Though the world of social media marketing is ever-changing, no other social network has rewritten the rulebook on brand engagement quite like Twitter. By enabling companies to have a direct line of communication with their followers, Twitter has provided the ideal medium for perfecting your “brand voice” and learning about consumers’ interests in real-time.
Since its 2006 debut, Twitter was set apart by a 140 character limit — originally a product of the days of SMS messaging. While once a mainstay of the platform, in November of 2017 the company updated this feature, allowing users 280 characters to broadcast their thoughts.
After once forcing marketers to pare down their messaging, Twitter is once again changing the way brands communicate. If you’re unsure what to do with your newfound space, read on to see how the biggest brands are capitalizing on the change.
1. Participating in Trends
Netflix shows that would be significantly improved if the main characters had to battle a #JurassicWorld exploding island:
John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid
A Christmas Prince
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 8, 2017
A leader in the household entertainment space, Netflix has amassed a following of over four million movie enthusiasts. Though Jurassic World isn’t on the lineup of Netflix’s original content, their marketing team didn’t let that stop them from jumping on a trending hashtag and seamlessly integrating it with a promotion of their own programs.
The expanded character limit makes it possible for brands to market their content offerings in ways that don’t feel like ads, so they are able to appeal to their followers without directly selling to them.
2. Spreading Knowledge
Mars may be named for the god of war, but these weird things aren't cannonballs. They're pebbles.
The round 5mm concretion I found (L) contains calcium sulfate, sodium + magnesium, making it different from the hematite-rich "blueberries" (R) @MarsRovers Opportunity found. Cool! pic.twitter.com/BDWwrOv02l
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) December 5, 2017
The Curiosity Rover wasn’t just groundbreaking in its mission — it also quickly captured the heart of 3.5 million followers with its extra-terrestrial selfies. With the doubling of the character limit, the Rover’s updates have become more informative and educational, rekindling the public’s fascination with space travel.
Even if a brand is not attempting scientific explanations, the ability to convey long-form information is a useful tool. Companies are now able to explain industry terms or lingo, allowing brands to seamlessly step into a thought-leadership role and take an informative tone with their followers.
3. Formatted Promotions
Dogs everywhere LOVE our book!
•some of our all time greatest posts
•150+ never before seen pups
•a dogtionary in the back
Get it in stores or right here:https://t.co/hTtoGptZHg pic.twitter.com/y2wyvOZG6W
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) December 3, 2017
A result of strict character limits, tweets including a call to action or product feature were once synonymous with poor grammar and messy abbreviations. Without sufficient space, brands were unable to convey the value of what they were promoting — a digital marketer’s nightmare. With the introduction of 280 characters, brands are able to feature products using organized posts, allowing them to drive engagement while still maintaining brand standards.
4. Embellishing Timelines
. * .
* . ️ . ✨ *
Thanks @Twitter, we can
always use more space
. . .
. * *
— NASA Goddard (@NASAGoddard) November 8, 2017
Originally launched only to select users, the expansion to 280 characters for all was a highly-anticipated event. Companies capitalized on the news by announcing the moment their accounts got upgraded, resulting in a stream of near-identical tweets from many major brands. NASA stood out from the crowd with their on-theme quip, adding visual interest to their followers’ timelines and setting an example for creative emoji-use by marketers everywhere.
Working emojis into a post is not foreign territory for marketers, but the possibilities have certainly expanded. Using visual interest is a great way to make posts stand out from a sea of text, and creative content is often the most shared. While NASA used emojis inspired by the solar system, the expansive emoji catalogue should allow for any brand to find something related to their message.
5. Team Engagement
Bruce Bochy's 2018 Staff:
Hensley Meulens – Bench Coach
Curt Young – Pitching Coach
Alonzo Powell – Hitting Coach
Ron Wotus – 3rd Base Coach@Agui13Jose – 1st Base Coach
Matt Herges – Bullpen Coach
Rick Schu – Assistant Hitting Coach
Shawon Dunston – ML Staff/Replay Analyst
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) November 9, 2017
The world of sports has benefited tremendously from the ability to convey real-time information, and teams now share everything from play-by-plays to major press releases via Twitter. Where they once would have implored followers to click an external link to get this update, the San Francisco Giants allow their followers to see and discuss the updated coaching staff without ever changing screens. Getting more information into the hands of the fans allows for increased engagement, even in the offseason.
Social media has revolutionized the marketing industry by changing the definition of what it means to connect with consumers. When the platforms marketers rely on make a major change, teams are given new opportunities to innovate and improve their strategy — leading to more creativity for all.
What are some of the creative ways you’ve seen brands using 280-character tweets? Let us know in the comments.
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