How do you go about tweeting really good tweets? What does a good tweet consist of?

One of the many things we hear relating to this is “Tweet often” as well as “Tweet more”. Sometimes “You have to tweet often”. So yeah, we got it. Strategists out there try to tell us to tweet more often in order to get good tweets posted. But maybe we can cut the curves a bit here. Isn’t there some advice to follow? Advice which can make your tweets, erm, good ones right from the start?

We think there is. But where do we start? Instead of coming up with some smart-ass theory that might help you to improve your tweets, we thought: Let’s just look at the best tweeter out there. Yes, it’s him. Again. @GuyKawasaki. Tweeting all day, all night, and brilliantly. So let’s just take a look at some first:

The wild and rampant sex of flowers

How to sell socks

How can sugar explode?

The upside of getting H1N1 flu

How to reprogram your brain in 5 days

Booty-popping frogs. Eat your heart out Beyonce

Now we have broken them down to understand better what makes up a Guy Kawasaki Tweet. Let’s have a look at the 3 main things to incorporate for your tweets:

1.) The power of the unexpected

If you can create this power, it feels like a bombshell for your followers, they can’t help clicking the link. And Guy is the master of it. Whilst looking at your stream his tweets simply stand out. They carry a message so strangely different to other tweets, that we are more than tempted to click on them. And we do click on them.
Whilst you read your tweets and you are into tech and social media like we are, you are not surprised by the news tweeted by your followers about groupon getting $950 million in fresh capital. Or 10 ways to create traffic to your post. But when you read “The upside of getting H1N1 flu” you think “huh?”. Result? Click.

2.) Make it short

Are you still talking about twitter, you ask. Because it’s 140 characters already, you say. True! But we have looked at Guy’s last 100 tweets and guess what, no one has more than 10 words + the link. This means no more than 50 characters. And frankly, when you try looking at your stream the short ones are really the relief for your eyes’ pain after reading those 140 character monsters. So make it shorter, your followers will love it.

3.) Use Buffer – be consistent

Guy is using software to tweet in this consistent endless stream of good tweets. Obviously. If you want to be like him, tweeting good content all day long, try Buffer. No, seriously. This is not just advertising our product. If you find it valuable like we, Guy and others do, to provide content consistently during day and night for all your different followers, give it a shot. Try it for free.
Buffer will help you to get your best content tweeted at the best times of the day to have the most impact. You can source all your good posts and thoughts you want to share at one point. You can add them to your buffer and you will be tweeting in a consisting, endless stream of good tweets. Just like Guy.

Let us know which actions you take to make your tweets awesome.

Photo credit: koke

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Written by Leo Widrich

Co-founder and COO at Buffer. I enjoy working on company culture, customer development and marketing. For more personal posts, check out leostartsup.

  • One important factor in making a perfect tweet, but more importantly, making it count (retweets, people taking actions, etc) is consistently pushing out great, great links to interesting stuff.

    For example. I can retweet Guy’s tweets without checking them (and this part is important) because I know they’ve been vetted and they’re good.

    So becoming known as someone who shares value every time s/he tweets, is very important. Seams obvious but seldom well executed.

    • LeoWid

      Hmm, very good point Dino. Now that I think about it, that’s really the case, one can just randomly retweet his tweets, knowing, they are awesome. Arriving there is a truly hard and rather lengthy path, which brings us back to practising and tweeting more often. Which in the above post is rather taken on satirically ;). “The fast way to everything” (that would actually be a good blogpost) is really one that is neither achievable nor diserable. I agree. However, learning fast is def something recommendable.

  • Really? And I mean, REALLY? Give me the intimate, mostly link-free conversation that Twitter is designed to promote over douchbaggery-filled shortened url streams created for maximum-whuffie any day of the week. This is the very antithesis of the perfect tweet.

    • LeoWid

      Hi Brett! Thanks for your critical comment on our post. As regards “the way twitter is designed” I am not quite sure there is only one clear answer to that in the way you argued. I feel people have very different reasons for being on twitter and neither one, unless it has a clearly detrimental effect to anyone, should be dismissed as non-viable. If you are someone being 100% on twitter for the conversation, than I agree, you might not really find his tweets perfect. However if one prefers a balance between conversational and broadcasting tweets his tweets add a lot of value on twitter I feel. Does that make sense?

  • The time of the tweet can be very important too. Lots of studies showing early morning tweets get more engagement.

    We find it tricky to judge when to tweet. Some of our audience isn’t even awake when the majority is awake.

    • LeoWid

      Totally agree, times of the day are def very important. If you have followers from all over the world or a large enough followerbase, chances are that you will have to spread it out over the whole day though to reach all of them at some point. Being consistent is the key to this problem I think. Or what other solutions did you come up with so far?

  • Juan

    the word is turning into a grotesque cartoon of itself 🙁

  • I think people are confusing Tweets with RSS feeds. A tweet is short, sweet, and to the point. Putting a vague statement then linking to a blog post is just spam. @GuyKawasaki is nothing more than a slightly more interesting and targeted spam bot.

    • LeoWid

      Hi Russ. Hmm, again, I see where you are coming from, but @GuyKawasaki ‘s tweets are not the least spamlike to me. And I don’t want to be a fanboy. I read his tweets. Like them. Click them. However, I understand your viewpoint and the way you perceive tweets should be structured might be helpful to a certain audience. Others and I include myself here, are thankful to read more broadcasted-like tweets. Not all the time, that’s for sure. But still, I feel a whole crew looking after every word being tweeted is really more than a “slightly more interesting and targeted spam bot”. Don’t you think there should be room for several opinions?

      • Thanks for the reply!

        “…read more broadcasted-like tweets. Not all the time, that’s for sure…”

        Exactly, not all the time. In the last 24 hours, @GuyKawasaki tweeted 90+ times, and 90% of them were in the format “Shocking Blog Title” + link. I think it’s fine to share blog posts on Twitter (i have shared mine in the past), but in my opinion, it is far from the perfect tweet. Now if the title of the article was “The Perfect Blog-cast Tweet” I would have no problem with it, but it would violate the first rule of article. 🙂

        • LeoWid

          No worries, I think if you comment, the least I can do is reply :).

          Hmm, I understand your opinion and I agree up to the point that measuring perfection of tweets is something very hard to do. There are so many different views on what good tweets are made of. As for this post we took the measurement of perfection to be the most engagement/clicks one gets for his tweets. I doubt there is anyone out there getting more clicks than guy.

          And try contacting him once, he has always replied to our tweets so far :).

          Let me just say that I agree that the perfect tweet as described above is def not the perfect tweet for everyone.

          • The issue with Guy’s tweets is not that they are uninteresting in quality but rather, that they are overwhelming in quantity. What we need is someone to curate the fire-hose that is Guy and produce a daily Top 10 (wink, wink) of his tweets.

          • LeoWid

            Timothy, that is a brilliant idea. I think he tries something like this himself as he has various accounts that dont all give you the full tweets of his main account. There he provides people with less of his overwhelming stream of information.

            but hey “@DailybestofGuy” is still available. I just hope that doing this doesn’t cause any copyright issues. 😉

  • jdowdell

    Phrase “perfect tweet” usually means a “twoosh”, one which is exactly 140 characters. The practice also helps improve editing skill.

    Kawasaki’s tweets are teases… “bet ya can’t not click that link”. They frustrate those of us who have already read the source article, but didn’t recognize it from his gloss. Such “blind links”, in the aggregate, cost more than they return.

    • LeoWid

      Hi! Yeah, I have come across that too. However I don’t quite see the affiliation of “perfect” with using all 140 characters. ;). Hmm, I see your point, has never occurred to me that I have already come across the source article, before I clicked the link. If that happens, I agree, I would feel quite fooled. But @GuyKawasakis way of tweeting is def not for everyone, but for those who like this kind of news channel, I can’t find anyone doing it better, can you think of one?

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  • Thanks for the post Leo.  If people do not like Guy’s tweets why don’t they just unfollow him.  That is the right we have in social media we can choose our friends, connections, and whom we want to follow.  I suspect that they do not unfollow him because they like his tweets.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Jason, thanks a lot for stopping by. 

      Yes, I think that is absolutely the approach I think will work best, if you are don’t feel comfortable, just unfollow, it really isnt very difficult. 

      Yes, just like you say, we are always in charge of our actions and if we like what he is posting, we will naturally continue to follow. 

  • Colleen

    personally i don’t care for Guy he’s too arrogant …. don’t follow’em

    • Hi Colleen, that is very interesting. Why do you think he is too arrogant? Yes, I believe if someone doesn’t fit our own patterns, unfollowing is a good solutions

  • Somehow I seem to go for the old fashioned way of tweeting rather than auto publishing them.

  • Maitai

    Does the owner of this blog understand the basics of the English language, such as the difference between “find” and “fine,” “two, to, and too,” “there, their, and they’re,” etc.? Because I’m not seeing it. Grammar needs help, too. Get ahold of me if you’re ready to start doing some editing, because this site needs it, badly.