What the End of Twitter Direct Message Limits Means for Marketers
As of July, Twitter lifted the 140-character limit on direct messages (DMs). Before you dismiss the news with a ho-hum and yawn, keep in mind that people strategically using the microblogging site are turning to DM to engage one-on-one after a tweet. This is big news for marketers.
Before jumping in though, here are some important things to keep in mind:
1. Carefully craft those tweets. While the removal of the character limit will provide for a longer conversation in the DM portion of Twitter, your tweets still need to be 140 characters or under. In fact, the shorter the better — research shows that 120-character tweets are read more often.
2. Have a plan in place for engaging with consumers privately. Without limiting conversation in DMs, social media experts now need to carefully consider their response plans when reaching out to consumers privately. What once could be handled in a short sentence due to character restrictions may now need to be elaborated on in a DM. As with any marketing material, your words need to be motivational and to the point.
3. Know your brand's voice. Since you now have the ability to say more in a direct message, you need to be sure you know how to say it. Knowing your brand's voice is crucial to remaining on-brand during customer service outreach on social media.
4. Know when to take it offline for more one-on-one help. There's a time and a place for everything, and that includes DMs. Creating a plan for your company's response strategy on Twitter should include when to move the conversation from the social network to an email or phone call. While social media allows a business to respond to consumers in real time, it can become a bit impersonal going back and forth on a private chat message. DMs don't replace a phone call.
5. Don't underestimate the power of a tweet! Just because you're able to send a longer DM doesn't mean you should. Don't automatically jump to privately messaging a consumer whenever you want to speak with them. Remember the virality a public tweet can have, even while being subjected to the 140-character limit. Responding to a relevant tweet through a social-listening platform can speak volumes over simply messaging someone in the background.
6. Don't be creepy. Lastly, much like knowing when to take your conversation offline, your digital marketing team should be aware of when it's appropriate to reach out to a consumer publicly through a tweet rather than a direct message. Consumers are a lot more likely to react better to a response to one of their public tweets rather than being contacted directly by a business they're not familiar with. That's where target keywords and geolocation search can come in handy.