While Twitter has a strict limit of 140 characters per tweet, you have plenty of space to express yourself in other ways. You can attach media, such as a photo or video, or you can use more words in a hashtag or comment.
Many users make the mistake of thinking that less characters means more space to express themselves. While this may be true for ordinary conversations, with Twitter it is the opposite.
With the limited character count, people feel the need to put extra words in their tweets because they think they are not saying enough. However, this makes the tweet seem unnecessary long and complicated.
Using the right amount of words for a tweet is important to keep your point clear and concise. A good rule of thumb is between one and two sentences for your tweet. This will help your message come through clearly without being too short or too long.
The maximum length of a tweet
As of 2017, the maximum length of a tweet was 280 characters. This was due to the original Twitter character limit of 140 characters plus 20 characters for the URL.
However, as the platform has expanded to include media attachments and polls, the character limit has had to increase. Now, you have up to 300 characters with a URL embedded.
The increased character limit makes it possible to have a longer tweet, which is a good thing. But some may see this as an opportunity to write less because it takes up more space.
Less can be more, but not in this case! Short tweets can be very powerful because they require little reading and thinking time. A reader can quickly grasp the point of the tweet and move on.
For those who tend to write long-winded tweets, breaking down your thoughts into shorter tweets can help your followers understand what you are trying to say.
The importance of tweets
As Twitter has grown, it has become a more and more important platform. Many people make a living off of social media influencer status, and Twitter is one of the main platforms they use.
Many brands advertise via Twitter ads, making it an income stream for the site. Since users need to pay to use the service, it is important that the limit does not drop too low.
Since tweets are so short, people would have a hard time reading what they advertise so they would not spend money on the platform. The eight-word limit works perfectly for advertising and communicating with followers.
As we have seen with other social media platforms like Instagram, limiting the length of posts makes them more attractive and concise.
Composing your tweet
So now that you know how many characters you have to work with, it is time to write your tweet!
Just like with any other piece of writing, your tweets should be compelling. Try to include some personality or humor into your tweets if possible. People like when you can tell who tweeted what based on the wording and tone.
Try not to make your tweets too long either- keep it short and sweet! If you have something important to say, include a link in the tweet so people can read more if they would like.
Surprisingly, the number of characters in a tweet does not necessarily correlate with the length of the tweet. People can add several character spaces within their tweet, which makes their tweet look longer than it actually is.
Using the right words
Along with length, choosing the right words is important in a tweet. The Twitter search function looks for certain keywords to filter searches.
If you are tweeting about a topic or event, make sure to include relevant keywords so that people can find your tweet in searches. You will also increase the likelihood of getting retweets and likes this way.
For example, if you are tweeting about how much you love dogs, include words like dog, pup, furry, cute, and boy or girl so people can find your tweet when they search for those words.
Along with making your tweet more findable, including more keywords will contribute to the character limit. By adding in some short words like “the” or “a”, you can add more meaning without adding characters.
Keep it simple
While brevity is the soul of wit, in Twitter it’s the soul of being respectful to your followers.
Many people try to cram as many words as possible into a single tweet, but this isn’t wise. If you have to stretch for more than two or three characters to fit in another word, then you’re probably tweeting too much!
Of course, this rule depends on what kind of content you post. If you post very long tweets, then it makes sense to shorten them for Twitter.
Nevertheless, the rule of thumb is: keep it short and sweet! Don’t overdo it with words or pictures either. Make it easy to read and understand what you are trying to convey.
Try keeping your tweets between 100 and 130 characters for an average tweet length. This will help you avoid stuffing your tweets with too many words.
Use links properly
A lot of people get linking wrong, and it can hurt your brand. When you share links on social media, make sure you do so appropriately.
If you are sharing your own content, your followers will know that they should click on the link. If you’re sharing a link outside of your circle of influence, make sure it’s appropriate content and that people want to click on it.
If you’re paying for advertising, make sure the ad is visible to viewers and does not direct them to a page that does not pertain to their interest.
Making sure all of these elements are in place will help raise awareness about your brand and keep your followers interested.
Make sure to use traceable links when sharing resources for business purposes so that you can track the success of your campaign.
Don’t over-link your tweets
A lot of people make the mistake of over-linking their tweets. This is when you add a lot of links in your tweet instead of taking the time to write a separate tweet with the link.
While this may save you a few seconds, it is not helpful for your followers. Your followers want to see what you’re tweeting about and if they want to read more, they can click on the link you provide.
By adding a bunch of links in your tweet, you are making it harder for your followers to recognize what the tweet is about or where to go to read more.
It is best to keep your tweets simple by not adding any links. If you have something important to share, take a second to write a separate tweet with the link so that your original tweet remains informative and clear.
Be consistent with using hashtags
While hashtags can be fun to use, they can also be a burden if you use too many or too few. Remember, the goal is to be found by new followers, so avoiding hashtags is not the best strategy.
If you are not familiar with the hashtag community, check out Twitter’s guide to using hashtags! They provide some good tips on how many hashtags to use and when to use them.
Using consistent numbers of hashtags each time you post will help people recognize your content and where it belongs. For example, if you always post fitness posts with three hashtags, then keep that number the same.
Once you gain more followers and more visibility, then you can up-scale your hashtag usage. More followers will come as you continue posting content that appeals to your audience and gets engagement.