Writing “Tweet First”

Karen Catlin at Twitter HeadquartersI visited Twitter headquarters today to talk about programs for their female employees. During my visit, I confessed to my host that I’m relatively new to the tweeting game.  I’m comfortable with lots of other social media, but I’d never bothered with Twitter. Well, until I started blogging and realized I needed to tweet about my posts and use Twitter to help build my brand.

Initially, I set up my WordPress blog to automatically tweet the title of the blog post along with a shortened URL. Check! I could definitely say I was now using Twitter.

However, I started paying attention to the tweets that caught my eye, the ones that I clicked on to read more. Those tweets were a whole lot more interesting than mine. They hooked me in and summarized the article at the same time. They were the ultimate executive summary, in 140 characters or less!

So, a few weeks ago, I started writing my blog posts “tweet first.” I figure out the message I want to convey, and write the tweet across the top of the article I’m working on. That tweet becomes a guiding light as I write and make revisions. I refer to it often to stay true to the message I want to convey. When I’m ready to publish the post, the tweet is ready to go live at the same time.

When I told my husband about my approach, he mentioned that John Irving writes the last sentence of a novel first. Sure enough, I found the following on John Irving’s blog: “”I always begin with a last sentence; then I work my way backwards, through the plot, to where the story should begin.” Nifty!

Do you have a Twitter strategy? Please reply with a comment. I’d like to learn from you!


© 2013 by Karen Catlin. All rights reserved.