Twitter Marketing: Shorter the Tweet, Better the Spread

The saying “brevity is the soul of wit” has relevance in marketing today. Research has found the average person’s attention span is about 9 seconds, and it’s no coincidence that is also the average length of a sound bite in the news media. In print, this translates to about 23 words.

This means a micro-blogging format like Twitter is tailor-made for effectiveness.  Research by Track Social corroborates this fact and confirms Twitter’s 140 character limit as optimal. Even on Facebook, shorter posts receive more likes and comments while posts with more than 140 characters generally see a decline in likes and comments.

Even on Twitter 140 characters is often too long.  Shorter tweets are simply shared more. Tweets of 41 to 100 character are re-tweeted the most, and for good reason.  When re-tweeting, the re-tweeter adds his or her name “@myname and RT”, which takes up about 16 characters. Adding a # (hashtag) or a comment on the original tweet takes up the rest of the 20-25 characters. The bottom line is this: most people are simply not motivated to re-tweet unless there’s room for them to add on.

Considering the fact that re-tweets spread the marketing message across the twitter-scape, marketers may want to confine their tweet length to an optimal 41-100 character limit. It gets easier with time. Try skipping articles like “a” or “the” unless absolutely necessary. Use a comma instead of the word “and.”  Of course be sure to shorten links with a service such like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or

The accelerated adoption of Twitter for business led Right On Interactive to add on an integration with Twitter last month.  This  allows companies to build a more complete view of their prospects / customers, including brand related comments (in 140 character or less).  Take a closer look at ROI’s Twitter integration to learn how your business can to build a better profile and reach your customers more effectively.