280 Characters: Proceed with Caution

We all know the struggle when you think you finally have the perfect tweet, but you’re just 1 or 2 characters over the limit. Those moments make social media managers everywhere excited about the new 280 character limit. It means we all have a bit more freedom, and that’s worth celebrating.

But it doesn’t mean we have to always take advantage of 280 characters.

Our team works with over a dozen clients to create and execute social media strategies. When it comes to our clients, no strategy is the same. That said, we have been able to use the collective data (thanks, Sprout Social!) of our accounts to develop some key takeaways when it comes to length of tweets.

Old rules still apply, and less is more.

Across the board, we are finding that less is more when it comes to tweets. Even when we only had 140 characters, we still aimed for an ideal length that is closer to 100 characters in order to grab our audience’s attention. Clear and concise messages go a long way on a platform that moves so quickly. It’s reported that tweets with 100 characters get 17% higher engagement rates.

Don’t throw a Hashtag party.

Does the new character limit mean we just add more hashtags? No, not necessarily. There is plenty of research around the number of hashtags used impacting engagement too. Our advice, stick with 1-3 for now. Bonus read from Track Maven.

Use the expanded character count wisely.

In just a few days we’ve leaved already found a few good uses of the expanded character count:

  • 240 characters is great for spelling out contest details and rules.
  • More room is great for longer impactful quotes that we’re often sharing via Twitter, allowing for that tweet content to be more searchable. This is great for trending topics.

  • Adding one or two additional hashtags to help the increase the reach of your tweet.
  • Ability to tag more Twitter handles within the tweet copy instead of the photo.

Maroon PR Tip: Use word to help you with character count when writing out tweets! And, to help you with spell check. With more characters comes more opportunity to typos.

In summary, our social media team appreciates the expanded character count now available in Twitter. But we advise you to proceed with caution.