The Pros And Cons Of Twitter #280 For Marketers
Many Twitter users were taken by surprise recently when Twitter announced that it was going to experiment with increasing the character limit to 280. Twitter, which is famous for its longstanding 140 character limit, experienced a decline in their U.S. user base when it hit 68 million users in July. As a result, Twitter needs more people to tweet — and they’re hoping that giving users more room to express themselves will encourage them to tweet more frequently.
Not everyone is excited for the change, however. Some users have come to value the 140 limit as a means to keep tweets creative and concise. Regardless of how you feel about this change, one thing is clear: marketing via twitter is in for some interesting changes.
Here are the pros and cons of Twitter #280 for marketers.
One of Twitter’s primary reasons for the change to the character limit is to attract more users. This is good news for marketers, because more users means more followers – and more followers means more potential customers. Furthermore, having more followers will result in more people seeing and sharing your content.
More Ad Space
Perhaps the single, best feature of this change is the change itself. Marketers now have twice the space to convey their message.
Now with 280 characters to work with, marketers have new freedoms to potentially revolutionize how Twitter is used. It’s hard to tell what we’re going to see exactly, but typically when creative people are given a larger canvas, amazing things are produced. For all we know, having the extra space is going to facilitate the next greatest slogan or ad that has everyone talking – which is exactly what marketers want.
Twitter is already extremely widespread; in fact, 83% of the 193 UN member countries have a Twitter presence. This means that the increased accessibility associated with the character limit increase can only help marketers trying to reach a wider audience.
With a higher character limit, it is now easier for marketers to utilize social media as they no longer need to worry about character limits inhibiting their sales message. Having a higher character limit means that it’s now easier than ever to thoroughly convey a message to followers from all corners of the world.
While having more users can be a good thing, it can also work against you. People are not going to follow you exclusively. Many users follow hundreds of other accounts; because of this, a pitfall of marketing on Twitter has always been getting lost in the mix. With more users creating content, it’s very likely that some people might not even see your material given the sheer volume of content associated with the increase in users.
More Resources Required to Create Content
Having a higher character limit will certainly allow marketers to share more content, but it also means that more time, effort, and money will probably need to go into the content you share. With 140 characters, marketers spent time coming up with witty but short material to share. Truly successful marketers are still going to need to maintain that same wit their Twitter followers have come to expect, but now they’re going to have twice the space to work with — which could complicate their efforts.
It’s estimated that on average, companies spend 20% of their total marketing budget on social media marketing. Of that, 35% is already being spent on Twitter. With longer tweets, marketers are going to have to reevaluate how much they’re allocating to Twitter and how much they’re spending on Twitter and social media marketing in general.
Longer, Boring Tweets
Being able to create longer tweets definitely allows marketers to say more, and it makes Twitter more accessible to novice users, but marketers must not assume that longer tweets will be just as interesting to readers as short ones. It will be easy to get in on Twitter marketing, but it will be more challenging and complicated than ever to master it with 280 characters. Having too many characters to work with can definitely be a problem when trying to keep your content interesting.
Potential Formatting Issues
In addition to losing the attention of viewers, longer tweets might also result in readers missing out on your messages altogether. If Twitter or a website sharing Twitter feeds were to implement a “click here to read more” system, many users might not bother clicking to read all of your content. With a 140-character tweet, your entire message was front and center without any further effort on the part of the user, but with a higher limit there’s the potential that some users won’t read everything that marketers have to say.
Many of the Twitterati elite view this change as unnecessary and possibly ruinous for the platform, while many of the more average Twitter users are welcoming the change with open arms. Only time will tell which side will win out.
Are you a social media marketer who frequently uses Twitter? What are your thoughts on the character limit expansion?
Article written by: AJ Agrawal