In the never ending quest for the title of “best social network,” Twitter is coming back strong with some updates it made to its platform.
Twitter, having just celebrated 10 years, was designed to be smaller posts with links for more in-depth reading or to summarize long-form content like blogs or articles. Twitter capped its posts at 140 characters and made marketers a bit more creative in having to shorten their messages. As Twitter grew so did the needs and desires of its users, namely to add photos, videos, GIFs, and tag other Twitter users in their posts without being penalized by the 140-character limit.
Twitter is listening to those needs and probably trying to regrow its following after a decline in the past few months by upgrading how the character limit works.
What did Twitter change?
- Media attachments will not count against your 140-character limit so you can properly explain what the photo or video is about in your 140 characters and then attach your media.
- Replies will not count against your character limit and will now be public. So if @JaneDoe sends your property a tweet, you can tag Jane back in your reply and that won’t detract from the characters you have left to respond to her. You’ll be able to say, “@JaneDoe I still have 140 characters to reply to you!”
- Retweeting yourself is now an option. A retweet is when Jane Doe shares your original tweet with her followers, very similar to sharing a post on Facebook. But now, Twitter will allow you to retweet your own posts, whether you want to get more visibility on that particular tweet or if you want to share an update on that earlier post. For example, if you had posted that you had a full house that weekend but then got a cancellation; you could retweet the original post and add a new line about how you have availability.
Some reports on this news said that links will not be counted in tweets anymore but unfortunately those will be counted against with the 140-character limit.
As we’ve said in other blogs and at conferences, the social media world is always changing and networks are continually adapting to the users and copying popular elements from other well-known social media channels. Twitter is a smaller network with only 310 million users compared to the behemoth Facebook with 1.65 billion users. In the coming months, Twitter could become an important player in hospitality marketing to replace the slow death and poor performance of Google+.
Now, before you jump over to Twitter to create an account for your property, understand that this network has its own etiquette and distinct user base. Twitter operates on a much faster pace than the other social networks but like the others, users expect you to be present and engaged. Don’t create a Twitter account to just blast out one-way messages.
Some helpful hints for deciding if Twitter is a good fit for you include:
- I have the time to log into this account frequently to post and respond to other users.
- I enjoy sharing other companies’ posts and building relationships online.
- My guest profile demographic tends to include more males and single travelers than families.
- I welcome a lot of business travelers or have on-site facilities for meetings and events.
- I don’t need a lot of words to get the point across and am comfortable with using hashtags.
Learn more about the network to see if it’s a good fit for you by reading its getting started with Twitter article.