How to Write a Compelling Twitter Thread and Make It Go Viral?

How to Write a Compelling Twitter Thread and Make It Go Viral_ _ MediaOne Marketing Singapore

If blog posts had a cool younger brother, it would be Twitter threads. They’re the ‘in’ thing right now and the way to go if you want to get those eyeballs rolling. 

Instead of just firing off a few tweets, with this style, you can string them together to create a narrative that’s fun and engaging.

What’s a Twitter Thread?

For those who don’t know what a Twitter thread is, it’s basically when you stitch together multiple tweets to make a single story. 

Also referred to as Tweet storming, it’s like a mini-blog post that makes it easier to break down complicated topics into more bite-sized pieces.

It’s a series of tweets posted by the same person, with each tweet linking to the one before it.

What Are Twitter Threads Good For?

Twitter threads read as a continuous story, which is perfect for stories that need to be told in a longer format but still need to remain concise. 

Conversations can also be broken down into easily digestible chunks, perfect when you need more than one Tweet to express yourself.

With Twitter, you’re restrained to only 280 characters per Tweet (about 70 words). 

However, you can create a much longer piece of content by chaining multiple tweets together.

Here’s what a Twitter thread looks like: 

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How to write the perfect Twitter thread (with examples) | MediaOne Marketing Singapore

Now that you know what Twitter threads are and what they’re good for, let’s look at what makes them so popular:

#1: Twitter Threads Receive More Impressions and Engagement:

 Twitter threads tend to receive more impressions and engagements than single tweets. That’s because Twitter threads have a far greater potential to go viral, allowing them to reach a much wider audience.

#2: Way Around Character Limitations:

Twitter threads can be an excellent hack to bypass the 280-character limit. By stringing together multiple tweets, you can create a much more extended content piece without worrying about exceeding the set character limit. 

#3: An Excellent Strategy to Position Yourself as a Thought Leader: 

Think of Twitter threads as the new blog posts. You can use them to showcase your expertise, take your readers through a journey, and demonstrate your knowledge. 

#4: Use them to Pull Traffic to Your Website: 

Twitter threads are a great way to draw attention to your website. You can link the thread to your website or blog and get more people to check it out.

How to Create a Twitter Thread

Creating a Twitter thread is relatively straightforward. If you’ve ever tweeted before, then you’re already halfway there.

You can use the Twitter app, web browser, or third-party apps like Tweetdeck to create a Twitter thread. 

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The process is exactly the same as sending out a regular tweet.

Step #1: Write the First Tweet

Start by crafting the first tweet. The tweet should be a summary of your thread or an introduction to the topic that you’ll be covering.

You can begin by clicking the Tweet button and writing your first tweet, or if you’re using Tweet deck, click the Compose Tweet button.

Add the first tweet with a title for the whole thread.

You want to use Mixed-Case Capitalization for the first letter of each sentence for the thread’s title.

Step #2: Click on the + icon to Add Another Tweet

Once you’re done writing the first tweet, click on the ‘+’ button to add another tweet. That will take you to a new page where you can add another tweet.

Do this for all the tweets in your thread.

Step #3: Click the “Tweet All” Button

Once you’re done writing all the tweets in your thread, click the “Tweet All” button. This will post all the tweets in your thread at once.

An Alternative Way to Create a Twitter Thread (As a Response to the Previous Tweet)

Alternatively, you can also post the tweets one by one.

  • You can start by writing the first tweet as you usually do. Then, hit the “Tweet” button.
  • After that, you want to post the subsequent Tweet as a response to the first Tweet.

To do this, click on the “Reply” button and type in your next tweet as a response to the previous one.

  • Continue this process until you’ve posted all the Tweets in your thread.

There goes your thread. 

There you have it – a step-by-step guide on how to create a Twitter thread.

16 Tips on How to Make Your Twitter Thread Go Viral

Now that you know how to create a Twitter thread, it’s time to look at how you can make it go viral.

The following 16 tips will show you how to make your Twitter thread stand out and get maximum exposure and engagement:

#1: Create Your Identity

You want to be known for something on Twitter. People who come across your tweets should immediately recognize them as yours. Create an identity for yourself and ensure all your tweets reflect that.

So, before you even start writing your thread, take your time to figure out what you want to be known for.

For Example:

@david_perell: The Writing Guy

@mrsharma: The DTC Guy

@mikewhelanjr: The Expert on Slow Business

I would probably love to be known as the marketing guy. 

Once you’ve established an identity, you want to create 50 threads over 50 days to jumpstart forming your identity.

When you reach this milestone, it will become easier for people to recognize your tweets and thread from a mile away.

#2. Create Long-Form Threads:

Twitter threads allow you to write long-form content and share it in bite-sized chunks. Use this to your advantage and create lengthy threads that keep people hooked and engaged.

Studies show that long-form content enjoys 56% more social shares than shorter ones.

So, you want to create lengthy threads to keep your audience hooked and engaged.

Unlike a thread, a tweet can only be 280 characters long. But with threads, you can write longer content and break it down into short bites for your readers. That makes it easier for your audience to digest the content without getting bored.

Writing a thread is like writing an article but without the fluff. Get straight to the point and provide valuable insights in each tweet of your thread.

When creating a thread, make it as long as it needs to be. Don’t worry about the length. Just focus on providing valuable insights and ensuring it flows well.

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#3. Pick an Emotion-Provoking Topic: 

Pick topics that evoke emotion and get people talking. Don’t just write about anything. Pick something relevant and timely enough to resonate with your target audience.

Controversial topics can be a great way to get people talking. But make sure you don’t step on anyone’s toes.

Your content should spark emotions but also provide valuable insights.

Note that there are about 27 basic human emotions. So, you have a lot of options to choose from.

Pick topics that will make people think, laugh, or even cry. When you write a thread, make sure your readers feel something. 

Here are a few ideas: 

  • A post on how the pandemic affected your life.
  • A story about overcoming a difficult challenge.
  • A detailed analysis of a controversial topic.
  • A list of the funniest jokes you’ve heard.
  • You want your readers to be interested in different aspects of your topic. So, make sure to add a variety of elements to your thread.

You might even want to use humour to make your thread feel more human.

Humour is a great way to lighten the mood and keep people engaged.

#4. Pay More Attention to Your First Tweet:

Your first tweet is like the headline of a newspaper article. Think about your first tweet as above-the-fold on your website. It needs to be engaging and attention-grabbing.

Your first tweet is like the hook that will draw people in and make them want to read more. It needs to be something special that will make people want to click.

Remember, Twitter users are scanners. They’re only going to read the first few words of your tweet and decide if they want to read the rest. 

So, ensure your first tweet is strong enough to draw them in and get them to click through.

So, with every tweet, the idea should be to get them hooked enough to want to read the next tweet in the thread.

Here’s an example of an engaging first tweet:

The First Line: “Referral Programs Work,” Is a bold statement with no fluff. It’s instantly eye-catching and attention-grabbing and will draw people in immediately.

The Second Line: “PayPal used it to acquire 100 m users.” They use big, recognizable names and numbers to support their argument. It’s a great way to add value to the first tweet and make people want to read more.

Finally, the Third Line: “Here’re six referral programs you should steal.” The promise of valuable information will keep people hooked and make them click through to read more.

#5. A Brief Declaration

Still, on your first tweet, you need to declare what the thread will be about briefly.

You must start with a brief declaration, an opinionated, strong statement to portray your confidence in what you are about to share.

That will help your readers understand the thread and set the tone for the rest of your content.

It should get the readers’ attention and spark some curiosity without intimidating them

Here are a few ideas of declarations you can use:

  • “The Marketing Strategy that Moved My Product From 0 to 1M” 
  • “5 Content Marketing Strategies that Will Sure Change the Trajectory of Your Business Growth.” 
  • “7 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Blog” 

These declarations will give your readers an idea of what the thread will be about and make them want to read more.

#6. Use Numbers

Numbers help readers visualize context. They add an authoritative tone to your thread, making it easier for your readers to organize their thoughts.

Amazon recommends replacing adjectives with numbers.

Instead of saying “very successful,” use a number like “75% success rate”.

Using numbers will make your thread more engaging and easier to digest.

Numbers can also make your thread look more professional, as they give concrete evidence to back up your arguments.

Plus, the human brain is attracted to numbers. They act as a psychological trigger that will make people want to click through to read more. 

Not to forget, numbers also help you organize your content better. 

#7. Name Drop Influential People

Name-drop relevant influencers, celebrities, or industry leaders.

It will add credibility to your thread and make it more authoritative. 

You need to have personally interacted with them. It could be that you observed something they did, and you want to share it with your audience. 

That will help add more weight to your thread and make people more likely to click through.

For example, you could name-drop someone like Elon Musk and then follow it up with a brief explanation of what he did. That will draw people in immediately, as everyone knows who Elon Musk is. 

It’ll make them curious to know what he did, and they’ll click through to read more.

#8. Value Drop

Once you have your readers’ attention, it’s time to drop value. 

Your last sentence should be a value drop that hints at the content that you’re going to discuss in the rest of your thread. 

The idea is to get people to the next step and make them want to read the remaining tweets.

For example, you could say, “Come with me as I explore five strategies that will explode your reach and engagement on Twitter.”

Ensure the reader knows what you will discuss in the upcoming tweets and why they should care.

Here are a few ideas:

  • “Are you ready to learn the secrets of content marketing?” 
  • “Discover a foolproof way to get more traffic to your website.” 
  • “Are you curious about the six key elements of a successful SEO strategy?”

#9. Valuable Info

Don’t rewrite; document it. 

The age of rewriting whatever you’ve seen online is over. 

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People want to learn from you. They want to learn from your experiences, stories, and the valuable information you can provide.

Do your research, experiment with it, and document your findings. 

Share the information you have gathered from your research. Use screenshots if needed to make it easier for readers to visualize. 

Don’t just restate what somebody else has said. You want to add your own insights and opinions.

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#10. Use Visuals

The human brain is naturally drawn to visuals. 

Including visuals in your thread can help make it more appealing and engaging. 

You can use screenshots, GIFs, memes, charts, or any other visual your readers may find helpful. You can even hand sketch some of the things you write about. 

Visuals are also great for breaking up blocks of text and making it easier for people to scan.

Plus, visuals help tell stories in ways that words can’t, so use them to create an emotional connection with your readers. 

Think of visuals as brain candy. You can do without them, but they sure make a thread more enjoyable. 

However, you want to use them sparingly unless you’re creating an entire thread around visuals. 

#11. Add a CTA

A Call To Action (CTA) is like the cherry on top of a sundae. 

It’s your opportunity to get people to take action and do what you want them to do. 

Be creative with your CTA. You could ask readers to share their thoughts, leave a comment, download something, or even just like the thread.

Don’t just tell them to click the link. It helps to give them a reason to do so. 

Tell them what they’re going to get out of it. 

For example, “Click the link for a free guide with five easy steps to skyrocket your Twitter engagement!” 

You could also ask them to join an online community or follow you on social media.

Whatever it is, ensure your CTA is clear, concise, and relevant to your topic. 

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#12. Add Your Handle

Most readers won’t even know who you are or where to find you, so always include your handle at the end of each post.

That will help people connect with you and make it easier for them to find your other content. 

You can also include links to your website or other social media pages. 

That is a great way to get more followers and increase your reach.

#13. Optimize Your CTA

Make sure your CTA is noticeable but not intrusive. 

Put it near the end of the thread and make it stand out with a different colour or bold font. 

You want people to be able to read your thread without feeling overwhelmed. 

Keep it simple, and don’t ask too much from your readers. 

The idea is to let the reader know what action you want them to take without forcing it. 

For example, you could add a simple “Click to learn more and get the free guide.” 

Your job is to get people interested and curious enough that they’ll click through.

#14. Don’t End with a CTA

Remember, Twitter condenses your thread by showing only the first and last tweet.

So, by ending a thread with a CTA, you’re essentially cutting off the rest of your thread and making it harder for people to find. 

Instead, try to end with a summarizing tweet (TL;DR) or a question to spark conversation. 

You want readers to be able to understand the thread without necessarily clicking on it. 

This way, they can still get the gist from their timeline even if they don’t click the link.

When the thread ends up in someone’s feeds:

  • They’ll see the first engaging killer tweet that introduces the thread
  • The last tweet summarizes the thread and still supports the first tweet

It’s an excellent strategy to connect the first and last tweets, so the two act as bookends. 

Now the CTA you want to include in the last thread is one asking the reader to click to read the entire thread.

#15. Cash in on What Works

When you’re starting to gain traction with your thread, use analytics to get an idea of what kind of content resonates with readers. 

See which tweets get shared the most and what kind of reactions they get.

Take note of the topics, visuals, and CTAs that got the most engagement 

and use them to create more compelling threads in the future. 

Remember that making a thread go viral takes time, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt doesn’t get the traction you were hoping for.

#16. Research Heavily

The more you understand a topic, the better. 

Research the topic extensively, take notes, and use them to write your thread.

Put some of the things you learn into action and make the thread personal. 

For example, if you’re tweeting about a new book, read it first and provide your own insights in the thread. 

Discuss the topics, themes, and lessons you learned from it. 

That will make your thread more credible to readers and increase its chances of going viral.

Don’t just regurgitate what’s already written. You want to add your own spin to it and make it original. 

The research part takes up the most time, but it’s also the part that will make or break your thread.

4 Twitter Thread Ideas to Get You Started

Now that you know how to write a compelling and viral Twitter thread, here are some ideas to get you started:

#1. A List of Resources:

Compile a list of valuable resources around a certain topic that can help your followers. 

It could be books, websites, podcasts, etc. 

Your list should contain high-quality resources that you personally recommend.

Here’s an example:

https://twitter.com/Dmurr68/status/1581671528378544129

#2. A List of Controversial Things or Advice: 

Compile a list of controversial things or advice and gently challenge your followers to think outside the box. 

For example, you could write a thread about unconventional career advice or ways to approach a problem.

Here’s an Example: https://twitter.com/IAmClintMurphy/status/154324408738562457

#3. A List of Tools or People:

Compile a list of tools or people related to a specific topic and why they’re helpful. 

Your thread should explain the benefits of each tool or person and how they can influence your audience’s day-to-day life.

Here’s an Example: https://twitter.com/johnnyxbrown/status/1578004842756308993

#4. Valuable Tips and Insights About a Particular Topic: 

Gather valuable tips and insights about a particular topic to help your followers improve. 

For example, you could write a thread about how to become a better writer with valuable tips and tricks.

Here’s an Example: https://twitter.com/jonbrosio/status/1577297536544538624

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.

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