How to effectively use 280 characters on Twitter?

How to effectively use 280 characters on TwitterImage credit: Nat Geo Wild Twitter

I maybe a little late in sharing this information. But we wanted to give it a good research and observation time & present to you exactly what works.

140 characters that defined Twitter, is now a thing of the past. Honestly, it wasn’t very impressive, but, around the time when Twitter announced increasing character limit to 280, Instagram & Snapchat were rising rapidly.

I was extremely unhappy because this move seemed desperate & totally useless at that moment.

Obviously, tweets were floating around & people felt compelled to use all 280 characters. Some brands very smartly used the trending topic to get more engagement but most handles were just making jokes on this new development.

Twitter #280characters

Twitter #280characters

I was worried of losing the major quality of Twitter that will always belong to them.

And that is, broadcasting.

Twitter is still the only broadcast friendly Social Media Channel

It is the only social media platform that literally can’t spam you. It is a broadcasting channel and you can go on live tweeting about an event, a concert, a movie, a product or whatever it is a million times. It is OK to tweet as many times a day whether you’re a brand or an individual contributor.

This is the only platform where audience’s low attention span doesn’t affect any brand.

News worthy content breaks out on Twitter first. It is the perfect place to send out quick updates and build threads of meaningful conversations.

Additional more space for more information could totally change the personality of the platform. That bothered me.

Now almost a year later, I see Twitter has improved on many fronts. People have forgotten about 280 characters, they don’t even think about the additional space while they’re tweeting. It has however helped brands in the most positive way. I will always be a fan of short & sweet messaging on platforms like Facebook & Twitter, but here are some very effective ways you can use 280 characters while sending brand tweets to your audience on Twitter.

This will help you cover what is needed to be covered & will increase your engagement rate.

Add more links in your tweet for driving multiple call to actions

Every time a brand tweets in parts or as a continuation from a previous tweet, I lose interest.

Twitter audience does not have time to look at a tweet which has 2/2 at the end & go look for the previous 1/2 tweet on their timeline.

You can’t expect people to see one tweet & land on your handle to see all the other tweets which form one single message. That’s too much of time investment you’re expecting from your audience. You either add a long message on an image and post it in one tweet, or you keep your message short & crisp.

280 characters give you exactly double the opportunity to send your message to the vast audience on Twitter.

Sometimes there are multiple destinations (webpages to be absolutely clear) where you are driving traffic to. Not everybody is interested in one property.

Let me give you an example. You’ve launched a new product line for women and there are three different webpages for makeup, shoes & bags respectively. Some women maybe interested in makeup, some in makeup & shoes, and some in all three. Now you understand that Twitter audience has a very low attention span and therefore you post a tweet with three different URLs.

Using multiple URLs in one tweet

Not a very good example, but you get the gist?

Update & Action can now be combined

The message that you give to the audience from your brand handle is an update, and action is the part that tells users what to do. If your tweet space is taken entirely by update then action point will have to go in the next tweet. And if update & action go in two different tweets then it may not solve the purpose.

Very simple. You need to give the information to the audience & tell them to do something in the same tweet. And now that you have double the space you can clearly define the action part to make an impact.

Let me give you another example. Now I have worked for an Airline where I managed their rewards program. They had three kinds of audience; audience that would enrol into the program, customers who would use different methods to collect air miles, and customers who would redeem their air miles.

More than often, a single CTA would confuse all of them. The idea is to make the action part as clear as possible so you don’t get people who won’t convert.

Extra space should be utilized to describe the action more than the update.

Combine Update & Action for Tweets
We use Twitter very casually half the time & tend to miss how powerful a few changes can be. It’s going to be a year since the launch of 280 characters and we have still not tapped onto how strategically it can be used to drive our own objectives. Twitter analytics are upgraded and better than before. We must use these features for our benefit.


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