For many small business owners, it hasn’t always felt as though Twitter offered enough use to brands to make it worth the time to learn. With two new changes currently in development, Twitter has the potential to become a business’s most powerful ally within the next 12 months.
Currently in beta testing is the conversational ad. In essence, this new type of post would provide businesses the ability to ask Twitter users to answer a survey question or vote. Not only does this feature provide custom hashtags to measure responses, but it also allows users to post a customized tweet referencing their hashtag selection and the business’s Twitter handle.
Why is this important to a small business? It all comes down to money.
While businesses will be charged for clicks on the conversational ads they post, people’s responses are considered organic tweets about the business. Anytime someone retweets another users tweet, that’s free exposure for the company. And if enough people take part in the survey, the organic exposure provided could get your brand in front of a virtually limitless customer base it may not otherwise have been able to reach.
Although this feature is still in beta, brands with managed accounts can request that their reps check into whether they might be able to take part in the expanded beta test.
The second piece of big news was in a report from Re/code and confirmed on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s account on January 5 is that Twitter has plans to remove the often restrictive 140-character limit for tweets. Although this character limit was created to be more in line with the SMS character limit and wasn’t part of the platform when it originally launched, users were nevertheless upset by this potential change.
In Dorsey’s response to the backlash, he stated that they were merely responding to the way people use Twitter. For the users who have more to say than can be expressed in 140 characters, uploading screenshots of longer messages has become the norm.
Why is this a potential game-changer for your business? The answer is two-fold.
First, you’ll no longer have to spend extra time rewriting and rephrasing your tweets to make them comply with the limit. While Twitter users still obviously prefer brevity, we’ve all been frustrated when the perfect tweet goes over the limit by a single character or when we lacked the space for the perfect hashtag in our message.
But perhaps even more powerful for businesses is the second benefit of the 10,000-character limit is the ability to make text searchable. Currently, the text within any screenshots or pictures uploaded is not included when people search for a certain term. With the enhanced character limit, all that text will be searchable.
Not only will this help with your brand’s discoverability when you need to post a longer tweet, but it also opens the door for better ad targeting. If the text users post is actual searchable text, that gives Twitter the ability to harvest all that data. Ultimately, Twitter’s access to new data can help your brand page target your ads to Twitter users you previously wouldn’t have had access to.
Of course, there’s been no word on exactly when we might be able to enjoy lengthier tweets, but Dorsey did promise plenty of advanced notice to app developers.
When both of these new features make it out of development and beta testing, Twitter could position itself to be the best friend to business brand pages by opening doors to exciting new advertising possibilities. For businesses still not sure whether Twitter makes sense for their business, now is certainly the time to at least dip a toe into the water.
Finn, Greg. 10,000-Character Tweets Could Arrive On Twitter In A Matter of Months. MarketingLand. January 5, 2016.
Marvin, Ginny. Twitter Launches Conversational Ads To Get People Tweeting About Brands. MarketingLand. January 5, 2016.