How will Twitter’s new 280 character limit affect your Twitter stats?

5 min read

Attention all social media managers, marketing professionals, business owners, and anybody else who checks their Twitter stats on a daily basis: have you heard?

Twitter has just increased their character limit from 140 to 280 characters!

How will Twitter's new 280 character limit affect your Twitter stats?

It’s in beta phase now and the increased character limit is currently only available to a small group, but once it’s official, it’s going to be a game-changer.

Especially for all of us those of us who use hashtags in our marketing campaigns.

Some of the questions concerning Twitter stats that Twitter’s latest change raises:

  • Will the character limit increase also spark an increase in the overall number of Twitter users?
  • Thereby increasing the number of people who view our marketing campaign hashtags and the content associated with it?
  • Does this mean that our hashtags will be used more often?
  • Will Twitter audiences expect different kinds of tweets now?
  • Will this change the way that the Twitter-sphere engages with our hashtag marketing campaigns?
  • How can I keep track of all these Twitter stats?
  • How will I know if longer vs shorter tweets are generating more buzz for my hashtag marketing campaign?
  • How do I know if Twitter’s 280 character limit increase has any impact on their number of users (i.e., the number of people on Twitter who can potentially view and engage with my hashtag campaign)?

Not to panic. Change is coming, but it doesn’t mean that chaos is following, too.

We’re all curious about how this development in Twitter will affect the Twitter-sphere. And since the increased character limit isn’t available to everybody yet, it’s the perfect time to start monitoring your Twitter activity now so that you’ll have complete data to compare with after the big change has been implemented.

How Twitter’s change will affect your Twitter stats

How Twitter's change will affect your Twitter stats

The only way to know how your Twitter stats will be affected is by monitoring your Twitter activity, such as your hashtag marketing campaigns, both before and after the change.

(Twitter announced the change on Sep. 26th. See their changes in buzz level: before, during, and after? And it looks like most people have been pretty happy about it.)

Monitoring your current Twitter stats is also exactly what will prepare you to deal with any potential changes.

Hashtags are pretty much the child of Twitter. (Or is it the other way around?). They’re also indispensable for tracking the reach and success of your marketing campaign.

What is a marketing campaign without a hashtag?

Two words: not (really) measurable.

To truly get a feel for how Twitter’s big change is going to change your Twitter stats and get answers to the questions above (among others), stay on top of the game and track your hashtags on Twitter now.

The most efficient way to do that?

Social listening.

What is social listening?

What is social listening

Social listening* is the practice of monitoring on-line conversations for mentions of select keywords and phrases in real-time.

*AKA web monitoring, Internet monitoring, social media monitoring, media monitoring, etc.

The keywords or phrases that you select can be related to anything: your hashtag, your brand, your product, your industry, or your competitors.

Powerful social listening tools like Brand24 also provide detailed Analysis reports, and include various filters that you can apply to collected mentions to help you understand your data from different perspectives.

Create a free social listening project to monitor your hashtag marketing campaign, your brand, your nemesis… whatever you need to stay on top of.

Historical data is limited, so it’s a good idea to start monitoring now in order to have all the data you’ll need to make a thorough and well-rounded comparison of your Twitter stats before and after Twitter’s big change.

Social listening also gives you access to your numbers for social media reach, influence, engagement, interactions, influence, and sentiment – all crucial to seeing where you currently stand so you can get insights on where you should make improvements.

This is also the data you need to generate leads, provide customer service, manage your brand reputation, create buyer personae, and much, much more.

All of this will help guide you in the direction that you should move towards in your future (and current) marketing campaigns.

What is social listening?

Make no mistake: if you use Twitter hashtags as part of your marketing campaign, then a change in Twitter is bound to mean a potential change in your Twitter stats and the success and reach of your hashtag marketing campaigns.

Now, with such mighty winds of change on the way, you’re undoubtedly curious as to why this is all happening.

After all, Twitter = brevity. At least, it did.

Here’s a little bit of back story behind Twitter’s decision to increase their character limit (just the most important parts):

Twitter stats are at stake. Why the sudden change?

Twitter stats are at stake. Why the sudden change?

It’s simple, really.

Many marketing professionals use Twitter as a social media marketing platform to engage with potential and current customers, their target audiences, and to communicate with peers.

It’s often forgotten that Twitter itself is also a product that needs social media marketing.

And sometimes, the best way to get some buzz going about your product is to make a drastic change. Especially when it’s based on stats.

Here’s one of those fun Twitter stats:

9% of all tweets in English reach the 140 character limit.

What does this mean? Is it a coincidence that 9% of tweets just happen to be exactly 140 characters?

No, it’s not.

It means that people are struggling to keep what they want to say below the 140 character limit, and are editing and re-writing to make everything fit into a single tweet.

Increasing the limit from 140 to 280 characters is designed to make Twitter less frustrating for all, especially for those that need a few more characters to get their point across.

But remember, just because you can, does not mean you have to.

Keep in mind, Twitter isn’t forcing us to increase our tweets to 280 characters; they’re just giving us the option.

Instead of being forced to keep tweets under 140 characters, we can now choose to. Or choose not to.

But let me stress: just because you CAN, does NOT mean you have to.

And, according to Twitter’s product manager, Aliza Rozen:

“… when people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters, we see more people Tweeting – which is awesome!”

Now, how is this going to affect your Twitter stats?

The only way to know for sure is by comparing your results before and after the big change.

It’s easy. Just create your own social listening project now to get complete data. No credit card required.

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