With Twitter Think 120, not 140

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One of the big reasons social media is so powerful is the potential for what you create to go viral.  An example of this power is when these artists had a bad experience on United Airlines, wrote a funny song about it and now has been viewed 7,403,573 times on YouTube, in 6 months. 

On a much smaller, but potentially more relevant scale - think about your Tweets.  Often Twitter is used to broadcast information.  Ideally all of your followers see this message, and ReTweet (RT) it to their followers, and then their followers RT it and so on - creating a viral marketing effect.

On Twitter, you are allowed 140 characters to broadcast your point.  Let's say I wanted to be RTed.  My Twitter handle is @sbonert (8 characters) and the RT in the retweet is 2 charectors, plus a space.  So for someone to simply hit the RT button and rebraodcast my message as is - I need to allow for 11 characters, or my message can be a maximum of 129 characters (140 - 11- 2 -1 = 129).  If it is any longer than that, it demands that the RTer edit my main message which requires work, and could be a barrier to being RTed.  Furthermore, if you wanted it to be RTed a second time, you need to consider room for the third Twitter handle as well. 

Here is example of what something getting RTed twice would look like, so you can see these extra characters in action:

RT @mikesimonsen: RT @rachnicole: @sbonert I always had a hard time w/some of the boundary lines. Wicker Park vs. Bucktown?

You can see how the extra handles and RT charecters can add up and eat into your alloted 140. 

Moral of the story: If you are hoping something gets ReTweeted - Try to keep the Tweet under 120 characters.  Make it easy for people to spread your love.

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Jane Nicastro-Disch
Weichert Realtors - Warren, NJ
NJ Estates Real Estate Group of Weichert Realtors

Sara: Good stuff, thanks for sharing. Regards,

Jan 20, 2010 12:28 AM #1
Cheryl Kuzniar
Prime Property Solutions - Niskayuna, NY

Sara- I tweet all of the time, and this is good information!!!

Jan 20, 2010 12:29 AM #2
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Sarah, great advice. Last night was so much fun on Twitter I couldn't keep up with all the #masen comments. I would get to the bottom and hundreds more would be there.

If I wanted to retweet from Yonoo, it wouldn't not take them if over 140 characters.

Question: Do say thank you when folks retweet you?

Jan 20, 2010 12:30 AM #3
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

It is always the little things that screw things up isn't it Sara?

I have to admit that I dont "get" the twitter thing anyway. 

Jan 20, 2010 12:33 AM #4
Celia Maddox
Solutions Real Estate-The Celtic Connection - Gilbert, AZ

Thanks for article. We learn a lot from Active Rain postings. Gook Luck,

Jan 20, 2010 12:34 AM #5
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

Robert - I didn't really 'get it' until I downloaded TweetDeck.  That really helped me organize my Twitter plan.

Missy - Sometimes I actually say thanks, and I'll usually do it as a DM.  But if I get RTed I'll almost always follow them back, I guess my way of saying thank you.  And I try to make a note to repay the RT at some point in the future.  I think reciprocating the RT is the best thank you.

Jan 20, 2010 12:39 AM #6
Robert Hammerstein
Christie's International Real Estate - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Sara - A good point to remind us of when retweeting...lol

Jan 20, 2010 06:42 AM #7
Kim Boekholder Utah Real Estate
Results Real Estate 801.580.5624 - Draper, UT
Broker, Results Real Estate


Love reading your blogs and what a great point!  120 characters is where its at. Looking forward to your next blog.

Jan 20, 2010 11:12 AM #8
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

Sara, Thanks for the info. I hadn't considered that. I'll start making my tweets shorter now.

Jan 21, 2010 04:34 AM #9
Robin Lundholm
Cape May, NJ

I need to spend a day reading about Twitter.  I did join the group here on AR.  I just can't seen to get it.  Thanks for the post.

Jan 21, 2010 09:35 PM #10
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Real Estate Internet Marketing
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