Twitter news this week was somewhat shocking: the folks at there are considering removing the 140 character limitation from the social media platform. I think this is a horrible idea and will ruin Twitter in terms of both social purposes and marketing purposes.
Force People to Click to Websites
The best part about Twitter, in my personal view, is that if done correctly, great tweets force people to click to the link posted. Twitter is, in its basic model, a news aggregation site. You follow people, brands, and businesses to get information about them, their products, their likes, and their passions. When only given a tiny snippet of info, if done as a “tease”, the people who follow will click the link. Where does that link go? Either your own website or a website of a news organization or a brand you then start to learn more about and, possibly start to follow.
Too Much Information…Why Bother Clicking?
If tweets are now going to be long opines, why click to a website to read more, learn more, get lost in and learn more about the subject, the product or the person? Brevity is important in marketing messages. There’s a reason commercials that do best are less than a minute. There’s a reason billboards with less words are better. There’s a reason images do better than words. If you give everything in one post, why bother going to your website? Understandably, Twitter has seen huge numbers with embedded photos and tweets with those do get more clicks…but those clicks lead to websites where purchase might be made.
Twitter as a Marketing Tool
I tell our clients that Twitter is the best tool to make them experts in the industry/product they are selling and to get people to come to their website and, hopefully, get “lost” in it and, possibly, make a purchase…if that’s the goal of the website. I don’t buy the idea that marketers can expand their content creation and help efforts with more text nor the idea that customer service will improve. You could always and should always take customer service issues off the main feed and into private messaging or emails. As for researching and gaining insight into your audience, we can do that now without 10,000 characters.
Please, Twitter…don’t become Facebook.