Tell me if this sounds familiar: you read a Twitter thread from somebody that made you think, “Wow, that was really good.”
Your creative mind immediately sparked an idea. What if you wrote threads too?
- Could you grow your Twitter following?
- Break down long videos and articles into bite-sized tweets?
- Promote your products through strategically written threads?
The answer is yes, to all the above. But you can’t just write a Twitter thread and expect the sky to start raining followers, views, and money on you. You have to write great threads that spark curiosity, interest, and action.
Twitter threads are becoming more and more common. But it’s hard to tell why some threads get thousands of retweets and likes and others barely get a dozen. Knowing why some threads find success can help you avoid yours ending up in the internet ether.
First things first, let’s look at a few threads to get an idea of how they work.
What is a Twitter thread?
Twitter threads are 2+ tweets “threaded” together with a line that shows they come together. When a user adds 4+ tweets into a thread, readers can “Show Thread” to read each tweet in order.
For example, Jasmine Williams uses a tweet to share her recent feature in the Toronto Star (see the Show this thread text at the bottom?):
Jasmine’s tweet thread has 4 tweets total, linking to the article, explaining her excitement around her feature, and thanking the writer. When you click on “Show this thread,” here’s what you see:
Twitter threads aren’t always about exciting features like Jasmine’s. Sometimes they’re from people changing career paths, entrepreneurs selling products, or professionals sharing their expertise. For example, a recent thread about generating content ideas from marketer and writer Amanda Natividad garnered nearly 800 likes and more than 150 retweets:
A tweet thread can be about anything you want it to be—just like your content. But, just like your content, you have to follow the rules of great Twitter threads for maximum distribution—and impact. When you write an article online or publish a YouTube video, you have to take time to craft the perfect headline or title and thumbnail.
The same applies to your Twitter threads. You don’t want to post threads spontaneously without putting thought into how enjoyable they are to read. You need to deliver high-quality content in just the right way that turns readers into followers, subscribers, and customers.
A good Twitter thread also sparks action. You don’t want to write great threads that make readers think, “That was cool,” and move on. Instead, an excellent Twitter thread creates curiosity for the reader to check out the writer’s profile or click their CTA link at the end of the thread.
Getting engagement like Amanda and Jasmine doesn’t mean you need to go to Twitter University 101. You just need to know the essential elements of an excellent tweet thread—so you can confidently hit publish on your next thread.
The essential elements of popular Twitter threads
Twitter threads are just as much of a formula as A + B = C (or your favorite recipe!). There are essential ingredients that have to go into a great thread to make it get engagement—and become popular with your audience:
- A hook + benefit to the reader
- Structured points
- A conclusion
- A call to action
It’s important to keep your elements in this order. If you change the order of these elements, you’ll end up with less engagement.
Consider this your tried and true Twitter thread formula—as long as you follow this formula, you’ll get more engagement on your threads.
#1: A hook + benefit to the reader
Just like your other content, your threads need to hook readers in with an exciting idea or a curiosity-driven question or fact. This is the same rule that you abide by when creating your YouTube title and thumbnail, naming your podcast episode, or publishing a new article. You *have* to entice people to click on your content, and you do that with the Hook + Benefit.
- What question can you ask that makes the reader curious to know more?
- What fact can you share with them that makes them excited to read more?
Think of your hook as the sentence that makes someone interested in your thread and the benefit as the selling point that motivates them to click the “Show the Thread” link.
Jelani Memory, the founder of A Kids Book About, uses a question to hook readers in, “What if kids media were more inclusive, empowering, and diverse?”. Then, he talks about the benefit of reading the thread, “We have a few things to announce…a rebrand, a podcast network, and a streaming platform. Check out the thread:”
What if kids media was more inclusive, empowering, and diverse?
We at @akidsco just raised $7 Million to build the future of kids media.
We have a few things to announce… a rebrand, a podcast network, and a streaming platform.
Check out the thread: pic.twitter.com/tRX1C0nrv9
— Jelani Memory (@Jelanimemory) August 10, 2021
Jelani uses a hook and benefit in the first tweet of his thread.
The hook will be the first sentence of your first tweet in your thread. After your hook, hit enter twice on your keyboard, so there’s one line of space between your hook and the following sentence. Your next sentence will be the benefit. This is the benefit the reader gets from your thread.
#2: Structured points
Now that someone’s reading your thread, we want to keep them interested.
People stay interested when they feel like they’re being entertained, educated—and sometimes even both. Just think about your social media habits; your favorite accounts to follow are the ones that share something interesting in a clear and concise way.
Structuring your points in a cohesive and straightforward way is a massive part of getting people to the next section of your thread (and most importantly, to the last section with your call to action!). Make sure to add structured points that deliver the benefit promised in your first tweet (and answer the curiosity-driven question or continue to spark inspiration around the exciting idea presented).
Jelani Memory covers points like why he started his company and how that’s led to publishing over 50+ books for children and teenagers. He’s educating his readers on what his company has been up to—and why it matters to them. By starting his thread by sharing how he finds few children’s books to be diverse, he transitions into talking about how he’s trying to solve this problem. (Remember—your structured points are just like the body of an article, the main part of your YouTube video, or the majority of your podcast episode).
#3: A conclusion
Wrap up your tweet thread with a conclusion that shows the reader you delivered your promise at the start.
Conclusions are essential for closing the loop you opened with your hook. Use conclusions that summarize your tweet thread or explain what to expect from you in the future.
Your conclusion is going to be a gateway to your call to action (the next section). An easy way to write a conclusion is to look at your main points and put them into bullet points in one tweet that starts with the question or hook you used in the first tweet of your thread. Your conclusion aims to wrap up the story you just shared so people feel like they’re closing the loop on this piece of content (just like you would wrap up an article, YouTube video, podcast, etc.).
In his conclusion, Jelani Memory talks about his company’s mission and what they’ll continue to work on (and why). See how he uses his conclusion to talk about his company’s mission, (which solves the problem of a lack of diversification in children’s books)? Think of how you can let readers know what you do, who you do it for, and share values, goals, lessons, or a mission that makes them think, “This person is really interesting.”
#4: A call to action
The last tweet in your thread has to be a call to action (CTA). Your threads should never end without pointing your audience to your newsletter or email list, digital products, or to follow you. You’ve put all this time and effort into getting people to read your thread—it’s okay to promote yourself!
Use ConvertKit landing pages and email forms to create high-converting sign-up forms that you link as your call to action at the end of each of your threads. Our landing pages and forms show you how many people have visited that page or form, how many people have subscribed, and what your conversion rate is (so you can get as many signups as possible!).
In his final tweet thread, Jelani Memory links out to the books A Kids Book About sells, their podcast, and online classes. This is a great call to action that shows people where they can learn more about his company and, most importantly…buy his books!
That’s the ins and outs of writing a great Twitter thread, but we don’t want to leave you with just one example. Let’s dive into how to write a Twitter thread from start to finish so you can feel confident when you go to hit publish on your next thread.
How to write a Twitter thread
Writing a great Twitter thread comes down to answering 6 questions:
- What’s the topic?
- How can you hook the reader into wanting to click the “Show the thread” button?
- What benefit does the reader get from your thread?
- What are your supporting points?
- How can you wrap this up concisely and actionably?
- What call to action best suits this thread?
Answer these questions to make the most of every Twitter thread you write.
#1: What’s the topic?
Choose the topic of your thread in the same way you choose the topic of a podcast episode, article, Reel, YouTube video, or TikTok. You want to base your topic based on the audience you have or want to grow.
For example, if you have an audience of freelancers and you have a freelance course—you’ll want to stick to topics about freelancing. On the other hand, if you have an audience of people passionate about the newest happenings in technology, your threads should focus on tech.
Marketing consultant Amanda Natividad chose the topic of media placements for her Twitter thread. This is the perfect topic for Amanda’s audience of marketing professionals.
#2: How can you hook the reader into wanting to click the “Show the thread” button?
Now that you know your topic, you want to figure out what about this topic would make your audience not be able to look away. How can you entice readers to click that Show the thread button—and keep reading your thread? This is an essential part of your tweet thread. Remember, unless you're Emma Chamberlain and can garner millions of views on a YouTube video titled “Bed,” you’ll need to strategize for your views and engagement.
Check out how Amanda uses the hook, “I once scored a media placement that led to 1,600 new customers,” to get the attention of her audience (see the image above). That’s a really enticing hook because her marketing-interested audience would love to know that story so they can apply some lessons to their own career.
#3: What benefit does the reader get from your thread?
Your hook is the first sentence of your tweet—and your benefit is the second. This is the part of your tweet that makes your audience say, “You know, this is worth scrolling through.” In a world of clickbait headlines, this benefit should be crystal clear. Choose clarity over cuteness and be extremely clear about what someone will get from reading your thread.
Amanda shows the benefit of reading her thread by saying, “with frameworks you can borrow.” So anyone reading her thread (interested in marketing) now knows they’ll get frameworks they can borrow from someone who garnered 1,600 new customers through media placements. That’s a benefit totally worth a minute spent reading through her thread.
#4: What are your supporting points?
The introduction of your tweet thread is done! Your first tweet is set and ready to go live. Now, let’s write the body of your thread.
This part of your thread is the supporting points that answer the question you asked in your hook or share the story you promised. Put your storytelling hat on for this one because you want to make them interesting.
What are 3-5 supporting points that you can build off your hook and the benefit you’re providing? Make sure that you’re writing your points in an easy-to-read structure. This means that you’re either using bullet points or writing in one sentence (or a few 1-3 word sentences) per line.
Twitter does not thrive on paragraphs—those will tank your engagement. Your points should be structured so each sentence has its own line (unless the sentence is only a few words long).
Amanda tells her story by breaking it down into several tweets that share her strategy behind the ad placements. Notice how she structures each tweet so that it’s easy to read. There aren’t any paragraphs. Instead, she focuses on short sentences and bullet points.
#5: How can you summarize your thread into a Twitter-friendly conclusion?
Your introduction and body are officially done! There are only two more parts to your tweet thread: your conclusion and call to action.
Your conclusion is a summary of your thread that fits into one tweet. Why just one tweet? Why just one tweet? Since your audience can only like and share one tweet at a time, it gives THEIR audience an opportunity to get exposed to a summary of your thread.
Amanda explains that even though she was successful, people should be well aware that this type of success comes with hard work. This concludes her story about getting the media placements, closing the loop on this piece of content with a memorable takeaway.
#6: What call to action best suits this thread?
The final tweet of your thread is your call to action. It’s time to promote yourself, your email list, or your products. Each tweet should end by promoting one of the following:
- Following you for more threads like this
- Joining your email list
- Buying your products
The best option to choose is the one that makes the most sense based on your thread topic:
- If you don’t have a related product, ask your audience to follow you.
- If your topic lines up perfectly with your newsletter content, ask your audience to subscribe.
- If you have a topic that helps people with the subject, link out to it!
You can use ConvertKit to make landing pages and email signup forms for your digital products and newsletter. Our templates are designed for conversions, so you’ll be able to easily plug in your information and start promoting your products and email list on Twitter (without worrying about the best design).
Amanda uses her last tweet to talk about her Live Q&A with SparkToro. See how seamlessly the thread flows into her call to action? This is exactly what you’re aiming for.
Helpful Tip: Schedule your threads
If you just tried to schedule out your tweet threads on Twitter desktop, like you can with single tweets—you’re pretty disappointed right now. Scheduling out tweets makes your life a lot easier. Set it and forget it is a great way to create lots of content while focusing on the crucial parts of your business (like accounting, products, finances, and more).
Unfortunately, you can’t schedule threads directly on Twitter. But, you can use tools like Chirr to schedule threads in advance. It’s $12/month, and you can also set automatic replies and repost evergreen threads.
Your first Twitter thread is 6 questions away
Creating your first Twitter thread isn’t a matter of just hitting publish. Instead, it’s a strategic way of crafting content that hooks a reader, tells a great story, and ends with a call to action to sign up for your newsletter or email list. The more you talk about your story and teach your audience through threads, the bigger your Twitter audience will grow.
But remember: you still need to encourage social followers to become email subscribers. Unlike social media platforms that can limit the number of followers who see your content, your email subscribers will always get your emails. This makes email the safest place to house your online audience, so you can turn them into raving customers of your physical products, digital courses, and services.
Use ConvertKit landing pages and sign-up forms to turn your Twitter audience into email subscribers. Sign up here.