To write and post a tweet:

  1. Sign in to Twitter.
  2. Start composing your tweet above the feed or click the new tweet button at the top of the screen.
  3. Compose your tweet in less than 140 characters.
  4. Add a #hashtag so relevant followers can find your account.
  5. Mark a person with ‘@’ followed by their Twitter handle.
  6. Follow a tweet formula as a starting point for ideas.

Not sure what to tweet to get your followers engaging with you? Whether you are just starting out with Twitter or have been using it for a while but feel like you are in a difficult situation, it can be difficult to come up with new ideas to post.

Sometimes it can be helpful to follow some proven tropics. Here are some Twitter “formulas” to follow.

Just make the following changes to each one:

  • Fill in the “gaps” in which the [BRACKETS] are.
  • Edit the #Hashtag with the actual hashtag you want to use (e.g. #marketingtips). Hashtags make it easier for users to find your tweets by following that hashtag so you can find more relevant followers.
  • Replace @Twitter handle with a person’s real Twitter handle (e.g. @HubSpot).

Download our free guide here to get more Twitter followers and other helpful Twitter tips.

Note: Every audience is different, so you may find that some of these formulas work better than others to grow your following.

How To Tweet: Here are 12 templates you can customize

1. Use “The Basic Shared Content Tweet”.

[ARTICLE TITLE]: http://url.com #hashtag from @TwitterHandle

This go-to tweet style is the easiest to do, but often people forget to include a relevant hashtag and the author’s twitter handle. The hashtag could make your tweet better known to people who follow that hashtag. And always credit your source of information (the author or the website you got the post from) on social media. This shows appreciation to the original content creator – and they can return the favor by sharing some of your content with their followers.

Example: 12 Tweet formulas to get you started on Twitter: http://hub.am/Sgsvt5 #twittertips by @HubSpot

2. Try “The Shared Content Tweet With Commentary”

[YOUR OPINION] > [ARTICLE TITLE]: http://url.com #hashtag from @TwitterHandle

[ARTICLE TITLE]: http://url.com #hashtag from @TwitterHandle> [YOUR OPINION]

Like the basic shared content tweet, this tweet includes the title of the article (or a condensed version), a relevant hashtag, and the author’s Twitter handle. But in addition, you will add your opinion – whether it is a quick “+1” or something deeper. Something like this personal could increase the engagement rate with your tweet.

Example: Set bookmarks. > 12 tweet formulas to get started on Twitter: http://hub.am/Sgsvt5 #twittertips by @ HubSpot

3. Retweet with a comment

Typically, if you want to retweet someone else’s tweet, just click the retweet button and share the content with your followers. But if you want to know how to retweet with a little taste, we’re going to show you. There are two ways to add a comment to a retweet: use the Retweet with Comment feature, or create a new tweet and post it manually.

a) Using the “Retweet with Comment” function.

[YOUR OPINION] #Hashtag

[EMBEDDED ORIGINAL TWEET]

With the “Retweet with Comment” function, you can embed an original tweet in your own message and then comment on it with up to 116 characters. To do this, click on the retweet symbol at the bottom of the tweet. In the window that appears, add your comment to the “Add Comment” section (and add a hashtag if desired).

Example:

retweet-with-comment.png

(For more information on how this feature works, see this blog post.)

b) Manual retweet with comment.

[YOUR OPINION] #hashtag – RT @TwitterHandle [ARTICLE TITLE] – http://url.com

To retweet with comments that way, just copy and paste the person’s tweet and paste it into a brand new tweet, prepending the tweet with RT @TwitterHandle, and adding a comment at the beginning. If you ever change your tweet (e.g. to make the tweet a little shorter and leave more space for your comment), use MT – which stands for “modified tweet” – instead of RT.

Example: # 7 is important but is often forgotten. – RT @mvolpe “10 Things Great Marketers Do Every Day” http://hub.am/1m6RPK4 by @kellykranz

4. Use “The. @ TwitterHandle Tweet”

. @ Twitter handle [REST OF TWEET]

If you put someone’s Twitter handle at the very beginning of your tweet, Twitter will assume you are replying to that person. As a result, this tweet will not appear in your Twitter followers’ feeds. While this is usually a good thing (otherwise your feed may be taken over by @ reply tweets) there are times when you want your followers to see this tweet on their feeds. To do this, just add a period just before the Twitter handle.

Example: . @ HubSpot has redesigned their blog! Check it out here: http://blog.hubspot.com #webredesign

5. Try “The Problem / Solution Tweet”

do not let it happen [ASSET] [NEGATIVE RESULT]. Find out how to do it [GOAL] here: http://url.com #hashtag

Fear is a powerful motivator. Nobody wants to suck or fail or flounder or fall short or whatever [negative result] You use. And if they do, they want to learn how to fix the situation quickly – this is where you can help. If there is a relevant hashtag you can use here, don’t forget to include it!

Example: Don’t let your blog stall. Find out how to quickly create new blog posts: http://hub.am/1nD3y5M #blogging

6. Use “The Stat or Fact Tweet”

Did you know that? [STAT]? http://url.com #hashtag

Don’t just find an old data point here – find something that really intrigues your audience. Once you’ve got this little preview, you may want to read the full story to understand (1) why this data point is true and (2) what to do about it. Just make sure that your stats are up to date and from a reputable source.

Example: Did you know that 6.5% of blog posts are published on the weekends and receive 18% of all social shares? http://hub.am/1otH7QF #blogging

7. Tweet “The Endorsement Tweet”

I loved this article from @TwitterHandle about [TOPIC] – http://url.com #hashtag

Lots of valuable information too [TOPIC] in this article from @TwitterHandle – http://url.com #hashtag

This tweet can take many forms, but instead of tweeting a simple tweet with shared content, add your support to the tweet and may include information about why you liked the piece.

Example: I loved this article by @ lkolo25 on How to Not Screw Up Your Landing Pages – http://hub.am/1p2LQwy #leadgen

8. Embed a SlideShare in a tweet

[PRESENTATION TITLE]: http://url.com #hashtag from @TwitterHandle

Did you know you can embed a SlideShare presentation right into a tweet? That way, your followers can flip through the presentation without ever leaving Twitter (or the page that has a tweet embedded).

To embed a SlideShare presentation in a tweet, all you need to do is create a link to the presentation and it will be embedded automatically. This also applies to documents and videos from SlideShare.

Example:

20 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest features you didn’t know existed: http://t.co/yLFzTr392P via @HubSpot #socialmediatips

– Lindsay Kolowich (@ lkolo25), April 27, 2015

9. Ask a question in a tweet

[QUESTION] #Hashtag

[QUESTION] – http://url.com #hashtag

Like all social networks, Twitter is a two-way conversion. You should regularly ask your followers questions. These can be tied to an article you read or a little more random (although they are still tied to your brand). Not every tweet has to drive traffic to a website page.

Example: What tool do you use to plan your social media posts? #social media

10. Use “The Tip or Advice Tweet”

[YOUR OWN WORDS OF WISDOM] #Hashtag

[QUESTION] #hashtag 1) [ANSWER #1] 2) [ANSWER #2] 3) [ANSWER #3]

Again, not every tweet has to drive traffic to a website page. In fact, tweeting advice that is obviously not a traffic driver is a great way to build credibility. Tweets like this are often retweeted and can get you more engagement and followers. So don’t look like a “victim”.

Example: Can you pass the Reshare test? Be valuable on #socialmedia: 1) Provide information 2) Provide analysis 3) Provide support 4) Be entertaining.

11. Try “The Inspiring Quote”

“”[QUOTE]”- @TwitterHandle #quote

“”[QUOTE]”- [NAME OF PERSON NOT ON TWITTER] #Quote

Everyone loves a daily dose of inspiration! It is difficult to research quotes and find the perfect one. So inspirational quotes are best shared when you happen to come across them and get inspired by yourself. So keep your eyes peeled for great deals, takeaways, dates, etc. Just make sure to put the credit where it’s due!

Example: “Our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs #quote

12. Post “The Photo Tweet”

[PHOTO CAPTION] #Hashtag [ATTACH PHOTO]

There are many ways to spice up your Tweets with visual content. The easiest way is to add a photo to your tweet, use the text part of the tweet as a label, and share it with your followers. This is great for sharing pictures of your office space and employees, or for promoting events and webinars. Make sure to include any relevant Twitter handles or hashtags.

Example:

Fantastic reception from you at the @ HubSpot Inbound Marketing Conference 2014 in Boston. # INBOUND14 pic.twitter.com/cRufJyTH7n

– David Roberts (@DavidatJDR) November 17, 2014

Would you like to share this post? Here are some ready-made tweets:

Click here to tweet: 12 tweet formulas for getting started on Twitter: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/tweet-formulas-to-get-you-started-on-twitter via @HubSpot #TwitterTip

Click here to tweet: Check out these blank tweet formulas: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/tweet-formulas-to-get-you-started-on-twitter #TwitterTip

Click here to tweet: No more tweet ideas? Here are some formulas for filling in the gaps – http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/tweet-formulas-to-get-you-started-on-twitter #TwitterTip

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and completeness.

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