December 6, 2012

The art of tweeting in 140 characters

Source: Flickr: Shawn Campbell
Hey there, first some good news - last month, maktion crossed 50,000+ pageviews mark (see here).
I thank you for spending time to read the posts here! As the title of this post suggests, I don't intend to give you one more dose of 'How to tweet?' success tips already covered by hundreds of websites. Instead, I just want to share what I consider as the art of tweeting in 140 characters. With over 66,000+ tweets at the time of writing this post, I feel I have acquired considerable experience by being an avid observant of how, why and what people tweet.

 In other words, I look out for patterns and try to connect the dots which brings in a lot of fresh ideas and even help validate existing concepts. If you've been on twitter for some time then you'll find that every individual has a unique style of tweeting. Some may be tweeting content related to their professional field, some about their day to day activities, travel, etc; some about movies and celebrities, while some tweet as subject matter experts who also help you when you need some assistance. There are many more types which you'll only get to know once you jump into the twit-pond! Ever since I joined twitter in 2009, I've experienced traction in my thinking skills, reasoning and most importantly the ability to craft crisp and to-the-point messages. This also helps me in my professional field as in Marketing, we often have to deal with communication assignments and cutting down 500 or 1000 words to 140 is seriously no joke. Now I've understood why we had those Reading Comprehension lessons in English back in school. Without adding much, I'll put down some tips for tweeting well, or as they say - the art of tweeting in 140 characters:
  1. Be Yourself. On twitter, people like to follow and interact with those who are original and remain themselves. Maintain your unique identity, you don't have to copy anyone. Just tweet naturally as it comes along.
  2. Follow good people. How you define 'good' is up to but you should follow a few good folks either with common interests, knowledge experts or location based. They have their own style and you will automatically learn from them.
  3. Talk sense. Try not to tweet every single detail of your life, no one really gives a heck. Also, people like jokes but not non-sense.  Occasional wise-cracks are alright but common sense should be evident through your tweets.
  4. Read and share. While there's no written rule, it's a good practice to read an article before sharing it. Don't blindly retweet. It's ideal to do a native retweet but if you opt for a manual RT, then add a line before to share your perspective.
  5. Respond to replies. When people converse with you, converse. Don't ignore their replies to you, respond to their tweet as you would in real life. Just take care that you do not disclose more than required. Draw a line.
  6. Add value. The way you respond, share and help others adds to your credibility. Add value by sharing experiences & quality links, answering queries and giving correct advises. Be careful to not spam other's TL in excitement.
  7. Don't showoff. There's a thin line between sharing your happy moments & showing off. Smart folks can make out who's genuine, so don't always thump your chest. That doesn't mean you totally ignore accepting accolades, do thank people.
Based on these 7 points, here are a few tweets that I received in response to some of my tweets which I am sharing them with you just to show that yes - people do appreciate and value your tweets if you are doing it right!

Remember, there is no defined art of tweeting but you can always create your own unique style in 140 characters. Through this post, I hope you get some direction in understanding the art of tweeting in 140 characters. Do leave a comment below about your experience. And, if you're on twitter, then say a hi to me @arifkhan7!

Tweet wisely,


  1. Wow! That was really helpful! And you're right as always. Anyway...Congrats for reaching so many page-views! :D

    _\(0)/_ ^oo^


    1. Thank you B! Feels glad to hear that.

  2. Happened to meet a bunch of college kids today..introduced them to LinkedIn and Twitter, well had to tell you.. features from this post and your example ws included in my interaction session with them. Hope they implement it.

    1. That's great Shweta, and I'm glad (and honored) that you considered this post in your session with the students. Very happy to hear. Thank you!