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Social Media Part 2: The (Twitter) Bird Is the Word

A doodle says, "It took 513,000 tweets, but my autobiography is finally in Twitter!" while another doodle responds, "Um. That's not how it works."In our first social media installment, we discussed the blog — one of the very first forms of social media. Today, we’re going to talk about a platform that’s a little newer to the scene (though it may not feel very new at this point): Twitter.

Twitter has been shaking up the social media game since 2006. It’s taught people how to make an impact in 140 characters or less — which we definitely ❤︎. Seriously, a platform that actually requires you to be concise in your communication? Sign us up. (Just kidding, we’re already there! #FollowUs)

Twitter offers easy access to the latest news, gossip, and clearly written, actionable health updates (of course) — all in real time. But as awesome as that is, it can be a little bit overwhelming. So, where to start? How can you make your content stand out in the literally endless stream of tweets flooding folks’ feeds?

Not to fear, dear readers! We have some tried-and-true tips to help you make the most of those 140 characters.

  • Show your personality! Use an informal, friendly tone so users will want to hear more from you.
  • Reel ’em in. Lead with a strong hook so they’ll be dying to read your whole tweet and visit the page you’re linking to.
  • Write actionable content. Use phrases like “Check this out!” or “Learn how you can…” to encourage people to tune in.
  • Include relevant hashtags (#) so users can find your tweets as they search — it can get you double the engagement of a tweet without hashtags.
  • Use no more than 2 hashtags in a tweet. You know what they say: too much of a good thing can be bad (and it can decrease engagement by 17%).
  • Add visual interest with photos, videos, and GIFs. Tweets with images get 150% more retweets.

Now, flap your wings and tweet away!

The bottom line: Make your 140 characters count. The ingredients for a perfect tweet include: a little personality, some visuals, and the right hashtag.

Tweet about it: What’s in a tweet? Get tips for Twitter from @CommunicateHlth: http://bit.ly/2qAYjMA #HealthLit

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