I examined the usability of online texts in my dissertation. I sketched five recommendations for social media editors, based on my research and on my article, The City on Twitter. The five recommendations each appear as a Word of the Week.
Use everyday language.
The readability of social media updates is often better than other online texts. My research subjects, when they edited documents for social media, favored shorter, more familiar and more concrete words. In updates, they talked about schools, libraries, children and pupils instead of services and actors. When updates were a direct part of discussion, they were even more readable.
Social media updates from city officials and experts usually follow standard language, but they tend to include more everyday expressions than other online texts dealing with the same subject. It appeared, for example, that the city of Espoo uses more colloquial vocabulary in its tweets than other cities. Espoo made this choice intentionally: it seeks the online forum style in the contrast to customary official writing.