If you’re like me, you find joy in browsing through your twitter feed to look for retweetable gems to share with the rest of the Twitterverse. Periodically…nay….frequently, I find tweets that are a bit too long for me to retweet without modifying or shortening the post, thus requiring me to post as an MT (modified tweet).
In some cases, I feel reluctant to massage the post for fear I might change the context in some way. If I feel the message is REALLY worthy of sharing, I may make the effort to break the message up into two parts and post as a part 1 and part 2.
This becomes a bit of a problem when you’re smack dab in the middle of a live twitter chat where the stream is going so fast you don’t want to waste precious time making mods to really clever tweets.
Well, I thought I would share a #twitter tip to help all you tweeps out there post tweets more effectively (so we can all RT to our hearts content).
Rather than use up all 140 characters in your tweets, subtract the length of your twitter handle and subtract 5 more characters to determine how long your posts should be. The formula looks like this:
140 – (Length of your @TwitterHandle) – 5 = Ideal Length of your Twitter posts
So let’s use my twitter handle @AlvearCharles in an example. My handle has 14 characters including the ‘@’ sign.
My magic formula for twitter posts would be:
140 – 14 – 5 = 121 characters (or less)
So, you’re probably wondering why it’s necessary to subtract an extra 5 characters after your handle, right? Well, we also have to account for the fact that a retweet will include “RT”, a space, a colon (depending on the twitter tool you use), and another space in addition to your handle, like this:
RT @alvearcharles: Here’s a post I retweeted….
Keep in mind that when you post tweets, you typically leave important hyperlinks or hashtags at the and of the post so if you exceed your “magic number” of characters, this could cause some of your message to be cut off when someone RTs it.
Give it a try and let me know if you find this helpful!