Embrace the New Twitter: How to Use 280 Characters

Twitter made headlines with the announcement that some users will be able to post statuses up to 280 characters. If you have ever struggled with the platform’s brevity, here’s a closer look at making the most of Twitter’s new, longer character limits.

Go deeper into your story: Twitter is an effective platform for sharing excerpts, sound bites, statistics, and key takeaways. With 280 characters, go a bit deeper into the story you’re sharing. Find a way to entice your readers with at least two of the “who/what/when/where/why” leads in a single tweet, and increase the chance that readers will click through to learn more.

Tweet out link roundups: Until now, with 140 characters, most tweets that include a link featured that URL as the call to action. With 280 characters, it’s possible to tweet out multiple links. For example, if you are announcing multiple new projects, this format would allow you to group several links together. It can also be a great format to share your curated content or new posts that you’ve made with link roundups.

Feature a Q&A: More space makes it possible to feature a thought and reaction in a single tweet. Some options include:

  • A question and answer
  • A breaking news item and an update
  • The same thought in two languages targeting your audience

Get visual: With additional character space, you can enliven your tweets with images. For example, instead of just including a photograph, look at the potential to include emoji. Some brands are using custom emoji or having fun with combinations of emoji, emoji patterns, and other visual effects that would never be possible within a 140-character limit without dramatically reducing the space you have available for your key messages.

Have fun with formats: Depending on your brand image, it’s possible to embrace different formats, such as short list posts, using the character limit to create visual imagery with your word choices, spacing, and more. Experimenting with different post formats can help you make the most of 280 characters and have a little fun along the way.

Even with 280 characters, Twitter will continue to be a network where clever brevity shines. Yet, with a bit more space, you can deviate from your standard tweet formats, go deeper into the stories you’re trying to tell, and develop a whole new approach to how you communicate on the platform. With more space, you’ll be able to get creative, bring your brand voice forward, and forge a stronger connection with your audience.