7 Simple Tips to Improve Your Tweets with 280 Characters

Welcome to TwitterTwitter has just doubled the length of tweets from 140 to 280 characters. Here are seven suggestions showing how you can improve your use of Twitter now:

  • Use fewer abbrev: Obv at 280 chars u can write compl. words; makes reading easier, IYKWIM.
  • Write complete sentences: No excuse not to.
  • Update your apps: Most mobile apps don’t support 280 characters yet. Expect updates to arrive within the next few days and make sure to install them.
  • Check your scheduled or pre-written tweets: If you use a service like CoSchedule or Buffer that schedules your tweets weeks or months in advance, take a look and check whether some of your scheduled tweets could be improved, now that you have more space. The same goes for any prepared tweets you might have in your message library, for example, to answer frequently asked questions.
  • Be more polite: “Do X” is shorter than “Could you please do X?”, “You’re wrong” is shorter than “I’m sorry, but I disagree”. In my experience, many of these simple forms of politesse have fallen by the wayside on Twitter. Remind yourself to use phrases that can soften a harsh Twitter exchange.
  • Say who is tweeting: Some organisations sign their tweets so that it is clear who is speaking. The most common format is the ^-sign followed by initials. For example, ^tl for Timo Lüge. Some organisations were reluctant to do that because every character was soooo precious. Now you have no more excuse to not be transparent! See the Berlin Police department for an example.
  • Spend more time on hashtags, but don’t go crazy: Sometimes, 140 characters meant that you didn’t have enough space for a hashtag you really wanted to include. Now you can! And while you should still stick to no more than three or four hashtags per tweet, you should start to be more consistent about which hashtags you use.

What are your thoughts on the increased character limit? Please leave a comment below!

  • With the extended character limit we also see a resurgence of full titles and forms of politesse such as His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affaires… which does nothing to improve readability.

    • True. The German Ministry of Interior already joked (?) that now they can finally include the full titles of laws and regulations in their tweets.