweet, and also present the opportunity for additional engagement from the person’s followers. Retweets can be done as a simple share, or there is a “Retweet with comment” function that enables users to add additional copy that will appear above the original Tweet.

8. Tweet Comments 

The ability to comment is another key element of a Tweet, and a great opportunity for engagement. When someone comments on your Tweets, there’s a chance your Tweet shows up in the Twitter threads of that individual’s followers, offering your Tweet expanded reach. 

This is why responding to every comment you receive on your Tweets is critical. It opens up the opportunity for engagement with your followers, builds on your organic relationship with them, and gives your post the opportunity to reach new people you otherwise might not have. 

Twitter Comments Best Practices:

  • Always respond to comments on your Tweets
  • Try responding with an answer to the comment as well as a follow up question to expand the conversation and prompt additional comments and engagement
  • Like every comment you receive 
  • Optional: retweet comments to promote your followers and give new life to your original Tweet 

9. Twitter Polls

Polls are a Tweet type that has its own unique format, featuring a list of preset options that you can offer to people to choose from. Poll Tweets enable users to select from the options listed in the poll, and are open for submissions for a set period of time. Once that period of time is up, the poll closes, and the Tweet will remain on your Twitter feed displaying the poll results. 

Polls represent a good way to shake up your Twitter marketing strategy in terms of your content mix, and give you the opportunity to get engagement from followers and a format that’s easy for people to participate in. 

Twitter Poll Ideas:

  • Create a poll about trends and recent news in your industry that asks for people’s take
  • Ask for customer’s opinion on a new product or service your company introduced. This has the added benefit of taking the pulse of your audience on your products or services
  • Ask for predictions about the future of your industry, or biggest changes your industry will see this year

Bonus Personal Branding Tips and Insights

Personal Branding for Job Seekers - Developing a Personal Brand for Your Job Search
January 28, 2023

Discover the benefits of developing a personal brand for your job search, as well as key tips and frequently asked questions about personal branding for job seekers.

Twitter Social Media Marketing Tips to Increase Tweet Engagement
January 25, 2023

Add these Twitter social media marketing best practices to your personal brand strategy.