One of the most successful tweets I ever wrote was about, of all subjects, cats. Complete with a pic of a nice furry tabby. It gained 505 impressions within 30 seconds, multiple instantaneous retweets, countless new followers and has gone on to be displayed on Twitter over 5,500 times.
In fact, although it was a light-hearted tweet for fun with no serious marketing purpose, that single tweet produced several leads and a new customer for my writing services.
By contrast just the day before I wrote a top quality business-related tweet. Despite being well written, timely, ultra-relevant and carefully hashtagged it gained a very feeble 40 impressions. Despite it taking me some time to create it’s more than likely no one has ever even read it.
So what can this teach us about using Twitter as a business marketing tool?
Well, Twitter can be a very effective way to get your message out into the world, attract attention and build business leads. But let’s face it …. your average tweet is like a teardrop into an ocean. There are so many tweets out there that it’s difficult, very difficult, to even get yours noticed. Let alone to get it read, favourited or – that most sought after accomplishment – to get it retweeted.
And what, in particular, can cats teach us about succeeding with Twitter?
Actually, cats will teach us nothing. They’re far too busy with important things like sleeping to bother about trivialities like marketing.
But here are a few things I think cats can teach us about creating and writing better tweets:
* The most successful tweets tend to be based on topics and tags that are trending on Twitter. And cats trend. Often. And highly. Obvious really, but all too easy to overlook especially if you’re writing business tweets.
So keep tabs on the trending list. What other trends could you attach your business message to?
* The most successful tweets tend to be about the nice stuff. Not many people go onto Twitter for the bad stuff (and if they do they’re probably a bit odd and not the sort of followers you want). That’s why heartwarming, schmaltzy tweets tend to work better. Think of this as ‘cute kitten’ syndrome if you like.
Try to make your tweets about the good things, and always firmly positive.
* Funny is always good. Notice how many of the top trending cat tweets are often about the funny things that cats do. Or at least that lots of people think are funny.
If you’re writing for business it’s not always appropriate to make jokes of course, but you’d be surprised how many times it is possible to add a humorous twist to a tweet.
* The most successful tweets make a connection between the tweeter and the tweetee. A kind of ‘that’s just what I was thinking’ connection when they’re read. If you think of Twitter as a huge crowd, people tend to seek out kindred spirits in a crowd and that’s why these tweets work.
Cat-related tweets tend to work well because lots of people have cats. But it could work with anything – sport, politics, hobbies, you name it.
* The most successful tweets always have a picture. For a start, image-based tweets always stand out more. And the old idea of a picture painting a thousand words is very relevant on Twitter where your worded message is so short.
And this is the piece of feline-related wisdom to bear in mind here: It needs to be a fairly high impact picture too. To stand out above all the very dull pics on Twitter. This is why pics of cats in hats, cat breading or cat -v- cucumber (crazy and slightly cruel but true, search for it and see) do so well.
Of course, you can’t centre every tweet you send about cats. Or dogs for that matter. Because, by the way, if you tend to sit on the dog side of the fence these tips will probably work just as well with dog tweets too. But all of the reasons that make cat tweets earn so many impressions, be so well read, highly favourited and multiply retweeted can help your tweets on whatever subject be more successful too.
PS. I don’t have a cat personally, but I managed to find this one who offered to take 10 seconds out of his busy napping schedule to pose for this pic. He’s on commission too, so please don’t bankrupt me by retweeting this tweet too much.