Sorry, I love 280 characters on Twitter (and why your church should use more words.)

From reading posts on social media, I am pretty sure that Twitter’s recent change from a 140 character limit to 280 is the beginning of the end of the world. We really don’t like change, do we?

However, I have to tell you, the change has made a vast improvement for me in the way that I use Twitter as both a reader and a publisher.

There are two main ways I post on Twitter. One is the random thought or idea. These always have, and still do, work well in 140 characters. If I can’t express my thought in 140 characters, I have missed the point of the platform.

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 9.55.04 AMThe second way I use posts is to share something. I share a lot of articles and blog posts about church tech and communications. In doing that, I often ran into the 140 character limit in an unfortunate way. By the time I shared the link, the name of the post, and credit to the author, I was running out of space. Often the most essential part of the tweet was quoting a line from the piece of offering some compelling reason people should read it. With 140 characters, that was often lost or smushed into something incomprehensible. Even with the new limit, I rarely use much over 140 characters but, sometimes, ten more letters make a big difference.

So, what does this mean for your church? As I look through my Twitter feed of Rio Texas Churches, I often see posts that give me no real information and no compelling reason to click. I recently shared a blog post about how subject lines are essential in getting people to open emails. In the same way, the wording of a tweet is essential in getting people to do something about it. Many church tweets are designed to get people to read the church newsletter, sign up for an event, or learn more about something on the church website. Too often the tweet says something like:

TweetDeckHere is our latest newsletter: mailchi.mp/mychurch/mcumch.newsletter

Unless I happened to be watching Twitter so that I could be first to read the email newsletter, which I likely received by email, I am not likely to click.

Sometimes I see a link and nothing else or “In case you missed it,” or “Check it out.” Still, no real reason to click.

Instead, give me something to get my attention or, at least, raise my curiosity. You now have 280 characters to work with!

Want to know more? Check out this post from Church Marketing Sucks:

7 Ways Churches Can Use Twitter’s 280 Characters (Don’t Tweet Sermons)

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