Popular microblogging platform, Twitter, recently rocked the short-form content world when it announced an extension to its infamous 140-character post limit. After the initial novelty wore off, content marketers began refining best practices for short-form posts.
Here are some practices to consider and some to avoid in your exploration of this brave new tweeting world.
Not every post needs to meet the new character limit. Moreover, not every post should meet the new limit. Industry leaders observe, “280 characters should be used sparingly; just because we have that space doesn’t mean we should feel compelled to use it. Save the multi-point arguments for Facebook and keep Twitter snappy and fun.” Twitter users are accustomed to a fast-paced, concise environment. In testing the new character limit, Twitter reports demonstrated “Only 5% of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters.” In organic/native marketing strategy, it is best for marketers to align with the practices of the audience.
Abuse the New Limit
As always, your posts should offer audiences a variety—this includes length. If all of your posts are short blips, your audience may not fully engage. Likewise, if each post is heavy and pushes the extended character limit, your audience may lose interest. Continue diversifying your tone, depth, and character count to keep audiences engaged.
With the extra space allotted by the character limit update, content marketers may be tempted to cram additional hashtags into each tweet to take advantage of trending threads. While this strategy seems idyllic, the presentation and lack of relevance may be a turn off for audiences. A single post is relevant to two, maybe three platform discussions—any more is spamming, and your readers will recognize this.
Use Vertical Space
Your content need not be dense to make a visual impact. Rather than reaching for characters in every post, consider short lists and other quick brief updates with hard returns to create a long and narrow tweet.
Use the new breathing room in your tweets to grow engagement by posting deeper, more meaningful commentary and questions to your audiences. Maintain vigilance on grammar and punctuation, as longer posts may become confusing without these standardizations. Consider infusing multiple links within the space to offer additional value to readers.
Fortify Customer Service
More space means more voice. Customer service teams on Twitter now have ample opportunity to demonstrate care and value to consumer inquiries. Outreach and response can now offer additional human-tone and supporting information and links to reinforce connections with customers.
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