How to write a tweetable abstractPosted: December 2, 2015
Just when you have finally mastered how to write a coherent and concise abstract for your research paper, publishers have changed things up. A number of publishers also now require a ‘tweetable abstract’.
One such journal is the BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. According to its online author guidelines, researchers should ‘provide a ‘Tweetable abstract’ of 110 characters that succinctly summarises your paper’.
As avid tweeters are no doubt aware, Twitter’s character limit is 140. So why is BJOG limiting you to 110? Most likely so they can add their own commentary or links. But did you know shorter tweets also increases engagement?
Neil Patel from the Social Media Examiner advises that shorter tweets with around 110 characters get 17% higher engagement. ‘When you leave room in a tweet, it makes it easier for people to retweet you and add their own commentary’ he said in his article ‘10 Twitter Tactics to Increase Your Engagement’.
Tweetable abstracts should provide the main conclusions or the key message of a paper in a way that is easily understood.
A common mistake made by academics in writing tweetable abstracts is not using tags or hashtags. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Assistant Editor, Samantha Ponton said ‘very few authors use the symbols ‘@’ and ‘#’ in their tweetable abstracts, to refer to an author’s Twitter username or to tag a keyword, respectively’.
‘Hashtags can be used to increase the visibility of a tweet, as users can search Twitter for keywords using this symbol as a prefix, for example, #ecology or #statistics’ she said (Submission requirement aims to boost social media engagement, 2013).
Other common mistakes include using overly technical scientific jargon and superfluous hashtags, or exceeding the character limit (How Twitter Literacy Can Benefit Conservation Scientists, 2013)
Not sure how to write for Twitter? Check out this helpful guide from the University of Pennsylvania. Or the 2014 BRW article 14 tips for getting the most out of Twitter Audience Platform.
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