Many social media platforms do not persist on the market very long, but there are some social networks that have been running successfully for years. One of these global players is the online news and networking service Twitter. Recently, Twitter was in the headlines because of a new feature. In November 2017, Twitter doubled its famous character count from 140 to 280 characters. But how far-reaching are the changes from the perspective of companies and how can Twitter be used as a marketing tool in general?

Basic facts
The online news and networking service Twitter launched on March 5, 2006 under the name “twttr”. The founders Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Noah Glass und Biz Stone wanted to communicate news in a brief and clear way.

Today, the portal with the famous logo is well known. With the corporate mascot Larry the Bird, the light blue color and the maximum post limit of 140 characters, the social media platform established itself worldwide.

Terms such as “tweeting“, the writing of tweets, or “following“, the possibility to follow other users, have become part of everyday language for many of us. Especially the “hashtag“, a keyword marked by the hash symbol that links a tweet to a specific topic, has spread in the social media world and is now also used by social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Twitter doubles character count
In the company’s 10-year history, Twitter stayed true to the rule “No tweets over 140 characters”. However, in November 2017, the news service introduced a maximum limit of 280 characters per tweet, moving away from one of its trademarks. Twitter explained that the new limit is based on the fact that with the change, fewer people will reach the text size maximum, and that this improves the user experience. The reactions to this essential change were mixed. Some critical voices said that Twitter is giving up a part of its brand identity. From a company’s point of view, the question is how the new limit changes the previous communication on Twitter and how companies can use the marketing instrument in the best way possible.

Marketing on Twitter
According to a recent study, 67 percent of respondents say that Twitter is more effective than Facebook (55 %). However, Twitter is less well known for companies in terms of banners and ads, because advertisement possibilities are not fully developed compared to other social media platforms. Instead, Twitter is used to share photos and advertising videos or to integrate external links that lead to their own pages. Companies can use Twitter to inform followers about events, product launches and other announcements. Through comments and retweets, information can be disseminated quickly to a large number of people. Especially tweets in English reach target groups worldwide.

The possibility of using twice as many characters as before allows longer messages to be placed on the account. Longer texts which take more space can stand out from shorter tweets. This increases the chances of being noticed by others. Companies can also use the enlarged number of characters to explain their messages in further detail. This can be particularly useful for products that require explanation.

The advertisement possibilities of Twitter are still in their early stages, but this is exactly where companies can become even more active themselves. Twitter stands out with its speed and the ability to pass on information in a quick way and involves the user in a direct interaction, making it one of the largest social media platforms worldwide. All in all, posts with the new limit can be presented even more clearly which will be helpful for passionate ad writers in marketing.

– This article was written by Melanie Kehl, Marketing Assistant at HBI

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