When Twitter expanded from 140 characters to 280 last year, it seemed like the handcuffs were finally taken off social media users. Now, with double the word property, they could truly say everything that’s on their minds, for better or worse. The President is free to expand on his “disagreements” with the media and political opponents, while his detractors could now further their well-thought out rebuttals with a few more colorful, choice words. And fanboys could expound on their theories of the true meaning of the end of Avengers: Infinity War (SPOILER: they all will be back). But is having more to say actually more effective?
THE SHORT AND SWEET TWEET
In an instant gratification society, where social media is long on information and short on attention, do people really want to spend more time reading longer tweets? Are you doing your message a disservice by putting too much information out there? According to Buddy Media and Track Social, a study on 100 well-known brands on Twitter found out that tweets with 71-100 characters are shared more. Also, tweets with less than 100 characters were 17% more likely to engage readers than tweets with more than 100.
It would appear a short-and-sweet tweet performs stronger than longer ones. When there are hundreds of tweets right behind yours, you don’t want to have your followers pass you by.
While shorter tweets can spark shares, well-placed hashtags will enhance engagement even more. Hashtags can be a powerful marketing tool and can help you reach your target audience by tapping into relevant conversations on Twitter. Social movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp gained huge followings through the power of hashtags. With celebrities and influencers jumping on board, the movements gained global awareness and helped bring attention to serious issues.
But even non-viral hashtags can attract attention of people who are not part of your following. Before attaching hashtags to your tweets, conduct a search to make sure they are used regularly and by the people you are looking to attract.
Again, less is more. Many experts believe that too many or too long hashtags make things harder to find and engage. And sometimes they can just be annoying, as demonstrated in this hilarious video with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake:
To get the most out of your tweets and your social media use, make sure to get your readers interested immediately. A short, clever post is more likely to bring them in then a long, incoherent (most likely with a plethora of spelling mistakes) rant. A word of advice, don’t clickbait them. We’ve all seen the shocking headlines that tell you “You won’t believe what happened next.” This may grab your reader in once or twice, but you will quickly lose good faith and find yourself in social media purgatory.