How to Write on Twitter: Social Media & Science, Part 2


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Examining the anatomy of a tweet and sharing tips on what to keep in mind when writing a tweet.

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How to Write on Twitter: Social Media & Science, Part 2

  1. 1. Social Media & Science, Part 2: How To Write On Twitter Katja Reuter, PhD Associate Director of Communications Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)Sunday, June 10, 2012
  2. 2. The Anatomy of a Tweet Mention: Another users Twitter Retweet: Re-posting of someone Content of the message username. elses Tweet RT@FasterCures: "We overpay for health care, but we underpay the people we expect to fix it“ @matthewherper #Forbes #in Shortened link Hashtag marks keywords or Mention: Another topics in a tweet. Can occur By adding a “+” sign in the end of a users Twitter anywhere in the tweet. url you can track the clicks username. statistics for any bitly URL without having to register, login or install any software. Appears as update on integrated LinkedIn pages. Hashtagged keyword: Used to categorize messages. People follow particular hashtags. Those that become popular are often trending topics.Sunday, June 10, 2012
  3. 3. Types of Tweets Normal tweet: Any message with up to 140 characters posted to Twitter. Mention: A Tweet containing another users Twitter username, preceded by the "@" symbol. Example: This is very useful advice on participant recruitment. @PRSatCTSI @Reply: Begins with another users username and is in reply to one of their Tweets. Example: @FasterCures "It is no longer sufficient to have a novel product that’s safe and effective and gets through #FDA #WhoWillPay? Direct message: A personal message sent directly to someone who follows you or sent directly to you from someone you follow. Retweet: Re-posting of someone elses Tweet. They are distinguished by the retweet icon (RT) and the name of the user who retweeted the Tweet.  Example: RT @ImSatCTSI: National Assoc. of Public #Hospitals & #HealthSystems Aannual Meeting San Francisco June 20-22Sunday, June 10, 2012
  4. 4. Things to keep in mind when writing a tweet...Sunday, June 10, 2012
  5. 5. How to Write a Tweet 1. Start a tweet using action verbs, or via and @. Suggest your reader do something. Examples: Find tips @link to design a successful clinical #research study. @FasterCures asked interesting Q about #mobile software in #healthcare. "Will government regulators suffocate it?" MWGIqiSunday, June 10, 2012
  6. 6. How to Write a Tweet 2. Use a capital letter with each new sentence. 3. Hyphens, periods and colons are the most retweetable punctuation. (Ref., 2009)Sunday, June 10, 2012
  7. 7. How to Write a Tweet 4. Focus on keywords: Include the most relevant keywords related to your field. Anticipate your readers’ search behavior. (Ref. retweets.pdf, 2009) Examples: "We cannot conquer disease without engaging patients" MIs Margaret Anderson #disease #NIH Learn from routine site visits conducted by the #QualityImprovement Unit (QIU). Get training at #UCSF, Aug 7. Approx. 2500 #OrphanDrugs approved to date with an average #trial size of 100 patients. Jim Healy @sofinnova @orphandrugsum #ctsiSunday, June 10, 2012
  8. 8. How to Write a Tweet 5. Place the link about 25% of the way through the tweet. (Ref. Dan Zarrella, HubSpot) Examples: Find tips @link to design a successful clinical #research study. See new article @ on preparing hispanic students for the real world: problem-based learning projects. @ccph201ianSunday, June 10, 2012
  9. 9. How to Write a Tweet 6. Include “Please RT” on your tweets. People are more likely to respond favorably to “please” and retweet.  Ref., 2009Sunday, June 10, 2012
  10. 10. Words that Are Least Likely to Get Re-Tweets Ref., 2009Sunday, June 10, 2012
  11. 11. How to Write a Tweet 7. Include numbers: People react to numbers, especially when associated with funding, impact & results. Examples: About 5 cents of every U.S. health dollar goes to medical research. #investincures 500+ #UCSF researchers benefited from #ConsultationService last year.View all areas of expert advice @ and get your first hour for free. 10 recommendations aim for more transparent #ClinicalTrial reports #SmartBriefSunday, June 10, 2012
  12. 12. How to Write a Tweet 8. Entice readers to go to your Webpage for more information to increase traffic. Examples: See new article @ on UCSF clinicians who get new ammunition in fight against childhood. #cancers #in Successful leadership in #teamscience. Join #UCSF workshop for faculty leaders, June 5. Find UCSF experts and their networks with a few clicks. #UCSFProfiles yjhd62Sunday, June 10, 2012
  13. 13. How to Write a Tweet 9. Mention influential individuals & groups that might be interested in a tweet. They’ll be likely to read it, tweet about it, re-tweet it, and potentially they’ll start following you. Example: UCSF gene therapy may offer relief for 116 million Americans with #ChronicPain @ccfa @CrohnsandUC@aapainmanage #ctsa Q&A with @WSJHealthBlog Amy Dockser Marcus "Working toward a new social contract for #healthcare"Sunday, June 10, 2012
  14. 14. How to Write a Tweet 10. Keep it short and to the point. To allow maximum retweetability, write 120 characters or less to leave room for others to retweet your message. 11. Learn Twitter lingo, for example:  FF = Follow Friday  RLRT = Real Life Retweet (used to quote sth. a person said in "real life")  atm = at the moment  lol = laugh out loud. See Twitter Glossary |, June 10, 2012
  15. 15. How to Write a Tweet 12. Use hashtags (#) One that already has some popularity in search engines, and one that will support your organization. Best practices recommend using no more than 2 hashtags per tweet. Use hashtags only on Tweets relevant to the topic. Example: Join @Predoc at UCSF’s Students Research Festival this week & learn about the latest research trends link. #diabetes #WeCanDoBetter More on how to find and create hashtags in this series’ part 4Sunday, June 10, 2012
  16. 16. Shorten URLs 13. Examples of free, popular URL shortening services: Bitly ( Tiny URL ( Google ( More examples @ services-vote-your-favorite/ Note: Microblogging Management Tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer offer URL shorting functionality as well.Sunday, June 10, 2012
  17. 17. CTSI is a member of the National Institutes of Health-funded Clinical and Translational Science Awards network. Under the banner of "Accelerating Research to Improve Health," it provides a wide range of services for researchers, and promotes online collaboration and networking tools such as UCSF Profiles.Sunday, June 10, 2012
  18. 18. Katja Reuter, PhD Associate Director of Communications Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), June 10, 2012