What The New Twitter Content Length Rules Mean to Marketers

What The New Twitter Content Length Rules Mean to Marketers

By Sander Biehn | Oct 3, 2016

Sander Biehn is founder and CEO of Thought Horizon, LLC. After a successful career in sales at AT&T, he founded his company in 2013 helping organizations to build, manage and succeed using social selling.

Twitter has made a significant, if not subtle change to tweet length this month. This change is having a huge impact on how brands are marketing on Twitter. Don’t despair! Here’s everything you need to know:

What Changed?

Here’s the official story:

Starting September 19th, twitter gave exception to certain types of content that previously took up character space in the platform’s 140-character limit. Media attachments (images, GIFs, videos, polls, etc.) and quoted tweets will no longer reduce the count.

What Should Marketers Do About It?

1) Insert Media –With the payload tax removed for including media, there really isn’t any reason not to include media in every tweet. Even when casually tweeting or replying to others, be sure to minimally include a jpeg of your logo. There is absolutely no reason not to. Media tweets drive greater engagement and views, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of that. As your competition begins to grasp the significance of the Twitter changes, you can steal eyeballs and prospects with eye-popping images and videos.

2) Use Your Extra Characters Carefully – Now that Twitter has given a little elbow room on tweets with media, don’t blow it on more blah, blah. Continue to keep the messages short, but use more hashtags. Hashtags get you noticed and drive engagement with a relevant audience.  If you would have used just one hashtag under the old rules use the extra space to include two hashtags. Multiple hashtags can easily make a tweet super-important to a ready new prospect or buyer who is looking through all the clutter on Twitter.

3) Get Creative – The not-so-subtle message from Twitter is that you should use media when you post. The downstream effect of the change in character count is more media on Twitter feeds—much more. A crisp picture might have caught the eye of a Twitter browser the last year or two, but now the ante has been increased. You will need better and better images and multimedia to get the same amount of attention. You must use video, polls or other rich media in order to drive the same amount of engagement going forward.

4) Welcome To The New World of Speaking in Pictures – They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. But what is text worth when more and more messages are ‘spoken’ in pictures?  Think about how emoticons are dominating text and email messages these days. Research suggests that media communicates faster because it more quickly bonds to the emotional workings of the brain. And emotions are a shortcut for making complex decisions. Images appear to have an advantage over words when trying to relate a message to the brain. Enough said!

Whether or not you were leveraging media on Twitter before is now irrelevant. Twitter is forcing your hand with the new content rules. If you wish to keep your following and post interesting content you are darn well going to need media in your tweets from now on.

Get in touch with us today and get your Twitter Marketing Strategy oi place. 


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