Twitter: When brief is good

Posted on July 10, 2010


Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it’s the heart and soul of Twitter. The micro-blogging site has built its popularity on the back of its teeny, tiny blog posts, which allow users to send out their thoughts in handy bite-sized chunks. Twitter is the haiku of the blogging world, and it takes a lot of skill to get your message down to those 140 characters.

For those site owners using Twitter as part of their off-page SEO campaign, 140 characters may be a few characters too many.

If you’re using Twitter for your site’s search engine optimisation, then re-tweets should be a part of what you’re aiming for. When using Twitter as part of your off-page SEO, you want your messages to be shared between as many people as possible. In order for this to happen effectively, your entire message needs to be passed forward.

Tweets that use the full character limit may make effective use of the space provided on Twitter, but they run into issues with re-tweeting. When someone forwards your message on Twitter, they generally type RT, or re-tweet, with your username. This is desirable, as it spreads your, hopefully optimised, user name. If your message takes up the full 140 characters, though, then something has got to give.

When using Twitter for SEO, you want both your user name and your full message to be passed on through re-tweeting. An ideal length for tweets is around 115-120 characters. This provides enough room for re-tweeting comfortably, without compromising your message.

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