Writing better Twitter threads

My current understanding is that there are only 2 things that matter when it comes to writing better Twitter threads:

  1. Deliver on a compelling hook
  2. Build a crew to boost your thread early

There are loads of other factors that you can pay attention to but, by and large, they are second order effects. Garnishing on the plate. These two are the main course.

Deliver on a compelling hook #

At its most fundamental level your opening tweet is a promise.

A good opening tweet should be able to answer two questions:

  1. What are we talking about here?
  2. What’s in it for me?

I get it. Hooks feel gimmicky.

You put together some excellent content, do you really have to mess around with used car salesman bullshit?

The fact is that you are writing long form content on a short form platform. You are competing with sharper, faster nuggets of information. Unless you can offer people a compelling reason to give you 30 seconds of their attention it is not going to happen.

From this perspective, the worst thing you can do it spend hours writing an excellent piece of content and then not give the opening tweet the attention it deserves.

The first two questions are just pre-requisites to not writing a shit hook. They can can turn a rubbish opening tweet into something decent, but they won’t get you great. If you want to bump things up to great then you have to answer a third question:

  1. Do you have a strong opinion of something people care about?

Rather than just shuffling the words around to tweak a tweet, the idea is to invest time into understanding what people care about.

The best way I have learned how to do this is to spend time in communities focused on your problem space and listen to what questions and recurring struggles come up.

Foraging communities for explicit questions and struggles is particularly good because it helps you scope your response. With a real question from an actual person, you can make an informed decision about what to include and what to omit. The stronger your opinion, the more compelling your take becomes.

I must point out that having a compelling hook is only half the battle. You have to actually deliver on it. A great hook that doesn’t deliver is just clickbait.

Making sure that you actually deliver ties into part 2 which is building a crew to boost your thread early on.

I’ve expanded on the idea of a boost crew in this post.

 
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