It has been announced that Twitter will increase the available length of its direct messaging function from July. The previous limit, which was the same length as a standard tweet (140 characters) will be raised to 1,000 characters. When compared to other social media platforms, such as Facebook, it is still relatively small.
This change is likely to make big waves in social media and will have a lasting effect on businesses. But how can we make use of Twitter with the new direct messaging limit and how will it benefit us?
1. Better Customer Service Experiences
The growth of social media as a means to air grievances with suppliers has been on the rise for a number of years. In 2012, 36% of the UK population would consider complaining via social media, and since January 2014, the number of complaints made online has increased eight fold.
One of the biggest challenges with the old Twitter direct messaging limit was that it made conversations stilted and almost unbearable. This meant that many customers had unsatisfactory experiences when trying to find a resolution to their complaint.
This made it difficult for businesses to increase their customer retention rate which is why, often one of the first direct messages from companies to the customer is to request a contact telephone number or email address. This way, away from the direct messaging system, conversations could flow better.
2. Better PreSale Opportunities
Research has demonstrated that 31% of consumers will use social media for presales. The day we wrote this article, TwoFeetMarketing had managed a client’s Facebook account during a presale enquiry. With Twitter’s old direct messaging limit, not enough information could be conveyed for the presales queries to be conducted with particular effectiveness. At times, conversations could continue intermittently over hours or important information be left out.
With a new limit, you can ask more questions, get better answers from your customers and provide more advice. Therefore, you lower the time it takes to get from presales query to sale and set the right customer expectations.
3. Professionalism On Direct Messaging Will Increase
When you are restricted to only 140 characters, you are often forced to use text language. This sometimes means that you look unprofessional to customers who are complaining or those who are assessing you during a purchasing decision.
With a longer direct messaging limit, you will now be able to present yourself more professionally with a greater emphasis on proper English and structured paragraphs. This will make it easier for your audience to read and understand your message.
4. More Valuable Messages
140 characters isn’t long for your direct messages. Getting value within the content is going to be difficult. This is why many young or naive brands will try for the quick sale on Twitter. The “buy from us to get this” or the “Follow me on Facebook” messages. There are several issues with these. Firstly, social media is not a particularly great sales platform, it is better for improving relationships and developing trust between you and your audience.
Secondly, it’s about ethics. You wouldn’t walk into a room and tell everyone to buy your product. It would seem rude and people would react negatively against you. What you would do is speak to the individuals, qualify them and then invite them for a further chat about offering your support. Sometimes it can take a year for a new relationship to develop into a valuable and profitable one.
By having 1,000 characters at your disposal you can get rid of any ‘sales speech’ when auto direct messaging on Twitter and provide them with something more valuable and better prepared.
Twitter is bringing in new direct messaging limits that are set to change the way you can communicate with your target audience. It should offer you better opportunities for dealing with customer complaints and answering presale enquires. It will also help your messages to appear more professional. So consider your strategy when it comes to July 2015 and whether it fits in with the new Twitter landscape.
Do you use Twitter direct messaging? What are your plans with the new limit?
Let us know in the comments.