Tweets may be sweet for influencers already, but these microblog posts are about to become even more viable for sharing messages and content thanks to new system updates.
Twitter announced in May that changes were on the way regarding how users met the 140-character limit. According to The Verge, those changes could arrive as soon as Sept. 19, and this has also been confirmed by Re/code.
So what do these changes look like, and how do they affect the way users—particularly brands and influencers—interact on Twitter? In short, brands can have more productive interactions with customers, and influencers working with brands now have more promotional opportunities at their fingertips. By changing its posting procedures, Twitter is putting more emphasis and value on the content of tweets.
Snapshot of updates
Images, GIFs, videos and user polls added to the end of tweets will no longer count toward the character limit.
Twitter handles at the beginning of direct replies will not be included in character limitations anymore either.
Users will have the ability to retweet or block quote their own tweets.
Although links to blog posts and articles will continue to be subjected to the 140-character maximum, there are still several benefits that Twitter’s updates will have on the influencer community.
Say more with visual aids
It’s no secret that images, GIFs and videos are eye-catching, but many Twitter users have been unable to use them in their tweets and still get across the message they wish to convey. In fact, a report published by Twitter showed that tweets with images get 313 percent better engagement than text-only tweets.
After speaking with one of our influencers, Kirsten Thompson of Sweet Tea and Saving Grace, several ideas came to mind. She said:
When the Twitter changes roll out, influencers will now be able to add these visual aids to their tweets without infringing on the 140-character limit. For brands, this means they can pitch products, share testimonials and answer questions posed by consumers with more words and better graphics.
Influencers can now further showcase their sponsored content in exciting new ways. Traditionally, influencers shared a few tweets, perhaps with an image if the character count allowed, linking to their sponsored blog post. They might tweet this a few times during the course of the promotion, and that was the end of it.
Now, influencers can offer brands a wonderful opportunity for Twitter-only promotions that include more beautiful images and even video tutorials using the brand’s products, while still providing enough information in the text of the tweet to share relevant information, hashtags and the brand’s user name.
Provide more information with replies
Another update to the Twitter character count means brands can now start a reply to a customer with the customer’s Twitter handle and still have 140 characters to share their message. This update, coupled with the fact that graphics will no longer count toward the 140 characters, means brands can now offer a solution to the customer’s problem and include a graphic or video to further explain.
This also opens the door for more exciting and visually appealing Twitter chats. Let’s say, for example, that a paint company hosts a Twitter chat to introduce a new line of paint to its consumers. Brands and influencers alike can reply directly to customers participating in the Twitter chat with plenty of information in text, plus beautiful visuals to further illustrate the quality of the paint product.
Quote yourself for double the characters
How often have you had to break up a tweet into two parts just to express your full message? With the new rollout, you will now be able to quote your own tweet without sacrificing tweet count.
How does that work? Simply type your first tweet as usual and post it. Then quote that first tweet and type up to 140 characters in your second tweet. Voila! Now you have 280 characters all right there in one tweet.
Brands and influencers alike can say more without readers having to search their profile for the first or second half of a tweet to get the full story. Quoted tweets also carry over any media files that were included in the original tweet, which adds even more content value.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said, “Generally, we want to make sure we’re encouraging a whole lot more conversations on Twitter,” and the company has done exactly that by supplying users with additional runway to craft messages.
Brands need to be taking advantage of these new updates and view them as opportunities to foster deeper relationships with potential and existing consumers.
Influencers can leverage Twitter’s changes by further engaging their communities and improving the quality of their tweets.
Holly Pavlika is senior vice president of marketing and content at influencer marketing provider Collective Bias.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.