From 140 to 280: The Change in Twitter Characters and 5 Things You Should Know

It might not seem like a huge deal at first, but Twitter doubling its character limit on tweets could have some ramifications for your business.

Twitter recently changed its character count from 140 characters to 280 characters. Being one of the only social media channels driven by the number of characters, it was interesting to see Twitter increase the number that has been attached to its platform for so long. What does this mean for your business?

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    For many businesses, it won’t mean much or affect their current marketing. You’re not forced to use all 280 characters, but there are some things you should keep in mind. Five things, in fact:

    1.  Sometimes, more is less.  Just because Twitter has expanded its character count, doesn’t mean you have to use the extra characters. If you can get your message across in the 140-character count, then go for it! Consumers have a short attention span, so it’s best to be clear and concise.

    2.  Use the extra character count to be part of more hashtag conversations. With the 140-character count, businesses were limited to getting their messages across while using multiple hashtags. Sometimes, you might want your business to be part of multiple hashtag conversations. Use the extra characters to take advantage of more hashtags relevant to your tweet.

    3. Tell the details. Many times, businesses were forced to only give a few details about promotions and deals, but the 280-character limit will allow your business to avoid multiple tweets to get all the details across. Use the new character count to inform you customers about the small print when it comes to deals and promotions.

    4. Stay creative. 140 characters helped businesses get creative with how they got their message across. Now, although there is more room for information, there is a chance you might feel less compelled to be creative with your tweets. Continue to bring your business to life in fun and exciting ways, even if the 280-character count is less challenging.

    5. Customer service tweets might increase, too. As you begin to leverage the new 280-character count tweets on the platform, pay attention to how consumers respond as well. You might find that they’re sending longer customer service tweets to communicate with you, so be prepared to answer them promptly and in detail.

    What will come next on Twitter? Time will only tell.  In the meantime, continue to use the platform and get your message across in a clear, concise and creative way. And speaking of Twitter, let us know what you think of the new character count and how you’re leveraging by finding COSE on Twitter @COSESmallBiz.

    Annie Pryatel is the owner of AMP Brand Studios. Learn more about how AMP is helping small businesses succeed by clicking here.

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    Next up: FTC Hears Concerns on Cybersecurity at Cleveland Business Roundtable

    FTC Hears Concerns on Cybersecurity at Cleveland Business Roundtable

    Small businesses are a target. Phishing campaigns, for example, target small businesses approximately 43% of the time according to a recent Internet Security Threat Report provided by Symantec, a company that specializes in cybersecurity. That’s a significant statistic when one considers that about 18% of attacks focused on small businesses in 2011.

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    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is trying to better understand how to provide help and support to small businesses, so that your small business doesn’t become just a statistic. And, Cleveland was just one of three cities in which representatives from the FTC recently visited for a roundtable discussion—hosted by the Greater Cleveland Partnership—with small businesses on cybersecurity and fraud.

    Protecting your business’ data and your business from scams might not always be top-of-mind on a day-to-day basis. A lack of information, time, and money were all challenges that were discussed extensively at the FTC roundtable. But, in today’s everchanging environment it is crucial the business community spend the time necessary to educate themselves and properly protect their investment from a security breach. 

    While the purpose of this specific meeting was for the FTC to listen to business owners’ experiences and concerns, it’s also noteworthy that assistance is available. For 10 steps you can take today, according to the FTC, click here. You also can find out what the FTC is doing to protect small businesses here. In addition, there are tools a small business can utilize and periodic updates you can use to stay informed on best practices.

    Want to connect with other members that represent all facets of information technology?  Contact OHTec today.

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    Next up: FTC Puts the Stop on B2B Scam Artists

    FTC Puts the Stop on B2B Scam Artists

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took a handful of scam artists to court who were caught taking millions of dollars from small businesses and nonprofits over the past several years. Thankfully, the FTC filed a case in Maryland against these businesses and have since temporarily shut down the operation. One group called Midway Industries LLC actually had over 500 complaints filed against them dating back to 2012 for business to business (B2B) fraud.

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took a handful of scam artists to court who were caught taking millions of dollars from small businesses and nonprofits over the past several years. Thankfully, the FTC filed a case in Maryland against these businesses and have since temporarily shut down the operation. One group called Midway Industries LLC actually had over 500 complaints filed against them dating back to 2012 for business to business (B2B) fraud.

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    How did Midway Industries LLC and other associated businesses get away with B2B fraud?

    According to the FTC, these B2B scam artists call companies, typically small businesses and nonprofits, ask for an employee’s name and contact information and offer to send free samples, promotional gifts or a catalog. For example, they have been known to send employees a shipment of goods that frequently consist of light bulbs and cleaning supplies. Once these items are received and signed for, a high-priced invoice follows that lists the employee’s name as having ordered the items. Here’s the catch – if the employee or company paid the invoice, they are sent additional merchandise and invoices costing the company money for unordered items. If challenged by the company, the scammer would try and trick them further into believing that an employee had accepted the promotional gifts sent to them and therefore they must have ordered the follow-up supplies.

    In the most recent case filed by the FTC, the filing shows that the defendant companies have illegally taken more than $40 million from businesses and nonprofits between the years 2011 and 2013. Clearly, the small business owners impacted would have preferred to use those dollars towards payroll, employee benefits, job creation and/or growing their business.

    For further information on how to protect your small business from fraud and tips to avoid similar scams see a recent FTC blog post at their Business Center titled, “Law and (Un)ordered.”


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    Next up: GCP Applauds Reestablishment of Business Court

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    GCP supports the recent action by the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to reconstitute the commercial docket. This specialized docket was created as a pilot program in the late 2000s to resolve typical business disputes in a more efficient and consistent manner. The docket was discontinued in 2015 as the local judges sought changes to the Ohio Supreme Court procedures governing its operation. Recent changes to the Ohio Supreme Court rules provided an opening for reconsideration.

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    A streamlined commercial court docket makes it easier to do business in our community. This makes Cuyahoga County a more attractive location for businesses looking to expand or relocate. GCP greatly appreciates the judges and stakeholders for their efforts to revive this court.

    Learn more about how the COSE/GCP Advocacy Team is working to represent the priorities of Northeast Ohio businesses.

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    Next up: GCP continues push for long-term unemployment compensation reform

    GCP continues push for long-term unemployment compensation reform

    The Greater Cleveland Partnership urges the Ohio General Assembly to enact unemployment compensation reform that will achieve long-term solvency of the unemployment fund by reforming the system in a way that efficiently and effectively balances the interests of both employers and employees.

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    To read our recent letter to the legislature on this important matter click here.

    Last year, GCP supported a short-term solution, which resulted in saving Ohio’s businesses millions of dollars and increased the state’s economic competitiveness.

    Long-term, however, Ohio’s current unemployment system must be re-structured for it to be viable in future generations. 

    On behalf of our members, GCP continues to seek improvements that will afford unemployed Ohioans the necessary support to re-enter the workforce and provide employers the predictability needed to operate a successful business.

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    Next up: GCP Continues to Urge State Lawmakers to Reform the Unemployment Compensation System

    GCP Continues to Urge State Lawmakers to Reform the Unemployment Compensation System

    The Greater Cleveland Partnership and more than 20 chambers of commerce statewide continue to strongly advocate for passing a comprehensive unemployment compensation reform package before lawmakers adjourn in December that would allow the unemployment fund to achieve long-term solvency. 

    The Greater Cleveland Partnership and more than 20 chambers of commerce statewide continue to strongly advocate for passing a comprehensive unemployment compensation reform package before lawmakers adjourn in December that would allow the unemployment fund to achieve long-term solvency.

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    Several years ago, the nation’s unemployment rate was on the rise and the unemployment fund was ill-prepared to cover the costs. Ohio paid the price and the burden was placed squarely on Ohio employers who were forced to pay a loan off from the federal government (resulting in annual increases in costs for employers) to continue paying jobless benefits. Under recently passed legislation that GCP supported and helped secure, the state paid off the federal debt a year ahead of schedule, saving Ohio job creators millions of dollars in 2017.

    GCP has a keen interest in making sure that any unemployment compensation reforms to be implemented in the future are done in a fashion that protects businesses operating in the state and provides a safety net for the employees of those businesses. GCP was the first to testify on the issue before a newly-appointed legislative panel that convened over the summer and we are committed to ensuring history does not repeat itself due to a future downturn in the economy. 

    We support a common-sense approach and ask that the General Assembly consider our members’ views as legislation is being crafted and debated in the coming days:
       
    •    Ohio should strive to achieve a balance in the unemployment fund that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Labor’s suggested solvency level. 

    •    We also recognize that changes to the number of weeks that claimants can collect unemployment benefits could have a negative impact on specific industries like construction—for both employers and employees—and we look forward to working towards a solution on that issue.  

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