Your Brand Has 280 Characters, Now What?In Trends
Twitter recently dropped a bomb on its users with the official introduction of 280 characters (double the standard 140) which has been the talk of the town. Should your brand be jumping on this expansion of characters in your every tweet? This week we spoke to some Afrillennials who did not hold back.
The “bitly” Dilemma
Noted: Many brands struggle to fit their messaging into 140 characters and end up cutting some key or emotive words that help explain the tone of their tweets -add to that a link and your tweet is way over the 140-word limit.
Sites like bitly, Google, Shortlink and Owly have tried to find a solution to this problem by cutting out the characters in website links, which only solved the problem partially. For any brand, 280 characters may seem like the saving grace you needed, right? Wrong!
Mzwandile Khumalo, DUT Medical Student, 25: “I tolerated brands on social media because the messages were limited to 140 characters and never got tedious no matter how many brands I followed. With the additional 140 characters: I will unfollow at least half the brands I already follow to avoid them from flooding my Timeline.”
280 Characters: A Limit, Not Target
Arguably, its brevity is one of the main reasons that twitter gained its popularity with the youth. The platform positioned itself as a ‘straight to the point’ micro blog where brands had the opportunity to promote their products without taking up too much of the reader’s time.
Katlego Pilusa, Social Media Manager, 26: “For anyone who manages social media channels, this is a clear victory as now we will have more room to express the personality of our brands without a 140 character limit. That said, brands need to be very strategic about how they use these extra characters and at all costs avoid unnecessary & lengthy tweets.”
It’s now, more than ever, important for digital marketers to pay special attention to their twitter copy, for these of two reasons:
- To avoid repetition and overemphasis: Stick to a clear message and use the additional characters (where needed) to make one clear point and not repeat your message just to reach the 280 characters.
- To have one clear objective(s): With more characters it’s easy to get into the trap of demanding more than one call to action in a tweet which may easily confuse your audience.
Will You Double Up?
Whether for or against this recent development, you can’t take away from the fact that Twitter has taken some major strides to make its platform more user friendly, particularly where brands are concerned. In 2017 alone, Twitter has removed photos, videos, and, most notably replies from being counted against the 140 character limit. This has given brands more creative room when running their various campaigns.
This new change will undoubtedly enhance the Marketer’s experience of the platform, even more, if they consider the two points above, but heed the warning: 280 characters may not necessarily fit the style of every brand and that’s where we come in as Youth marketing experts!
Still sitting on the fence about the 280-character shift? Let us handle your next social media campaigns and get your brand top of mind in the youth space without blowing up their timelines unnecessarily.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or simply call 011 885 3918.