There is a lot of information to be found that claims to provide the perfect blueprint for an engaging and highly effective Tweet. In reality, though, is it really possible to keep churning out Tweets of exactly 100 characters, utilising precisely two hashtags, while asking questions and invoking a sense of urgency? The short answer is, of course, no, but the longer answer is that you don’t have to follow all of the rules with every Tweet. In fact, because every Twitter account has a unique follower profile, it means that what might be considered highly effective, as a general rule, does not prove effective for you. Try Different Tactics When reading any guide on composing the perfect Tweet (a very useful post indeed), or perfect content of any sort, for that matter, it is vital that you prepare to try different tactics, including some that seemingly break the mould, test every content item, and measure the most important metrics. You can then apply these findings to help you generate the best results for your campaigns. You can, however, consider the following, when preparing Tweets for your own testing campaigns, but feel free to look for other ways to break the generally accepted, preconceived rules that are abound. Tweet length – longer Tweets have proven more effective at driving engagement in the past, but a brief, hard-hitting Tweet, especially one that is free from hashtag clutter and includes an image, could provide shock results. Shorter Tweets will almost certainly prove more effective if you are creating a Twitter poll (RT for “Yes”, Favourite for “No”). Hashtags – hashtags should be considered integral to your Twitter marketing campaign, and will help determine your overall social media marketing success. Research shows that one or two hashtags is the optimal number, and we certainly wouldn’t advise the use of more than this in any circumstances. However, if you’re Tweeting to generate a direct response, meaning that you want viewers to click on the link that you provide, then try Tweeting with no hashtags – this keeps the Tweet clean, and does not distract from the link itself or the CTA. Targeted message – you have 140 characters to deliver the message that you are trying to get across, and this means being concise while answering a question, encouraging conversation, or providing information. However, intrigue can be extremely alluring, and posting the occasional vague message, as long it is composed well, could help to attract the more inquisitive readers. Timing matters – it’s generally accepted that B2B messages should be delivered on weekdays, when potential readers are more likely to be in the office at their desk, while B2C messages should be sent in the evening or at weekends. However, we are also constantly reading that businesspeople take their work home with them alarmingly frequently, and that businesses are considerably more accepting of employees checking their personal email and social media during the day. Experiment with timing, because you could find that your business and your followers break the mould. Your Tweeting calendar – small businesses, especially, are encouraged to follow a Tweeting calendar, or to establish a Tweet schedule. The problem with this, of course, is that our lives and businesses rarely follow such a regimented path. By only posting at certain times of day, and on certain days, you could be missing out. You won’t be able to get involved in the latest trends, and you will be unable to hit readers with breaking news. Try Something Different Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results, is the definition of insanity. This holds true with your Twitter marketing (although I’m fairly sure that wasn’t his intended meaning, who am I to argue?). If you continue to post at the same time of day, every day, you are unlikely to reach new audiences. If you continue to post the same kind of content every Monday, and you don’t allow yourself some freedom to post impromptu Tweets throughout the week, then you will probably only see the same people reading, retweeting, and favouriting your Tweets. Experiment, test, and try to do things differently. Test, Test, Test… When you create a top notch piece of content, get in the habit of writing 5 or even 10 Tweets using different Tweet styles, introducing different words, and trying a variety of tactics, while also posting at different times. This will not only help you to determine the best social media campaign tactics for your business, but it could also help to diversify and expand your pipeline of Twitter followers.