Get to the point on #Twitter

I love checking out the blogs on SPJ. They’ve always got fantastic tips and information for journalists: one of the perks of being a member. A lot of my posts end up being about information I’ve gotten from those blogs.

The post I stumbled upon today was submitted by David Sheets. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times at SPJ events in St. Louis; another perk of being a member: networking access. Sheets is sports content editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and STLtoday.com, and president of SPJ’s St. Louis Pro Chapter. He’s also a pro at Twitter and effectively tweeting. That’s what his post is about: effectively tweeting by being brief and precise.

Kind of silly, huh, telling people to be brief on Twitter? After all, who can possibly wax wordy with only 140 total characters?

The answer: everyone.

First, you’ve got to understand how people use Twitter. It’s a “scannable” social media site, meaning people briefly look at tweets, the hash tags, the link, the reference and then decide if it’s worth their time. Scanners can’t be bogged down with the full 140 characters. It should take less than that. Sheets says:

A simple sentence —  subject, verb, object and little else — registers with us faster than a sentence padded with adjectives, adverbs and pronouns.

I won’t give it all away. You should check out the post yourself so you too can tweet effectively. I know I learned a lot.

-Haley L.

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