Twitter threads have exploded in popularity in recent years. Executed well, threads can be a fantastic way to expand your reach on Twitter. This is because people can engage with the thread as a whole, and with the individual tweets.
Let’s start with the obvious question:
What is a Twitter thread?
Essentially, a thread is a series of connected tweets, where you post each subsequent tweet as a reply to the one before it. You can even indicate it’s a thread by adding a cotton reel icon!
Think of Twitter threads like mini blog posts, with a beginning, middle and end. You make your key point in the opening tweet, then build out your story with each subsequent tweet until you reach your conclusion.
What sort of subjects make good Twitter threads?
You can make a Twitter thread out of any topic that has enough depth to justify the extra length. As with all content types, you don’t want length for the sake of it, so if you can make your point in a single tweet, do this, and save the thread for something requiring more detail.
Opinions, advice and news commentary are all good fodder for Twitter threads. They can be particularly useful for any ‘step-by-step’ pieces, as you can literally use one tweet per step.
What’s the best way to structure a Twitter thread?
Let’s take a look at this example from internet solopreneur Justin Welsh:
First, he opens his thread with a compelling ‘hook’: the story of a one-person business that has turned over millions of dollars.
He then invites the reader to follow his 20-step journey.
There are several things that make this a great opening tweet for a thread:
- The perceived juxtaposition of small business vs big revenue creates intrigue in the first line.
- The specific accomplishments in the second line support the opening statement and give it credibility.
- Reading another 20 tweets is a big ask, but the “wild and strange journey” sounds like it will be fun.
- The final line reminds the audience there’s something in it for them, i.e. tips they could use to emulate his success.
The subsequent 20 tweets all have their own subtitles, so people can glean what each is about before reading in detail. If someone wants to skip ahead to the next one, it’s easy for them to do so.
As you can see from the graphic, not only does the thread itself have bucketloads of engagement, but individual tweets do too.
Takeaways: how to write a Twitter thread
There are three things to keep in mind if you want to write a Twitter thread that people will engage with:
- Use the cotton reel icon at the end of your first tweet, so people notice it’s a thread when they’re scrolling through their news feeds.
- Choose a subject that you can easily divide into distinct points, and make one point per tweet.
- Create a great opening hook in your first tweet – and especially your first line. Consider what will compel your audience to click on the first tweet and read the whole thread.
Hopefully these tips have helped you get started with Twitter threads!
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