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Seeing Double on Twitter: What 280 Characters Mean for Marketers

Jon Haslett

Jon Haslett

Managing Director at Dash
Jon Haslett

Jon Haslett

Managing Director at Dash

Twitter has done something surprising. They started allowing users to send tweets with 280 characters. Aliza Rosen, the Twitter product manager and senior project engineer states that the new change will be welcomed. Twitter’s research shows that 9% of English speakers hit the 140-character limit.

This changes their core identity. More importantly, it makes things easier for many users. Marketers will now have the opportunity to send longer tweets.

How does this change the future of Twitter Marketing? Consider these likely changes.

Marketers Can Split-Test Their Content

For years, marketers could only include one link in a tweet. The 280-character limit lets them share more. Marketers can now promote several links in a single tweet. What is the real benefit of this?

They can determine which links get the most clicks. This will help them select the best content to promote on Twitter.

Engagement Will Improve

Twitter found that users that take advantage of the 280-character limit have more engaged followers. They receive more followers, likes and retweets.

Focus Will Shift from Brevity to Readability

The previous limit didn’t make it easy for users to write properly written sentences. Expanding it will help users improve their sentence structure.

They won’t have an excuse for sharing grammatically incorrect tweets. Marketers must use better descriptors and complete sentences.

Messages Can Be Created More Quickly

In the past, Twitter users needed to break their messages into multiple tweets. This won’t be necessary anymore.
Messages that used to require three tweets can be consolidated into one. Writing a single, longer tweet will be much more efficient.

Create More Inclusive Roundups

Twitter roundups are great ways to engage influencers and followers. The 280-character limit lets you tag more people in a single roundup tweet.

Marketers should take advantage of this. Expressing gratitude towards influencers helps boost engagement and reach.

Testing Vertical Tweets

Testing different formatting options can boost visibility. One approach is to use vertical tweets. How can you create a vertical tweet? You can use carriage return to display tweets on multiple lines.

Do vertical tweets work? You will have to test them to find out. They can improve the visibility of your tweets. They can also annoy your followers.
Test different formatting options slowly. Don’t be too aggressive with vertical tweets, but experiment a little with them.

Brands Can Provide More Detailed Customer Service Support

Most brands never expected to use Twitter for customer service. However, it has become a de facto customer service platform.

The 140-character limit wasn’t feasible for addressing many inquiries. The 280-character limit allows brands to provide more detailed responses. This is ideal for helping customers with complicated or highly technical issues.

Marketers Must Resist the Temptation to Overuse Hashtags

Adding a couple of hashtags is still very helpful. They can improve visibility by nearly 10%. However, it is easy to go overboard. Hashtag stuffing is a turnoff to your followers. It is more tempting with the longer character limit. Resist the urge and limit tweets to one or two hashtags.

The New Character Limit Is a Gamechanger

The new limit is a major change for Twitter users. Marketers should use the new character limit to their fullest potential.
However, it is also important not to go overboard. Just because you can tweet up to 280 characters, doesn’t mean you should.

Internet users prefer reading shorter content. They prefer it even more strongly on Twitter. They don’t want to read walls of unnecessary text.

Only write longer tweets if you have a good reason. You don’t want to annoy your followers by crowding their feeds with pointless rambling.

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