In this series of blog posts I will offer tips on how to get the most from your tweets.

I’ve written before about how best to use Twitter and how Twitter is ideal for building communities and engaging with others. But it still surprises me how many regular Twitterati still don’t know how to get the best out of Twitter.

In the third of my mini-series I look tweet content.

Editing and structuring your tweets*

If, like us at @IBIS_journal, you’re someone who tweets details of published papers, often the title of a paper is just too long and you don’t have the time to read the abstract to come up with your own text. Anyway, the title has all you really need, just in too many characters. So, some careful editing is required to get what you want from it. Such as this example:

Use of indicator chemicals to characterize the plastic fragments ingested by Laysan albatross Marine Pollution Bulletin #ornithology

Using the full title, a URL link, journal title and our #ornithology hashtag we are 15 characters too long. So, with some careful editing our final tweet comes to 139 characters whilst delivering everything we need:

Laysan Albatross: using indicator chemicals to characterize plastic ingestion Marine Pollution Bulletin #ornithology

If space was even tighter then we could of course reduce the journal name too (to Mar Pol Bull), and don’t forget, if the journal is on Twitter then use their @TwitterHandle instead of the actual journal name, e.g. @IBIS_journal instead of simply IBIS (sorry it uses more of your precious characters!). It does no harm either to bring the main subject of the paper, in this case the Laysan Albatross, to the front of the tweet, so helping people to identify what the subject matter is instantly.

Here’s another example of successfully reducing a journal title for a tweet:

Does rainfall affect the productivity of the Booted Eagle (Aquila pennata) during the breeding period in Mediterranean environments? Journal of Ornithology #ornithology

This is overly long at 191 characters, but with some editing and structuring, becomes a tweet of only 122 characters:

Does rainfall affect the productivity of breeding Booted Eagle in the Mediterranean? J #Ornithology


* Post originally written when Tweets were restricted to 140 characters (remember them!?

More social media blogs from the BOU

Tweeting better – #hashtags and retweets
Making social media and the web work for you
Social media is relevant to your research
The benefits of blogging about your research
What is Altmetric?
What do you mean you ‘don’t know how to optimize your paper for SEO?!
Twitter – building an online ornithological community
The global ornithological online community
Ornithological Twitterati, Tweetie-pies and #birdieluv

Blog with #theBOUblog

If you want to write about your research in #theBOUblog, then please see here.