Leveraging 3 social networks, my website, an article, a hashtag & a URL shortener to get the most from 140 characters
By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.
What can you possibly do with 140 characters, the limit of a single tweet? As it turns out, the answer is “a lot.”
Here’s a step-by-step guide explaining how to write tweets that make the most of a tight space.
1. Post the article to the Legal Media Matters Facebook page.
I wanted to share Mashable’s roundup of the Top 10 Twitter Trends of 2010 with the Legal Media Matters social network of LinkedIn connections, Twitter followers and Facebook friends. I have the Legal Media Matters Facebook page settings configured so that a post to the Legal Media Matters’ Facebook page feeds into my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
Using the Link option, I pasted the URL of the Mashable article into the Share box.
Next I clicked the Attach button to post a link to the article.
The Facebook page displays a link to the article, as well as a short description. The link will automatically be shortened and broadcast across Twitter as this URL: http://fb.me/QhxIBcNW
When followers on Twitter or connections on LinkedIn click the URL link, they’ll be taken directly to the Mashable entry.
2. Adding text to accompany the link.
Knowing that the Facebook post would be broadcast across the Legal Media Matters social network, I kept the comments tight. The 140-character maximum included the Facebook URL.
I introduced the link as the “Top 10 Twitter trends of 2010.” By using numerals instead of spelling out “ten” and cutting out the article “The,” I saved a few characters.
3. Inserting hashtags.
Next, I wanted to highlight the trend that I felt would be of most interest to my network: the iPad. Legal Media Matters recently posted a guest blog article, “Apple iPad Review for Lawyers,” that turned out to be extremely popular.
The second sentence of my Facebook post read, “Yes, the #iPad made the list.”
This sentence serves two purposes. First, it conveys the information about the iPad ranking. Second, it includes a hashtag, the pound sign that precedes the iPad and allows people who are interested in the topic to quickly and easily conduct an iPad-related search.
To find hashtags, one need only make a quick visit to hashtags.org.
I typed in “iPad” as the search term and discovered that the hashtag is #iPad.
I was ready to add my second sentence to the Facebook post.
4. Include a relevant Legal Media Matters article.
The recent guest article on the iPad for lawyers written by St. Louis lawyer Spencer Farris was an important link that I wanted to include, but it needed to be shortened. When writing a tweet, you want to try to avoid using all 140 characters so that people in your network who retweet the item will have additional space to work with when sending it out to their followers.
I like to use bit.ly as a URL shortener.
I pasted the full URL to the article Apple iPad Review for Lawyers.
Next I clicked the Shorten button, and the condensed version of the URL appeared.
I copied the shortened version and pasted it into my Facebook entry.
5. Sharing across Legal Media Matters’ social networks.
As I mentioned earlier, I have my settings configured so that once I hit the Share button on Facebook, the item is broadcast to Twitter and LinkedIn and even back onto the home page of my website.
Here’s how it looked on Facebook:
Here’s how it looked on Twitter:
Unfortunately, the LinkedIn tweet is no longer available. It would have looked similar to this recent post that originated on Facebook.
At first blush, it might seem like a lot of work for one post. Once you get the hang of it, though, the process is relatively quick and painless. It took me less than five minutes to create and disseminate the item.
How do you make the most of your tweets? If you have any additional suggestions for leveraging your social network or making the most of a small space, I’d love to hear them.
In addition to presenting the Twitter tutorial, I want to share some exciting news. Legal Media Matters is preparing to launch a Law & Gadget blog, providing technology, book and gadget reviews for busy lawyers. The blog will be available in both English and Spanish versions for lawyers and abogados. Stay tuned for more information.
Still have questions about Twitter? At Legal Media Matters we can provide consulting advice to help you figure out how Twitter might fit into your public relations strategy. We can also help you get your account up and running and even design a custom Twitter background. You can reach us by filling out our contact form, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 314.520.3897.