I really need your help. A few days ago I tweeted about a new resource I’m offering for download at my site, a Guide to Writing for Social Media, which we authored for the Centers for Disease Control. This is a really nice free resource; it’s 57 pages long, chock full of great info including chapters on how to write for Facebook and Twitter, how to write texts, and how to use your web content as source material for social media messages.
So when I sent out my tweet about the Guide, I expected a good response — lots of downloads and a good amount of interacting, mentioning, and retweeting. I even hoped for a little bit of buzz, but what actually happened was … well … nothing. Or nearly nothing. One retweet. One. Six people downloaded the Guide, and though none of them are actually my blood relatives, three are such close colleagues that I have to admit they’re friends. My conclusion: I have written the World’s Worst Tweet.
Under other circumstances, I might be “proud” of this (anti) accomplishment, but given that my tweet was meant to promote a Guide to Writing for Social Media, I am troubled, even alarmed. I need your help: What is it about how I wrote this tweet that enabled me to KILL interest in a great resource? Comment here to share your thoughts about why my tweet is so stultifying. Revise it for me, please. I’ll publish your tweet and write a blog post about why you’re a great writer!
Here’s what I was going for in my (flop) tweet:
- Simple, direct, action-oriented. When there’s stuff to do, I always like to feature it, so I started off with “Download.”
- Connected. I included the @CDC-eHealth handle to indicate that the Guide has a health communication slant and to tie in to those who follow the excellent communicators at the CDC.
- Detailed. I squeezed in the page count to let people know the Guide is substantive, and I wrote “befores-&-afters” instead of “examples” to indicate that the Guide includes advice on how to transform dull tweets and posts. Oh, the irony.
- Hyperlinked. A nice short link – only one click away from the download.
- Hashtagged. I chose the #plainlanguage tag carefully, as we wrote the Guide for a government agency, and the federal plain language community is thriving. I thought the folks who track this hashtag would be interested in the Guide.
Having explained it, I now feel even worse about my World’s Worst Tweet. Help me out here. What went wrong??