This month, I’ve taken great interest in watching how people and brands have used the additional 140-characters on Twitter. Some people and brands have continued to use Twitter in the same way and stick to the 140-characters, others have been creative with their tweets and spaced out the content which can quickly attract and engage your reader if it’s done in the right way. Some have filled up the 280-characters with valuable content while others have filled their tweets with hashtags.
During the testing phase, Twitter reported, “many people tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after behaviour normalized”. [Read more here]. It will be interesting to see how usage changes over the coming weeks.
To make the most of the new character limit, here are four tips to keep in mind before you publish your next tweet.
Stay positive on Twitter
This goes without saying, however, it must be mentioned. It doesn’t matter whether you have a 10-character limit, 140-character limit or a 280-character limit. Social media is about people.
- Be positive
- Be respectful
- Support others
- Show you care
- Be courteous
- Be friendly
- Treat people the way you’d like to be treated
Put people first and before you jump in and start filling up the extra character space, think about your audience and ensure that everything you tweet has relevance and adds value. Just because you have more space doesn’t mean you must fill it up with irrelevant, unhelpful content or negative content.
Don’t fill up on hashtags
The extra 140-characters isn’t a green light to fill up your tweet with hashtags. In my opinion, it looks spammy and it doesn’t look like you’re really interested in your audience. Too many hashtags can make the content distracting and difficult to read which means your message will get lost and you’ll get noticed online for the wrong reasons. Your hashtags must be strategic and have a purpose for being there. I’ve unfollowed people this week because I kept seeing tweets with minimum value and way too many hashtags. It looks spammy and in some cases overly promotional. Your community wants to connect with people and brands that care about them.
Stick to the point
I love Twitter because it’s short, sharp and to the point so keep your tweets to around 140 characters and on the occasion where you need a little more space use it wisely to add value to your reader. Really get to know and understand your audience and what matters most to them. Use Twitter to add meaning. There’s definitely an art form to writing headlines and content for Twitter. Focus on writing short, captivating tweets that will compel your audience to engage with you, click on the link and read your blog, download your eBook, or watch your video.
Use the extra space for engagement
Why waste your time and fill up the extra space with unnecessary hashtags, sales messages or irrelevant information when you can use it to connect, start conversations and build engagement. Consider the relationships you can build and the opportunities you create for your business.
Use Twitter to share ideas, collaborate, start meaningful conversations and to personally connect and communicate with others.
Always be kind and always put people first.
Are you maximising the 280-character limit? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Annette McDonald is a print, design, brand and advertising expert. She is an innovator who has changed the way the
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