54 years have passed since Leon René of Class Records in LA penned the words to “Rockin’ Robin.” The song climbed to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, but now the social media platform Twitter has millions of people the world over rocking in the tree tops of cyberspace, tweeting all day long. With an estimated 1 billion tweets posted per week, there’s plenty of folks who want to know what a tweet is.
Well, a tweet is a message that is less than or equal to 140 characters that is published to Twitter. People who like your tweets will click the “follow” tab next to your name, and from that point on, all of your tweets will be seen in their timeline. Likewise, if you see some tweets that you like, you can follow the person who tweeted them. Basically, a tweet is a thought, insight, or event that someone wants to share with their Twitter followers.
“Tweet” Is Both a Noun and a Verb
The word “tweet” functions as both a noun and a verb: You literally tweet (write and publish) a tweet (message) to the people who follow you on Twitter.
But the point of tweeting and creating a twitter stream (chronological collection of tweets) is not only to be seen, but also respected, admired, and eventually acknowledged as an expert in your field. People on Twitter like to exchange information, and a good Twitter stream builds on this. Many classes of Twitter users such as copywriters and web designers work consciously to make fresh, free resources available to their followers.
The space allowed for a tweet is so small there is precious little room for nonsense. A good twitter stream gives a positive image of the sender. Ideally, it should contain some telling insight or truth, share knowledge, or alert others to a problem or a worthy cause. Twitter also breaks news, as we witnessed during the untimely death of Michael Jackson. Tweets alerted the public of the King of Pop’s death hours before any mention was made on TV.
Hashtags (a word preceded by #) are used to classify tweets by subject. This creates a thread that others can follow. Hashtags allow you to create and search for topics. When writing a tweet that you want to have classified, you need only to add a #hashtag such as #twitternewbie, and other people who want to contribute to the topic of twitter newbies will also use the #twitternewbie hashtag. Hashtags allow the collective stream of consciousness to be searched, viewed and analyzed.
Whether you’re a business or an individual, it’s a good idea to have a call to action in your tweets. If you have information that you want to propagate quickly, you can ask your followers to “RT” or retweet at the beginning of the message. A common way to do this is to preface the tweet with the phrase “RT Plz:” (retweet please). Research has shown that Twitter users respond favorably to this request. Using a colon increases the chances that your tweet will be read, although no one knows why. Twitter users are also more likely to read a tweet that mentions a “New Blog Post:” and contains a link.
We Can So Rock This
Scripted is aware that all this stuff about Twitter and tweeting can make a sane business person’s head spin. That’s why we have a cadre of writers who know how to “rock in the tree tops” of the twitterverse. We know how to hunker down and let those witty, insightful missives fly, links and all. So let us make you “out bop the buzzard and the oriole.” Followers will increase and the reach of what you have to say will grow. All that and our prices are very affordable. So if this sounds like something you need, call us: Today. Tweet-tweet-re-tweeet!
“Rockin’ Robin.” René, L. (1958). Rockin’ Robin [Recorded by B. Day]. [Record]. LA, California: Class Records.
Thomas, J. (1958). Bobby Day Rockin’ Robin Lyrics. http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bobby_day/rockin_robin.html