When it comes to Social Media, of all the things I find that clients are apprehensive about, Twitter is probably the most intimidating. Maybe it’s because it has its own vernacular, or because it is so often referenced in the news.
Twitter can be a world wide megaphone. So, for those who take special care with their words, it can seem daunting. Once your words are out there, they can be seen by millions. But Twitter is more than a quick way of disseminating information. It can also be a method to learn clear concise writing.
No really. Twitter allows the writer to comment about What’s Happening in 140 characters or less, including spaces. While some take the opportunity to use awkward abbreviations and word choices, others have taken to the format with literary aspirations.
I can validly say that Twitter has made me a better writer. When it comes down to it, Twitter requires using writer’s best practices such as avoiding unnecessary words, using descriptive verbs, and not burying the lead. Twitter has made me learn to use effective language that gets to the point fast.
As a rule, I avoid using abbreviations, and cutting corners with punctuation. (I will however use standard Twitter codes such as RT, and #FF.) It becomes a challenge, a game against myself to see if I can do it. Also, since most Tweets include an abbreviated link that takes up 20 characters, it means I have even less space to get my message out. Repeating this practice over and over has bled into my blog writing and journalism work.
So give yourself the challenge of using Twitter as a tool to learn concise writing. You might be surprised what you can convey in 140 characters or in this case, just over 300 words.