By Jonathan Kantor
For most writers accustomed to creating large volumes of text, cramming information into the 140-character limit of Twitter can be a challenging exercise.
Nonetheless, white paper writers are becoming increasingly aware of the power of Twitter and how it can be used to promote a white paper, gain widespread visibility, and more importantly, increase the number of leads and business prospects.
One of the most important aspects of Twitter is something called ‘re-tweeting,’ or having others forward your tweet message across thousands of personal Twitter group lists, thereby exponentially multiplying the exposure for that white paper. To maximize your white paper tweets, here are some tips that not only will gain greater attraction to your white paper among your followers, but will also increase the chances that your white paper tweet message will be re-tweeted to thousands of other Twitter users:
1. Label the Document: Start with the term “White Paper” so your followers will know the type of document that is attached to the link. If they see your tweet contains the label “White Paper,” it will gain their attention and increase the likelihood of re-tweeting more than if that message simply read, “Interesting report about ___________.” Labeling your tweet in this way should use approximately 10 to 20 characters. You can also use this technique for other types of business documents such as “Case Study,” “Comp. Analysis,” “Annual Report,” etc.
2. Title: This portion of your tweet message uses the greatest number of characters and requires the highest level of planning. You can save characters by substituting numbers for names (such as 4 instead of four), abbreviate highly recognizable words such as mgmt for management, or replace words such as organization, enterprise, or company with smaller words such as firm where appropriate. Also eliminate words such as for, at, an, the, etc., if you can do so without disrupting the clarity of your white paper. Ultimately, try to reduce your title to approximately 40 to 70 characters.
3. URLs: This portion of your tweet is the easiest way to reduce the total number of characters. Simply use the “Shorten URL” feature of Twitter or your favorite Twitter client application. This is especially helpful when you have a really large link to your white paper PDF file. Remember, your white paper is the “link bait” to attract the Twitter follower to your website rather than including your website name in the Tweet. Once they have arrived on your landing page, then you can use a greater amount of text to describe your organization, product, or service. The Shorten URL feature should also help you reduce the number of characters in your link down to approximately 15 to 20 characters.
4. Hash Symbols: This is a good way for your followers to find other information that you’ve recently posted. But like your URL, this can also get out of hand if you include too many characters. Try to limit your hash symbol name to 5 to 10 characters. For example, I use #wppundit, instead of spelling out “#whitepaperpundit.”
5. Think 120 Instead of 140—These recommendations should provide you with approximately 120 characters for your tweets. Yes, everyone loves to tout the 140 characters of Twitter, but by using only 120, you leave 20 additional characters for your followers to re-tweet your message without cutting off valuable information or depending on others to abbreviate the name of your white paper.
I hope this helps. Good luck and happy white paper tweeting!