Twitter 280 Character Limit Means for Brands
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Content Radar: What Twitter’s 280-Character Limit Means for Brands

As the year nears to its end, content marketers who are looking to finish up with a strong fourth quarter need to keep up with every tool, adjustment, and tactic. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. Take a look at some of the top news and updates that will keep you at the top of your game.

Content Radar

Nobody on Twitter knows what to do with their 280 characters

When Twitter released its new toy, er, update last week allowing all Twitter users to send tweets up to 280 characters long, content marketers were thrown into a state of confusion/elation/anticipation as they began to consider how—or if—they should take advantage of the new feature.

If you haven’t yet determined how your brand will take advantage of the longer tweets, you’re not alone. Prior surveys showed that the optimal length of a tweet was 100 characters—a full 40 characters short of the prior 140-character limit. The new character limit could breath new life into the social channel—or it could become an annoyance. Here are a few items you should consider as you determine if you should adjust your Twitter strategy:

Brevity is the soul of wit

In Twitter’s “Best Practices” guide, the company says it best:

“Creativity loves constraints and simplicity is at our core. Tweets are limited to 140 characters so they can be consumed easily anywhere, even via mobile text messages. 

So, did Twitter change its mind? Or is there better data to support that people will engage more with longer tweets? Time will tell, but for the moment, making drastic changes with your Twitter content might not be the best strategy. Dip your toes into the 280-character water—don’t do a cannonball.

Twitter 280 Character Limit Means for Brands

Consider what you would do with 280 characters

Before you start sending out 280-character tweets, it is best to first consider what you want to share. According to Michael Galfetti, project assistant at APCO Worldwide, certain types of content might lend themselves to long tweets better than others.

“The best time to use 280 characters is when you have a complicated point to make,” Galfetti said. “So, if you’re an energy company and you’re developing a new technology, use that space to explain what you’re doing . . . and I’ve seen some journalists use 280 characters in really interesting ways that allow them to contextualize events with history and I think those are all positive developments.”

As is evidenced by this list of the top 280-character tweets so far, most brands and individuals have no idea what they are doing.

Twitter 280 Character Limit Means for Brands

Twitter may not be worth the increased effort

It’s clear that by making tweets longer, Twitter is trying to breath new life into the social channel. The question you need to ask yourself is if it is worth the effort for you to further devote time and resources. It’s no secret that the channel has had its share of troubles recently.

Futurist Gary Vaynerchuk commented on Twitter’s woes regarding slowed growth and online abuse earlier this year on his AskGaryVee YouTube show.

“I am so intrigued by seeing what’s going to happen, but I think Twitter is dealing with what they’re dealing with,” Vaynerchuk said. “My ultimate thoughts are it’s getting what it deserves. They didn’t ideate the product for a long period of time and they’re paying the price.”

You should also ask yourself if you are getting the engagement from Twitter that you had hoped for? If you aren’t seeing an ROI with 140 characters, what makes you believe 280 characters is going to make things better?

Twitter 280 Character Limit Means for Brands

Content Radar

Adobe is seeking to prove that the automated ad buying and publishing process is now here, and it is using a fully programmatic ad campaign to illustrate this. Adobe hopes this campaign proves to advertisers and content creators that programmatic has matured in recent years.

Content Radar

Digital media time is becoming more fragmented, according to a recent study released by Verto Analytics. The report details that the amount of time people spend with digital media has stabilized, but during these digital media sessions individuals are visiting more sites and apps than they once did.

Content Radar

Twitter’s new “Promote Mode” allows brands and individuals to amplify reach of their tweets for $99 per month. Promote Mode is said to be especially effective for brands with fewer than 2,000 followers. Paying the $99 per month will allow account owners to get up to 10 tweets per day in front of an audience that does not already follow the brand.

Content Radar

Instagram is testing a new feature that allows users to follow hashtags. The feature—which has not yet been officially rolled out (or announced, for that matter) could prove to be a beneficial tool for brands that are trying to keep track of the different ways their products or other related terms are spoken about in the app.

Chad Buleen

About Chad

Chad Buleen is an award-winning journalist, the manager of social messaging for a large international nonprofit, a digital media enthusiast and father of four. Follow him on Twitter .

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