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February 19, 2012

Tweeting Fat in Skinny Jeans

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Written by: Ross Quintana
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Tweeting Fat in Skinny Jeans is something I see every day on Twitter.

Skinny jeans are a funny thing to me. People wear them to look skinny, but most people are so crammed into them they look like they may explode at any time. Twitter is the same way. We all know we have 140 characters, but some people use every last character to the point that if they wrote something great I can’t retweet it because there has to be room for my name and the RT. So here is a few tips to make sure someone can share your info.

Tip#1 – Save at least 20 characters if you want someone to RT (retweet) your post. that means you only have 120 to use. A safer bet is to use 100 for your info and then people can retweet you and their people can retweet them. This may seem basic, but the power of twitter is the retweet. If you have 1000 followers and they each have 1000 followers then your potential retweet audience is 1,000,000. That is no small number and you kill it if you use all the space. Trust me what you have to say in those last 10-20 characters is not more important than getting it retweeted.

Tip#2 – Don’t waste characters that are not necissary. Think of titles and tweets that are short but compelling. If your title has words like,”it is” change it to “it’s” that saves one character. “You are” can go to “You’re” Try not to use things like, “4U” it looks like cheap advertising. The key is reduce your title where you can and you sill start to learn how to talk with less. Trust me for most people this is better. One of the powers of Twitter is it has a get to the point structure that forces you to be more concise. This helps readers quickly determine if they want to click your link or follow you.

Tip#3 – Ease up on the Hashtags (#SocialMedia,#ThisHashtagIsWayToLong). Hashtags are used so people who search a term can find your tweet. Hashtags use up valuable character real estate. Avoid long Hashtags and try to use the most important one and maybe leave off the second and third.

Tip#4 – Shorten your URL. Many Twitter posting tools and Twitter shorten URLs (links), but not always. A long link wastes space. Use a link shortening site like Bitly to keep your links short so your content can shine.

Tip#5 – Watch out for autoposting from sites or tools. Many sites add text or take the first 140 characters to make the tweet, this leaves zero characters for people to retweet. Many times people like something and tweet it and the site will just fill in all 140. Some sites let you edit it before sending it out. Delete anything not needed. Even if you are tweeting something from a web page, you want your followers to be able to retweet it because it mentions you as the source. There has to be room for them and you.

The point of this post is that by trying to squeeze into those 140 character jeans many times you don’t allow yourself to be shared on Twitter. That extra information you cram into your tweet isn’t making you look better. Skinny jeans are really better worn when your tweet is smaller than the space it is trying to fit into if you know what I mean?

See the  Tweeting Fat in Skinny Jeans Video

About the Author

Ross Quintana
Founder of SocialMagnets, I am passionate about social media, influence, innovation, strategy, and marketing. I love to help people learn and understand the digital world. I stretch people's thinking and share my analysis of information, tools, and strategies in social media. Let's connect


  • http://www.inspiretothrive.com Lisa

    I love this analogy Ross! Very creative. And I do not like those skinny jeans, love my bell bottoms. I will have to remember this over on Twitter. I noticed the Buffer has been using Bitly for all tweets now too.

    • Ross Quintana

      Thanks Lisa, the numbers are powerfully in your favor if you don’t do that. I think it is something people either don’t realize or forget so I like to remind them with an image they can remember. :]

  • http://xeeme.com/PQStudio David Jenkins

    Good tips, Ross. I often leave only 4-6 letters for the RT tag. But I will work on leaving more room for the senders name. In that analogy, I guess I should stop thinking like granddad-pleated pants when writing my tweets, and think more lean and mean spandex bicyclist shorts. Bam Bam Link. :D

    • Ross Quintana

      Yes in an attempt to say more people will end up reaching less of an audience and saying less.

  • http://AnneThomas.net/blog Anne Thomas

    These are nice tips, thank you :)

    • Ross Quintana

      You bet Anne, thanks for stopping buy to read my post.

  • http://teamnetworkdata.org/ Jim Messeroll

    Great tips, loved the title

    • Ross Quintana

      Thanks Jim Nothin makes the head turn like a big tweet. :]

  • http://mayura4ever.blogspot.com Mayura

    Really nice tips. Thanks for sharing :) Impressed with Tip #1…


    • Ross Quintana

      Glad you liked it Mayura, sometimes simple habits can produce drastic outcomes.

  • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

    Pretty cool title Ross, and I agree completely. I love to retweet but it feels strange to “remove” part of the tweet in order to do it. This is one of those posts where I think, “Man, I wish I had thought to write it.” lol

  • Rob
  • http://www.yoursocialmediamogul.com Knikkolette

    Ross – you hit the nail on the head! So many people try so hard to cram so much info in 140 characters they completely forget to leave room for the RT. Great tips!

  • Lynsey Toves

    Hey! Your blog popped up on yahoo and I read a few of your other posts. I just stuck you in to my Google News Reader. Keep it up. I’ll be quietly following you from the sideline haha.

  • Marylou Eifert

    very good article, my spouse and i undoubtedly enjoy this site, go on this

  • Corrie

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  • göz yanılmaları

    Funny, great insight Ross

  • OSSA

    Love the analogy, nice one.

  • Pat

    Nice post, I love your writing style.

  • Edwardo Keathley

    Super blog, I am subscribed. Thanks

  • Travis

    i really believe you are on the correct track with this one each small strategy can have big impacts.

  • Raul

    Another great post from you Ross

  • Samuel

    I’m truly grateful and really impressed. Thanks for making the effort to share this.

  • alfred beilin

    Great post, The little things can really make a difference. Thanks Ross

  • Samantha

    Funny post. We have all done this I bet and now I know better. Thanks Ross

  • Mika Dalmau

    I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about.

  • Diesel Dz1392

    Very efficiently written post. It will be valuable to anybody who employs it, including yours truly . Keep up the good work for sure i will check out more posts.

  • Fred

    You can definitely see your skills in the work you write.

  • Ileana Crocket

    Wonderful post, love your perspective.

  • http://www.chuckbartok.com Chuck Bartok

    I am curious why having the “open” 20+ characters is important for RT? Thanks for great article. I need to spend more time on Twitter

    • Ross Quintana

      It used to be that if you used all the text and someone would retweet you it would chop into your post to make room for their username. I believe the retweet username now doesn’t do that. I will double check that. Thanks Chuck

      • http://www.chuckbartok.com Chuck Bartok

        Thanks Ross,

      • http://www.chuckbartok.com Chuck Bartok

        And very CLEVER to re-purpose an old post!