01.18.2016

Features Twitter Should Incorporate Instead of Expanding the Tweet Character Limit

Social Media professionals in Pittsburgh, PA

Social Media Managers located in Cranberry, PA

10,000 characters!? In a tweet!? This was the shot heard round the world over the holidays for Social Media Managers. ReCode was the first to announce the changes with their article, Twitter Considering 10,000-Character Limit for Tweets.

There were people excited, people infuriated, and people confused. While I didn’t quite take a stance as a Social Media Manager thinking that the extended character allowance would improve or deter my Twitter clients; I formulated some opinions in a different direction.

It’s great to know that Twitter as a corporation is self-reflecting and posing changes to their micro-blogging site. But are there some other changes they should make first?

Here is my list of features that Twitter should incorporate instead of the tweet character limit.

More Than 140 Characters For Direct Messages

When sending a direct message to another Twitter user, the site restricts this private message to be up to 140 characters, like a tweet. Why? If it’s not for the public eye, let’s go easy on the character count. Trying to crunch a private message into 140 characters or spreading it out into three different messages is unpleasant.

(Bonus: Sending a picture via direct message and being able to respond once to a user’s direct message even if he or she is not following you.)

Address The Option To Edit A Tweet

Should Twitter implement the option to edit a tweet after it’s been published? This is always a hot topic among social media lovers. Google and Facebook users (for certain content) currently enjoy an editing tool on posts, but Twitter has yet to offer this feature. While there are many positives and negatives to both ways of thinking (see here, here and here), Twitter should, at least, address the issue. “Once a Tweet has been posted, it can’t be changed,” Twitter’s FAQ section reads. Tell us the reasoning behind this.

Image Link Placement

If a user uploads a graphic to a tweet, Twitter will automatically place a link to the picture at the end of the tweet. Users should have the freedom to choose where within the body of the tweet the link should go. This is the one plus third-party application Twit Pic has over Twitter’s native photo-upload feature.

Trending Topics Explanations

A word, phrase or topic that is used at a greater rate than other topics is said to be a trending topic. The site displays 10 trending topics on the left side of its homepage. Deciphering what most topics mean at any given time is a real head-scratcher. Twitter ought to hire a full-time Trending Topics Editor to help give meaning to each topic. Sites like Page on WhatTheTrend, which attempt to explain any given trending topic, are not reliable and often produce outdated information. Give us clarity behind each trending topic and this section immediately becomes more useful for many users.

After reading my list, are there any features you would like to see come before the character limit increase?

01.11.2016

Learn As You Grow: The Culture Creates Itself

“A great culture provides the context for people to deliver their best work.”

I found this quote in the Hubspot Culture Code and chose it to start the article because it simply states one of the most important variables of any business. Company culture. However, while I love the point of the quote, I actually believe that you should read it backwards and implement it to achieve the result.

Let’s try it.

“Putting people in a position to deliver their best work creates a great culture.” There, that’s better.

It’s impossible to argue the impact that a great company culture will have on your business. Results are obvious in a variety of ways, from bottom line performance to personal satisfaction. The challenge is how do you build a great company culture? In short, you don’t. If things are done correctly then the culture will build itself.

At Sparq Designs, we get a lot of compliments about our company culture from the people that observe us, work with us and ultimately desire to join us. For a long time, we couldn’t pinpoint what we were doing that made people want to be a part of Sparq Designs and it wasn’t until recently that I was able to realize that we haven’t done anything to intentionally create the effect.

The effect was the result of a general company philosophy that we have, “We want you to be doing the kind of work that you are best at, enjoy, and most importantly, have a passion for.”

If you come into work everyday and are put in a position that you are passionate about and do the kind of work that you like most, it becomes impossible not to love your environment and what you do. The combination of those feelings being shared amongst everyone around you permeates through the office and results in a positive culture and maximum performance.

Every time we hire someone we tell him or her that we never want this to become a place that they aren’t excited to be at. It’s bad for them and it is bad for the people around them. It’s important to hire people that fit the need you are looking for but you should also be sure that the person wants to fit the need.

Putting your people in the best possible situation for them to succeed and achieve personal satisfaction at their workplace is the path to a great culture and a place that everyone is excited to get to on a daily basis. Operate this way and you won’t have to take any specific step to create a great company culture, it happens naturally.

Jim Blundo is the Vice President at Sparq Designs, a digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh. Learn more about him, here. If you have questions about building a relationship, contact the  Sparq team today.

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