Much has been said in the digital world about the new character limit available for Twitter. The previous limit of 140 characters has doubled and now users can include up to 280 characters in their tweets. This doubling of Tweet length has sent the internet into a tailspin and so much has been written and talked about with regards to the new limit. Some are heavily critical of the change, expressing a view that it erases what was so special and unique about Twitter in the first place, namely that users were forced to be as succinct as possible in their thoughts and opinions, setting Twitter aside as unique to other Social Media platforms, in that sense. For brands, however, the change could signal some great opportunities.
It’s a time saver
Despite the larger character allowance on offer, tests have shown that users, in fact, spend less time composing their tweets, when they are afforded more characters. In the old days, having a tight restriction on character limits, meant that users had to do a lot of redrafting and editing to ensure that their tweets expressed their viewpoints in the shortest snappiest ways. Now they can reel off their sentiments with less pressure to conform to a smaller character limit, which actually takes less thought, thus saving time. The new format is less restrictive and requires less editing. Marketers can send out their news, offers, and deals via Twitter quicker and more frequently with the 120 character limit lifted.
Social Engagement increases
What is also interesting about the new character limit is that it seems to be increasing levels of engagement for brands. Marketers are more inclined to tweet in general, as the new format offers more room for expression and more space to get your point across. Longer tweets are proving more popular in general and retweets and likes are increasing, along with the number of followers that are generated on the back of the tweets. Yes, marketers are spending less time composing tweets, but they are spending more time on Twitter tweeting now they can get across more detailed messaging. This, however, is time well spent if they are able to engage their followers.
Managing complaints will improve
One of the huge drawbacks of the old Twitter format was that when engaging with your followers, you were not afforded the number of characters necessary to assist your customers with their queries and complaints. You simply did not have available to you the number of characters needed to effectively convey feelings of sympathy and understanding to disgruntled customers. Thus your ability to manage your customers and supply them with the right amount of help in response to bad experiences was diminished. Your reputation as a tentative caring brand will improve under the new Twitter model, as you are now able to respond in more detail to your customers and handle their complaints in a more thorough way, from your initial responses to final statements. Consumers rate brands highly if they respond quickly and effectively to their complaints and competent complaint handling is a great way to turn a negative into a positive.
Transparency will rise
Brand trust is dependent on transparency. For customers to trust you and buy not just your products but your image and your ethos, you must convince them that you are straightforward, legitimate and honest. Through clear and open communications you can achieve this. The new Twitter character limit allows you to include more details and more openness in your communications. Crypticness is no longer needed to get the character countdown. You can say what you really think.
The new expanded Twitter format will allow marketers to get their points across in more detail, more transparency, and more honesty. Therefor there is a bigger opportunity for diligent complaint handling and more room to truly get across who you are as a brand and what you are offering, so you can have your voice heard in the crowded Twitter-sphere.