Have you seen those pre-written “tweet this” links and buttons that some websites use to make sharing a tweet much faster, and give additional control to the website that created it? I’m going to show you how to make a Pre-Formatted Re-Tweet Link or Button. When a user clicks on it they will be taken to their Twitter account with your message already filled in. All that is left for them to do is send the tweet! It’s useful in several situations, and isn’t the same as the stock Twitter Re-Tweet button.
Twitter is becoming known as the place to get news before it even becomes news. Getting news before everyone else has made it a premiere place to look for content, which by default has made it a premiere place to share content.
Step 1 – Write your Tweet in Under 280
Go to Twitter and write the message that you want Re-Tweeted. Your message must be under 140 characters, but I suggest using 240 or less so users have the option of adding their own spin to it or additional hash tags.
Step 2 – Convert your Message to URL Safe Encoding
For your Tweet to work in the Tweet This link, you will need to convert it to URL Safe encoding. There are several apps and tools that can handle this, but the simplest and oldest is still the best. Brian Wilson’s Blooberry Index dot Html Encoding Guide has a fool proof URL safe encoding converter.
Copy your Tweet into the box at http://www.blooberry.com/indexdot/html/topics/urlencoding.htm
Select “Convert” so the “URL-safe Encoding” Radio Button is selected
Step 3 – Add the Twitter Status URL
To complete your URL safe Tweet link you will need to add the following URLto the beginning of your formatted message:
This link will now open a window with a tweet box, pre-filled with your own unique message. The link will look like this, and is fully functional:
Step 4 – Review and Proofread
With any luck there will be hundreds of people send out your pre-formatted tweet and they’re all going to rely on your astute copywriting skills. Make sure that any @mentions, your message, and especially your link is void of any errors or typos. Remember that URLs cannot format the # symbol, so sadly any Hash tags will have to be added by users after they’ve opened your link.
The final step is to convert your unwieldy Twitter URL, which is by now nearly 180 characters in length, to a short link with Google URL Shortener or Bit.ly URL shortener.
Now the URL for our Pre-Formatted Tweet Link (http://goo.gl/svtA0) is only 12 characters long, and the un-informed reader will suspect witchcraft instead of something as simple as a carefully constructed URL. If you plan on entering your Tweet Link URL into an input field or a form, you’ll most likely need to use the URL shortener before it will fit. Google’s URL shortener also gives you access to all sorts of analytics specifically for your URL. To access analytics, just add a + to the end of your short link (example: http://goo.gl/svtA0+ ). Google also generates a QR code which could come in handy if you’d like to get a certain message tweeted by a large crowd at an event.
To further personalize your “Tweet This” option on your website, create a button graphic to insert on your landing pages, blog posts, or whereever you plan on soliciting these special tweets. By clicking on the button below you’ll be taken to a Tweet that is formatted to promote this tutorial.
Now that you know how to create your own pre-formatted “Tweet This” links and buttons, the only thing left to do is to think of creative ways to use it in your existing and future marketing campaigns!
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