Twitter has rolled out an update last week in which it has doubled its character limit from 140 to 280. Even though this might seem small, it changes drastically how users interact on the app. As usual Twitterati has reacted to this change in creative ways. Some users made fun of the 280 characters, some expressed angst saying that the 140 character limit was what made twitter unique, and some brands like NASA used the space to creatively promote themselves. However Twitter said that the extended character limit is a part of plans to make social media more accessible. Marketers as usual are ready to jump in for innovative ways to use this update. What could this mean to you and how can you use the extended limit for your brand. Here are a few suggested ways from our Social Media marketing Experts.
Trying to cram your thoughts into tweets can be a real pain for a Social Media Marketer. This is the second main update to Twitter’s character limit within 12 months. Last September, Twitter declared that pictures, videos, GIFs, and polls are no more to be included in the 140 character limit. Now we have Extra characters + media. Despite the increase in limit, brands should carefully think about the consequences and build a new Twitter strategy to milk the benefits as much as they can.
Customer Service Tweets:
Over the years, twitter has served as a customer service platform. The brands used to struggle with responding, apologizing, and providing a solution in one tweet and had to ask the customer to follow them so they can DM them or call them on their hotline to solve the problem.
With twitter removing the character restrictions, it’s easy for brands to happily respond to customers and resolve queries, and at the same time let the followers see it too. This activity builds trust and relationship with existing and potential customers as there would be more human voice to the tweet rather than redirecting them to call centers.
Now that there is extra space, you might be tempted to use extra hashtags with your tweets. It has been found that tweets that have 1 or 2 hastags perform 21% better than the tweets with more hashtags. Also, tweets with a lot of hashtags look ugly. So, marketers need not change any strategy with hashtags.
Most brands understand from experience that less is more when posting on Social media like Facebook, LinkedIn etc. But without restrictions on character space limit, you might want to copy-and-paste text across all the platforms. However, no brand which would like to make its mark in the social world would convey the same message in same words across its entire social Media. Each platform is versatile and marketing copy needs to be carefully customized for each. Just because Twitter is permitting you to be more expressive, doesn’t mean you should overuse the Ctrl C and Ctrl V keys.Instead try to generate original ideas and concepts. Craft your Twitter message copy according to the trending topics personalized for your brand.
Test. Test. Test:
It’s always safe to A/B test your tweets particularly because this is still in the beginning phases. Twitter users haven’t got accustomed to the lengthy content yet. To avoid your message to be lost in the clutter of other brands, try emoticons and long messages. Chances are that in the regular twitter feed, if a lot of them are short tweets and yours was a longer one, the user might stop the thumb scrolling down and pay attention to your message.
Don’t bury URLs:
Clarity is what is important when it comes to a message, so for clarity’s sake, let’s not use longer tweets as micro landing pages. Twitter increased the character limit to let users spend more time with the app, and it should certainly help. But if you are sending out a long message which makes the important URLs hidden in your text, maybe it’s not worth it. Be careful to highlight your URLs in your message.
Short is still sweet:
Twitter is known for its brevity. That’s what it is built upon. Not everyone might like to write lengthy text. As a brand you should closely keep an eye on how tweeple are reacting to this change and adapt according to them.
Talk, but listen too. Tell us your thoughts on the new 280 character update!