How long should your tweets be – at least, if you want anyone to pay attention? No one these days has time to dilly dally over tweets longer than 140 characters, right? And yet Twitter recently increased its maximum character length to 280. So what’s the deal – are diatribes the new thing?Convinced that users of Twitter are more likely to skip longer tweets in favour of shorter ones Digital marketing agency theEword teamed up with Manchester Metropolitan University in a research project aimed at proving said point. Surprisingly, the theory was proved wrong – bigger is better.Here’s what the research showed (at a glance): 1. People spent longer looking at tweets with media.2. Instead of skipping tweets over 140 characters, people lingered on them for longer (an extra 0.5 of a second, to be exact –practically a lifetime).3. There are far fewer 'long form' tweets published.TheEword did accurately predict the first of the above findings: that visual content grabs the most attention (regardless of the number of accompanying characters). Tweets with media (pictures, videos, GIFs etc) receive more attention than those without.Other useful and unexpected discoveries uncovered in the research are:1. People tend to read tweets in two ways:Name – image – tweet (very common)OrTweet – engagement – name – timeWhich are you?2. Videos/GIFs can grab attentionA moving image can make a user scroll back up and read a tweet, even if they were blitzing through their feed at warp speed. 3. Social proof plays a pivotal roleMore attention is paid to a tweet that other people have liked or retweeted.4. Don’t forget your captionsCaptions under images are more likely to be read than tweets themselves!So…longer tweets are cool and images are essential, especially ones that move!Thanks theEword and Manchester Metropolitan University for the killer research. Read more on it here: “Short and sweet or bigger and better? – a study into tweet length” and “Does Size Matter When it Comes to Twitter?”
The team at DRM are PRO tweeters and would love to help you to develop a marketing strategy for your Twitter account, or answer any questions you might have about social media marketing. CALL US! We’re always ready for a chat. .