Twitter has been struggling to define its value in the crowded social media world. While the platform has a remarkable number of loyal users, it’s definitely not for everyone. People either love the compressed, fast-paced flow of information Twitter provides or they don’t. The 140-character limit has been especially difficult to deal with: in such a limited space, how much can you really say? Add to that the fact that it was difficult to see a clear route to converting interested followers into customers, leading many business owners to decide there wasn’t much value in Twitter for them.
All of that may be changing. Twitter has announced it’s developing a way for users to share more than 140 characters at a time. Details aren’t available yet, but industry insiders say that potential changes include altering the way characters are counted (for example, @names may not ‘count’ toward your 140 character limit) as well as expanding the amount of text one can add to Twitter cards, the primary advertising tool currently available on the platform.
The second change you need to know about has to do with clarifying the conversion process. Twitter has been testing a Buy Button for roughly a year. This technology gives users the ability to purchase products without leaving Twitter – great for the impulse purchase. Now the Buy button functionality is available to any US retailer who has a Shopify, Big Commerce, or Demandware account. This exponentially increases the number of companies who will be selling on Twitter – and it will also exponentially increase the number of customers who expect that they’ll be able to buy from their favorite brands while they’re scrolling through their Twitter feeds.
If Twitter hasn’t been part of your marketing mix, it may be time to reassess that decision in light of the new sales tools becoming available. Of course, the key is knowing your customer: if they’re not on Twitter, you shouldn’t be either. But if they are, and you’ve held back because you didn’t know how to make effective use of the platform, now might be the perfect time to give Twitter a fresh look.