The anatomy of a perfect Twitter post

14th August 2019

Welcome to the Anatomy of a Perfect Post series from Metigy. This series shows you how to

create the best content across the most popular social media platforms. In this edition, we cover everything you need to create that perfect Twitter post.

First things first, let’s have a quick look at the technical specs for posting text, images and videos on Twitter.

Technical specifications

Text:

  • 280 character limit
  • No hashtag limit

Images:

  • Minimum to appear expanded 440 x 220 pixels (a 2:1 ratio).
  • Maximum to appear expanded 1024 x 512 pixels.
  • Can tweet up to 4 images at one time.
  • Appears in stream collapsed at 506 x 253 pixels on desktop.
  • Maximum file size: 5 MB for photos, and for animated GIFs on mobile, 15 MB on the web.

Video:

  • Landscape recommended dimensions: 320 x 180 (256K bitrate), 640 x 360 (768K bitrate) and 1280 x 720 (2048K bitrate).
  • Portrait recommended dimensions: 240 x 240 (256K bitrate), 480 x 480 (768K bitrate) and 640 x 640 (1024K bitrate).
  • Minimum dimensions for both are 32 x 32.
  • Maximum dimensions for both are 1280 x 1024.
  • Aspect ratios are between 1:2.39 to 2.39:1.
  • Max file size is 512MB.
  • Video length max is 140 seconds.
  • Video max frames 40fps.
  • Recommended video formats are .MP4 for web and .MOV for mobile.

Now, on to the good stuff! The following eight tips will help you craft a perfect tweet.

1) Tweet with a purpose

Just tweeting for the sake of it will not get the best results. You need a desired outcome. This is usually getting engagement or clicking a CTA. For pure engagement or growing your Twitter community, you should use the most relevant hashtags in your post. But if you want users to click on a CTA, consider removing the hashtags and just including the link. Hashtags are clickable and may distract users from taking that desired action. Check out how fashion retailer Etsy puts this into action:

Original tweet

2) Keep the copy short

Twitter users like it short and snappy. Even though Twitter recently increased the character limit per tweet to 280, the average length of a tweet has remained under 50 characters. Other studies agree that tweets with 100 characters or less perform best. You may find it hard to get your copy down to such a short length, but just try and focus on the essential part of the message.

3) Check your facts and your spelling

You have to check your facts. Otherwise, you can lose credibility pretty quickly. Delta Airlines once famously tweeted a picture of giraffes representing Ghana during a FIFA World Cup match. The problem? There are no giraffes in Ghana. Next, check your spelling. Use a tool like Grammarly that can check your spelling and phrasing. It’s free and works with most web apps.

4) Be visual first

Tweets with images get around 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets than tweets without.

But you don’t have to be a whizzkid at graphic design. The New York times often posts a picture of a quote from articles they share. This works really well. Humorous memes can also work, but make sure that it fits with your brand’s tone of voice.

Original tweet

5) Write how you talk

Social networks are conversational by nature, so your tweets should sound like you. Try reading your drafted tweets out loud. Do they sound natural? Do they sound like something your brand would say? Often, writing leads to slightly stiffer sounding text. But brands like Wendy’s have crafted a very authentic feeling Twitter feed by communicating with their users in a casual, sometimes even sarcastic manner.

6) Use hashtags effectively and sparingly

Twitter recommends using two or fewer hashtags per post. This keeps your tweets readable. Remember to check the intended meaning of hashtags before you use them. In 2014, pizza company DiGiorno once misused the #WhyIStayed hashtag which was related to domestic abuse victims. Don’t do a DiGiorno!

7) The right tweet at the right time

The time you tweet affects engagement. A study from Sprout Social found that tweets on Wednesday at 9 a.m. and Friday at 9 a.m got the most engagement. While tweets on Saturdays get the least. But don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works for you. Platforms like Metigy allow you to schedule all your Tweets for the week ahead, ensuring maximum engagement.

8) Rewrite headlines and write custom intros

Social media managers are busy people. But make the time to write an intro when you share content. Don’t just copy and paste – it looks lazy. When you share an article, either re-write the headline or pick an interesting fact from the article and phrase it as a “did you know” style question.

In Conclusion

We hope you found this post helpful and insightful. You can find the rest of our Anatomy of a Perfect Post series here, covering Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook

Is Twitter your go-to social media platform? Have you had success using Twitter for your business? Have you mastered the method of creating perfect tweets? Let us know your results in the comments below (in 280 characters or less 🙂 

 

Note: Technical information contained within (such as image sizes and character lengths) will be updated as each platform evolves and changes.

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