Double the Twitter Characters, Double the Twitter Power

It’s official, Twitter has doubled its character limit! Now, instead of having to confine your thoughts to the classic 140 characters, users have room to stretch their verbal legs with tweets of up to 280 characters.

The social media platform announced the change and test rollout back in September, and we were so excited to hear the news. While we still appreciate the value of keeping tweets brief and easily-readable, the freedom to expand beyond the former limits makes Twitter feel like a whole new social media experience.

Many users have grown so used to 140 characters that they may not even know how to use all that extra space! We have a few ideas for you…

280 characters for full-length words

If you’re a veteran of the 140 character tweet, then you know a thing or two about using abbreviations and shorthand to save space. But there’s good news for the people who cringe a little every time they have to replace “you” with “u”: w/ with a longer character count, u you dn’t don’t have 2 to abbrv. abbreviate all ur your words!

Today, Twitter users can feel free to sprinkle their tweets with words such as “approximately,” “tonight,” or “Massachusetts” without worrying about running into the character limit. You might even decide to go nuts and throw an “as soon as possible” in there! Give it a try, and enjoy the taste of freedom.

280 characters to tell a story

Telling about exciting events in your agency or great moments shared with clients is a wonderful use of your social media. It’s also a lot easier with a larger character limit.

Are you rolling out a new product this month? Has your agency recently participated in a charity event? Did you get a holiday card from an appreciative client? Don’t just post the picture–tell the story behind it, as well. Extra characters give you room to provide more detail.

Travel-themed posts can also tell a great story about how your agency works. We know that many agents travel at least once or twice a year to attend conferences and other industry events. When you post a picture of your view from the plane, use the extra tweet space to reflect on your expectations for the trip. If you share a photo of your to-go cup of coffee, talk about the other insurance professionals with whom you’re sharing your coffee break. Armed with more space to give detail, paint a picture for your followers of your trip and how it helps your agency achieve its goals.

What are some of the stories you might tell in a tweet?

280 characters for more hashtags

Hashtags are an extremely useful tool for your tweets. When used properly, they can expand your organic reach, improve engagement, and make your tweets easier to find.

While it’s typically best to restrict your hashtag use to two or three hashtags per tweet, certain situation may call for using a few extra hashtags. Additionally, some trending hashtags can be really long (looking at you, #SongsAboutDisappointingGifts). With a longer character count, you don’t have to skip or choose between the hashtags you want to use. Now you have room to include everything you need to.

280 characters for emoji displays

If you love emoji (we sure do!), it’s time to get creative using them. More character space means more room to use emojis. Some accounts are already jumping in on the action. NASA celebrated Twitter’s new rollout with a beautiful space-themed tweet:

And this Emoji Stories account created a special display just for Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

Can you think of any fun, creative uses for emoji?

280 characters for education

Insurance agents deal with some complicated concepts. Sometimes these can be difficult to define or explain to a client–forget about containing it to 140 characters! But you have to start somewhere. After all, half the point of having social media as an insurance agent is to provide your clients and prospects with the right knowledge, so that they can become informed insurance consumers.

With 280 characters, educating your followers is a lot easier. Now you can share complete facts and tips without leaving out vital info. As an example, check out what we did recently for our 12 Social Media Tips of Christmas campaign:

280 characters to tag more people

Have you ever tried quoting someone on Twitter, but run out of space to tag them? Or perhaps you’ve tried to tag multiple people from an event, but you didn’t have room to include everyone? Many Twitter users have run into this problem in the past. Now, with 280 characters to include more tags, no one needs to be left out.

Tag agencies you attended a conference with. Tag employees who participated in your agency’s annual chili cookoff. Or tag industry influencers when you share their content. More room means more connections with the people who matter to your business.

280 characters for creating lists

More characters can mean more expansion vertically, as well. Creating lists is a great way to use the extra space.

Next time you want to post a tip, consider posting a list of tips instead. You could also share a list of documents that clients may need when filing a claim, a list of your top lines of coverage, or a list of movie characters who really need good car insurance (ahem Vin Diesel ahem). Be creative and have fun. What list ideas can you come up with?

The possibilities for using more Twitter space are pretty amazing. We’ve already seen businesses make good use of it. Have you taken advantage of 280 characters yet?

–By Mallory DuPuy


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