3 Tips on Writing and Storytelling from Twitter’s Investor Relations Team


Twitter Investor Relations Logo (TWTR)

Twitter Investor Relations Logo (TWTR)

Earlier this week, Twitter released its 2014 Q2 Earnings Report. Here are highlights as reported by The Wall Street Journal’s Yoree Koh:

  • A second straight quarter of increased user growth: 16 million new users
  • Revenue doubled to $312 million (driven by mobile use and mobile ad consumption)
  • Mobile advertising accounts for 81% of total ad revenues
  • The stock price spiked 29% in after hours trading
  • 271 million monthly active users

How Twitter’s Investor Relations Team (@TwitterIR) framed these positive results is worth studying. Their critical and judgmental audience includes (but is not limited to):

  • Wall Street Analysts
  • Technology Journalists / Bloggers
  • Mutual Funds Managers
  • Silicon Valley Competitors
  • Individual Investors

Writing and storytelling skills are important in the financial and investment community. Investor Relations Teams are tasked with building credibility, trust, and transparency. The ability to convey confidence with a compelling and memorable story (particularly when financial performance suffers) makes or breaks organizations.

Real-time, Internet speed and scope, play a crucial role in addressing public scrutiny. Here are three (3) writing and storytelling tips I learned from the Twitter Investor Relations Team.

Tip 1. Play to Your Strengths

Twitter recognized before any social media network the competitive advantages and implications of real-time communications. It knew consumers were moving towards a mobile, one-screen world.

And, it maximized this competitive advantage during the July 29th earnings call. Topsy analysis shows @TwitterIR‘s (Twitter’s Investor Relations Team) published 23 real-time tweets supporting the earnings presentation.


Topsy Query for @TwitterIR for July 29 Tweets

Topsy Query for @TwitterIR July 29 Tweets

Tip 2. Be Simple and Concise

Communicating financial analyses (or other complex information) into simple, bite-size messages isn’t easy. Twitter’s Investor Relations Team addresses this challenge head-on knowing they have to frame a memorable, compelling story in “pulses” of 140 characters or less. I’m sure their rehearsals resulted in multiple iterations of tweets to constantly refine and simplify the gameday message.

According to Topsy, here’s the top tweet during the July 29th call …

Topsy Twitter IR Screen Shot - Top Tweet

Topsy Twitter IR Top Tweet


Topsy Top Twitter IR Tweet

Topsy Top Twitter IR Tweet


… and it clocks in at 136 characters (with spaces).


Tip 3. Draw Pictures for Key Messages


Twitter Quarterly Revenue Chart

Twitter’s Steady, Consistent Positive Revenue Growth. Note: I drew the red arrow.

As an individual Twitter investor, I appreciate and respect the Investor Relations Team sharing key metrics like quarterly revenue, EBITDA, and net income. But, the tweet has too much math for my simple brain.

The hyperlink and chart are vital. They impart two (2) positive impressions:

  1. “We know you want more details. Here’s where you can find/analyze the details.”
  2. “Remember This: Twitter’s quarterly revenue growth remains positive.”

The high “retweets” and “favorites” by the conference call attendees indicates this important information was share-worthy and memorable:


62 Retweets and 47 Favorites Shows the Audience Likes This

62 Retweets and 47 Favorites Shows the Audience Likes This

Closing Thoughts

Leverage your strengths. Be brief. Draw pictures. Define your story’s outcome from the beginning. Structure the argument.

That’s hard. But, your audience will love you for it.


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Tony Faustino is a marketing and corporate strategist.  He thinks and writes about how The Internet reinvents marketing strategy in his personal blog, Social Media ReInventionFollow his tweets @tonyfaustino or circle him on Google+.

2 thoughts on “3 Tips on Writing and Storytelling from Twitter’s Investor Relations Team

    • Cate, thank you your comment! I’ll make sure to read your article link and leave a comment. My sincere thanks for stopping by and for subscribing to my blog — very kind of you! Many blessings to you in 2016.

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