Proposed updates to Twitter remind us change is good and “content is [still] king”

By Kaitlyn Hyde on May 19th, 2016

During the 10 years since the first tweet was fired in 2006, Twitter has seen an array of changes―updated logos and branding, enhanced analytics capabilities and an improved user interface, to name a few. One constant during this time has been the character limit for each Tweet. Set to a 140-character maximum, tweets have the same limit of a standard mobile text message, which prior to the advent of smartphones, enabled on-the-go users to tweet by text.

This constant may be changing… and soon. Mid-May, Bloomberg reported Twitter will soon stop counting links and images within users’ 140-character limits, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

As any content marketer knows, this proposed change will expand our current capabilities with the platform because we’ll be able to say more with less. Not only would users have more characters to express a message, freed by each link’s 23 characters, they can (and should) also incorporate images and hyperlinks to refine and further express that message. This change could be announced and implemented within the next two weeks, according to Bloomberg’s source.

In the meantime, here are some recommendations to consider for enhancing your presence on Twitter, especially in the B2B market:

  • Visual content is king. Images and videos have been proven to increase user engagement. A recent A/B test from Buffer found tweets with images received 150 percent more retweets than tweets without images. If images and other content are not a part of your strategy, they should be, especially if their characters may no longer count against you. For best results, share images cropped to Twitter’s default size: 1,024 pixels wide by 512 pixels tall.
  • Keep it organized. A social media content calendar is a valuable tool for ensuring content is leveraged across all channels appropriately and effectively. It’s also a great way to align efforts with announcements, events and campaigns―without missing an important date. Learn more about developing your own social media content calendar here.
  • Interaction is key. Twitter is the second most-used social media platform for B2B users (LinkedIn is No.1). Meet these B2B users where they are by monitoring conversations among key industry influencers, target audiences and media contacts. Respond reactively and interact proactively.
  • Monitor for success. By monitoring your social media efforts, you can draw distinct insights about your target audience, the content they best engage with, the times they are more likely to interact and more. Determine key metrics to monitor such as account growth, retweets and mentions. Challenge yourself to set SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely) goals, and measure your success on a monthly and quarterly basis. For an extra boost, leverage social media monitoring tools on a daily basis to track conversations and glean useful insights to drive your approach in real-time. 

What do you think about Twitter’s proposed changes to its character count limits? Share your thoughts, along with any other best practices you’d recommend below.

Read our whitepaper for best practices on leveraging social media in a B2B setting.

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