The topic of this post is based on a suggestion from @carlincomm - "101 Reasons that Twitter makes you a better writer. 1-A tweet is a great headline. 2-140 characters builds discipline. 3-more fun"
One of the trickiest parts of marketing is writing concisely - painting a picture of a thousand words with a few eloquent sentences. Whether it's a one-sentence tagline or a page-long direct mail piece, the ability to fully explain an idea in just a few words is vital to success in the industry. Few marketers that I know are also good writers, and they invest a huge chunk of their time in improving their ability to craft word pictures for their customers. A useful tool that has emerged recently online is Twitter, one of the more popular social networking applications on the web today.
Twitter allows you to send short-format messages to your friends and colleagues (your "followers") to update them about the goings on of your life and career. People "tweet" about everything from their latest closed sale to the color of the bird on their windowsill. The common thread between these vastly different messages, though, is their length - Twitter restricts your messages to 140 characters.
It might seem trivial, but this hard restriction is forcing many of us to become better writers. While I can't give you a list of 101 reasons why, here are my top ten reasons Twitter makes you a better writer:
- Writing short messages helps you perfect the art of "headlining"
- Restricting an entire message to just 140 characters builds discipline - you can't ramble and repeat yourself over and over and over and over and over and ...
- Your messages are seen by a potential network of millions of people, an audience that pressures you to be brief, bright, and gone when you're done
- If your tweets are frequently irrelevant, boring, or difficult to read your audience will dry up quickly - instant feedback
- In many cases, you receive rapid feedback on your copy
- Sometimes it's more fun to shout out a quick comment than labor over pages of marketing copy
- You quickly learn the cost of a million dollar word - antidisestablishmentarianism is great for Scrabble but horrible for Twitter
- Recording a passing thought in a short message is invaluable in expanding the idea later at your desk
- It often only takes a few words to make ourselves understood, but we're in the habit of spending paragraphs - Twitter breaks that habit
- Twitter leaves no room for rebuttal in an argument - get your point across the first time, briefly, or your stance probably isn't as strong as you thought
These are just the first ten reasons I came up with for how Twitter makes you a better writer. What would you add to the list?