5 Tips for Telling your Story in 280 Characters

By: Hayli Goode
Mar 27, 2018

In November 2017, Twitter doubled its character count from 140 characters to 280. This increase in space allowed for more creativity, more thoughts and more run-on sentences within the app. It is, however, still a challenge for brands.

Companies and brands have more room to tell its’, or its product’s, story. At its face, more characters seem like a great opportunity. But with more characters, a brand has increased chances to derail the intent of their message/Tweet.

The objective is to harness the right person with the right message at the right time with the right tweet. If one “right” is wrong, marketing dollars are wasted. And though 280 is more than 140, it’s still limited.

We’re highlighting five tips to get your brand message across clearly and impactfully.

Pin the Most Important Tweet

Since 2015, Twitter has allowed users to “pin” a tweet. This allows that one tweet to appear at the very top of a user’s feed, offset from tweets shown in a chronological order. The capability has existed for a while, but few brands have taken advantage.

A pinned tweet allows your target audience to be immediately notified of a current sale or special your brand is running. It can introduce your company to a Tweeter that happened upon your page from a friend of a friend of a friend. Or continuously get engagement on your top performing tweet.

The process of pinning is simple:

  1. Find the tweet you would like to pin
  2. Next to the “View Tweet Activity” bar graph, click the three dots.
  3. Click “Pin.”
  4. As a final step, refresh your profile to make sure the pin appears at the top of your profile

Buffer reports pinned tweets provided a 10x increase in leads.

Make it Personal

If your brand has a dedicated social manager, or a dedicated team of social managers, introduce them to your followers.

When a user knows who is behind your strategy, they feel a more personal connection to your company, and to your product. Birchbox has done many live Instagram stories, which they reposted to Twitter, showing how products work.

Additionally, if a customer tweets an issue, when they know it’s a human responding to their problem, instead of a robot, they’re more likely to trust their problem will get resolved.

While it’s important and you need to show your work, product or brand on your social channels, don’t stop there. A little transparency could build a relationship between you and your user that a simple case study could not forge.

Threads

Two hundred and eighty characters is more than 140. However, it is still a limited number and, sometimes, it’s still not enough. Thankfully, Twitter invented threads.

Promotions and coupons aren’t always as easy as “click this!” Occasionally, an explanation is needed. Threads allow brands to show a step-by-step process to getting a promotion, or how to use a certain product.

In 2017 and in the start of 2018, we have seen many brands share their political and social beliefs. They have shared their stance on current events and have been transparent about any changes in their business due to a new political climate. Threads have allowed brands to fully explain their point of view without having to limit their thoughts and words. And when a thread has produced a lot of attention, they’re easy to share. A user can click on any part of the thread and quote the tweet. When that happens, that specific tweet won’t get shared, but the whole thread is quoted.

Have a Start and an End

Much like any other form of storytelling, a tweet telling your brands story, POV, mission, etc. must have a start and an end. Repeating a thought, or sharing only one, unfinished thought, appears unprofessional and disingenuous. If you don’t care enough to read through a tweet, it appears as if you don’t care enough about your readers.

Share your point of view, but then explain how you got there. Share how you practice this mission within your business. And share your mantra.

Granted, you have limited space. Be short and confident with your thoughts.

Know Who’s Reading

Just like you would do a dive of any client’s social media, dive into your own social accounts. Know who is following you, and who else they are following. By understanding your audience completely, you’ll know the type of content he or she enjoys reading and engaging.

Knowing your audience also sets the tone for your channel. Of course, you shouldn’t only share words on Twitter. Use the app to its fullest by sharing GIFs, videos, images and/or threads. But if your users don’t play videos on social mediums, don’t waste marketing dollars creating them. Or, if they’re more visual than readers, limit your threads and increase your photography.

Twitter, in its most general form, does not have a long shelf life. You have less than 5 seconds to attract the attention of your target audience, or potential customers. Use the limited space to your advantage. 

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