Of all the social media channels, Twitter is one that is best suited for reporting live happenings and news-worthy items. In fact, breaking television newscasts often consist of journalists reading the Twitter feed on their phone. Because of this ability of Twitter to function as a news feed, the social media product has become a channel of choice for events. Many meetings now feature live social media posts, often tied to the event’s mobile app and social wall. Besides being a key part of the onsite portion of an event, Twitter is now a major part of the pre-marketing of the show.
The strength of Twitter – setup to broadcast short text – is also its biggest challenge for events. The message limit of 140 characters forces you to get to the point. However, the constraint can also limit the richness of the content. In particular, links and hashtags can consume much of the message. A link to a photo, for example, can push you over the character limit.
Fortunately, Twitter is evolving along with its users. It has introduced some new changes that allow you to put more in your message, while not giving free license to long and unwieldy content.
Not Changing – the Hyperlink
Without being careful, linking to web pages will consume your tweet. Twitter has a built in tool to reduce the long links, but you are still looking at around 20 characters. The length of your links will NOT be changing, so don’t expect any relief here.
Have you ever written a beautiful tweet only to see your character limit destroyed when you add a photo right before posting? This has happened to me many times. The most welcome of the Twitter changes is that photos will soon no longer be a part of the character count. This extends to media in general – GIFs, videos, Twitter polls, and Quote Tweets.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a “Quote Tweet” is based on a retweet of someone else’s post. When you retweet you are able to add your own comments. However, the reference to the retweet post takes about 20 characters from your post (just like a hyperlink). In the future, this will be removed from the character count, giving you some extra room for commentary.
This is another area scheduled for reduction. A reply can be something like “@eventrebels, I love your article!” The @name will not longer show up in the character count, so your “@eventrebels” won’t consume any of your important message.
End of .@
By default, when you start a reply with the name of the original tweeter – such as @eventrebels – only you and the recipient would see the post (EventRebels in this case.) To get around this, people would put a period before the reply so the reply can be widely viewed. Twitter is changing their reply protocol so that replies will go to ALL your followers
The general idea with these changes is to create a better conversational environment on Twitter. You should now be able to more freely engage your attendees in the build up before, during and after your event.