Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
December 3, 2008 3:52 PM

How To Be Tweetable

One of the faster growing trends on Twitter is the Retweet. If someone says something remotely profound or links to something that someone else finds interesting, an individual can take that tweet and retweet it to their entire network. Think of it like word of mouth for Twitter. Getting someone to tweet something you say (or do) and then getting additional individuals to retweet it is the highest form of praise and acceptance. 

In traditional print media, one of the best ways to get continued coverage is to give good quote. It's easier said than done. Being able to rise above and be memorable to a journalist who spends their days interviewing countless people for news stories is not easy. There is no cheap and cheerful way to get good at giving quotes. Success comes like everything else: with long, hard work and focus.

In a media and communications saturated world, getting your message to spread means getting smarter at what you're saying and who you are saying it to. This is compounded on Twitter. The river of 140 character insights flows at a frenetic pace, and it's sometimes hard to keep pace in the moment, let alone trying to go backwards to see what you missed.

So, what exactly makes someone tweetable? 

Beyond the obvious interest in breaking news (and Twitter is just getting better and better at being the place for breaking news), most people on Twitter are simply looking for something quick, light and interesting to read or look at. Like a high quality Blog, the ones that are tweetable are the people who are constantly and consistently raising the bar by adding their own insights on top of something that adds value to their own community.

It's about time.

One of the other mitigating factors that gets people all a-tweeting is not just "when" you post, but posting when you know more of your community is likely to be online and looking at the Twitter stream (more on that here: The Twitter Tragedy - Lost In Live). When are the people who are following you most likely to be online and looking at Twitter? If you can focus in on that time, odds are your message will reach more people within in your network.

Think about when it's about you and when it's about them.

People definitely love Twitter for the conversational and permission-based stalking aspect of the community. Talking about yourself is part of what makes Twitter so attractive to your followers (after all, they are following you to hear what's on your mind), but dropping in insights that adds value to them also helps push the conversation forward and builds your community. Twitter works if you can be humble enough to know that you're not going to cure the world in 140 characters. Also, avoid too many spammy and overtly self-promotional messages. You're definitely not going build community and become tweetable with a constant barrage of sales pitches (in fact, constantly pimping your wares is one sure way to kill any chance you have at becoming tweetable).

Be someone worth following.

Twitter is full of so much little content, which is exactly what makes it even more complex to rise above. So, while it may be fast, easy and free to publish your thoughts on Twitter, it's near-impossible to have your messages break through all of that clutter to become tweetable.

Just how tweetable are you? 

By Mitch Joel