Twitter’s 140 character limit presents some unique communication challenges. While brevity is the rule of thumb for Twitter, it’s not an excuse to abandon or ignore basic rules of communication or branding. But we can treat the rules of grammar like an archwire and bend them as needed to reach our goals.
- Always use appropriate sentence case. Typing in all lower case won’t save you any spaces and all upper case is still considered inappropriate. Contractions will save you space and are appropriate as are abbreviations. Punctuation is flexible.
- It’s important to look up any abbreviations you might not know. LOL and FAF convey similar messages…but one is decidedly NSFW.
- Be conservative with your hashtag (#) usage. One or two hashtags are usually sufficient.
- It’s a visual world we live in and Twitter is no exception. Make use of staff photos and just be sure to get written permission from patients prior to posting.
- As with all social media, you should assume that anything posted on Twitter will be visible and searchable for eternity. Tweet accordingly.
- When linking to another piece of communication, try and give a brief description of what you’re sharing. Think of your tweet as a headline. You’re trying to pique the curiosity of the reader.
- Make sure you’ve seen/read the entirety of what you’re sharing.
Finally, if you’re having trouble getting your thought down to 140 characters, reconsider if Twitter is the appropriate vehicle for your thoughts.
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