One thing to keep in mind, no matter what social media platform you are using, is to keep your writing professional.  I mean this specifically when you are using social media on behalf of a club, business, or organization, but this applies to an individual as well.  While the media may seem casual, you are still a “professional” and should use it as so.  It helps your brand image, as a group and as a person.

As a person holding a degree in English literature, I have strong feelings about the tendency of individuals to use “text speak” while writing.  (Disclosure: I am one of those people who uses all the proper punctuation and capital letters when I send a text message.)  In particular, it drives me crazy to see “text speak” creep into formal situations- in an online class forum for instance.  It may be online- but it is still a college course!

So how does my little rant above apply to you?  I’d like to request that you give your utmost effort to remaining professional while using Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook, etc.  This is probably the most difficult on Twitter and other micro-blogging sites.  In an effort to fit your message into 140 characters, you may be tempted to adjust spellings, leave out punctuation, etc.  Resist!

To help you out, here is a guide I’ve compiled for professional, but brief, Twitter posts (all of which are 140 characters or less):

  1. Grammatical rules dictate that you spell out numbers between zero and ten.  It’s okay to use numeric figures on Twitter.
  2. If your sentence is too long, leave out the final period.  If you have multiple sentences, retain punctuation between them.
  3. Substituting punctuation marks for commonly accepted word equivalents is fine (i.e., = for equal, + for plus, & for and, # for number, etc.)
  4. Don’t change the spelling of words to shorten them. Dnt chng speling of wrds to shrtn thm. Text speak is bad!
  5. Use link shortening services. My favorites are and
  6. Always proofread your tweets.
  7. It is okay to only have one space between sentences. Keep the “two-space” rule for non-Twitter writing.
  8. Commonly accepted abbreviations are fine, used sparingly. You don’t want your reader taking 5 minutes to read a tweet with 10 abbreviations.

Photo courtesy: Mark Rodder,