The Art of Tweeting

The short and concise manner of a tweet—140 characters of less—can either be the bane of your Twitter existence or a creative breath of fresh air. For those who are new to Twitter, there are several nuances and shortcuts that frequent users like to employ to fit their tweets into the limited space.

1. Shorten links: Basically, there’s no way around this. Web links are long and cumbersome, and the only reasonable way you can share links while tweeting is to shorten them. Thankfully, Twitter has this function built into its website so you can just copy and paste your link and it gets shortened automatically. Also, most Twitter tools and apps that help you tweet also have this function.

2. Cut unnecessary words: The point of a tweet is to share an impactful thought, not to give a lecture. Sometimes the longest word in a tweet (especially if it’s an adjective) may be the one to cut. If you absolutely have to keep it in, see #3.

3. Cut out vowels where appropriate: Spelling and grammar are very important. However, when you have only 140 characters to share a thought, it’s OK to trim a couple of vowels. Just keep the word recognizable. For example, community bank into “cmmty bnk” (see sidebar for more examples).

4. Abbreviate when appropriate: Once you see enough tweets, you realize that certain things have an automatic abbreviation (some abbreviations are considered slang or texting language, such as LOL or BTW). There are other words that are familiar in the financial industry that tend to get shortened, and if everyone else is using them, then it’s fair game to use them as well (examples provided in sidebar).

Ann Chen is ICBA’s senior social media communications specialist.