Be Better at Twitter: The Definitive, Data-Driven Guide – Megan Garber – Technology – The Atlantic

Social media ought to serve society, not for self. Here again is the empathy piece

Twitter, as a communications platform, has evolved beyond nascent Twttr’s charmingly mundane updates (“cleaning my apartment”; “hungry”) and into something more crowd-conscious and curatorial.

At the same time, though, being social, it functions as a source of entertainment. Which means that we have increasingly high — and increasingly normalized — expectations for Twitter as both a place and a platform. We want it to enlighten us, but we also want it to amuse us.

With that in mind, here’s their advice for creating that content. Feel free to retweet it.

Old news is no news: Twitter emphasizes real-time information, so information rapidly gets stale. Followers quickly get bored of even relatively fresh links seen multiple times.

• Contribute to the story: To keep people interested, add an opinion, a pertinent fact or otherwise add to the conversation before hitting “send” on a retweet.

• Keep it short: Twitter limits tweets to 140 characters, but followers still appreciate conciseness. Using as few characters as possible also leaves room for longer, more satisfying comments on retweets.

• Limit Twitter-specific syntax: Overuse of #hashtags, @mentions and abbreviations makes tweets hard to read. But some syntax is helpful; if posing a question, adding a hashtag helps everyone follow along.

Don’t whine: Negative sentiments and complaints were disliked.

via Be Better at Twitter: The Definitive, Data-Driven Guide – Megan Garber – Technology – The Atlantic.

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