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Twitter Does a 280 for B2B Sellers

By Sander Biehn | Nov 29, 2017

Without too much fanfare, Twitter doubled the size of its messages this past autumn from 140 characters to 280.  Why is anyone’s guess. Perhaps they want to better compete with Facebook? Or maybe they are trying to keep more of the dialog on the Twitter platform?  Whatever the reason, some key advantages for social sellers are a major byproduct of the 280 change.

I don’t intend to spend much time on it, but the move to 280 came around the same time Twitter was taking heat for so-called “electioneering.” US Senate hearings on the use of Twitter and other social media for endorsing candidates has put Twitter in an unwanted spotlight. The notion that giving users more time to explain their ideas on the platform may reduce ambiguity around the messages sent and will also allow full expression of ideas without directing readers to other websites where they can read all the details. Perhaps the move to 280 will have a benefit to the general public.

In any event, it should leave social sellers smiling. Here’s how the move to 280 should help with social selling right now:

1) Elbow Room: Have you ever wished for one more character on Twitter? Just one more lousy character and you could get your idea across so clearly and cleverly. Well, now you have it. That doesn’t mean every post should go to 280. On the contrary, my personal goal is to keep most posts 140 or shorter. Brevity is still the heart and soul of engaging busy business people. However, now when I need a little more room I have it on tap.

2) Keeping Posts on LinkedIn and Twitter Consistent with Each Other: One thing that has always bugged me is how to best post the same content on both LinkedIn and Twitter. I use the platforms differently for social selling, but I often want to promote the same articles and ideas. Converting an idea from long to short can require a full rewrite.Going the other direction from short to long, shortcuts like the use of a “&” and other abbreviations requires more revisions to expand them in a LinkedIn post. That all goes away with the 280. With 280 characters the length becomes similar to that of a native LinkedIn social posting.

3) Keep the Dialog on the Twitter Platform: While pointing buyers to cool news articles is a great way to create thought leadership, it requires a leap of faith. After all, you are sending your prospects to someone else’s website and they may not even remember your name after they jettison from Twitter to ‘read more.’ Alternatively, you could post only your own content online, but becoming an insufferable loudmouth may be a consequence.  What’s a social seller to do? 280 may just give you the room to summarize the 3rd party news article in such a way that further reading may not be needed.

Social sellers rejoice! 280 could be the saving grace that makes engaging prospects easier than it is today. Time to get behind it and unleash some new social selling moves.


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