MoonPie declines Twitter's offer to test new 280-character tweets

Execs from the brand's agency, The Tombras Group, explain the reasoning behind MoonPie's decision.

Image via MoonPie's Facebook page
Image via MoonPie's Facebook page

CHATTANOOGA, TN: Marshmallow sandwich snack MoonPie publicly declined Twitter’s offer to be part of a small group of users who can test 280-character tweets on the social network.

Twitter said in a blog post it is testing out the new doubled character limit to help users be more expressive. But devoted Twitter users are not happy with the potential update, and MoonPie is one of them.

On Wednesday morning, MoonPie posted a tweet explaining it had been asked to test the new character limit, but decided against the opportunity because its fans "most enjoy traditional tweets with brevity."

Ironically, MoonPie’s tweet was 279 characters. The brand’s decision came from its agency partner, The Tombras Group. The firm has been working with MoonPie for three years, but started handling the brand’s social media one year ago.

"As an agency, anytime a social media platform announces a new piece of functionality, we either want to immediately test it and help [clients] take advantage of it, or we want to have a perspective why they shouldn’t," said Dooley Tombras, EVP at The Tombras Group. "In this case, we saw an opportunity to have some fun and not take advantage of it based on MoonPie’s strategic goals."

MoonPie, which turned 100 this year, has a loyal base. But they also have a goal of recruiting millennial consumers, Tombras explained. To do this, the firm has helped MoonPie develop a distinctive voice on social media.

"That voice varies by platform a little bit," said Tombras. "On Twitter, we want to be real-time. When you look at millennials, their attention span is about eight seconds. We don’t need 280 characters to accomplish our goals for MoonPie on Twitter."

He added MoonPie decided to share its stance on the new character limit on Twitter because, as a snack brand, it wants to be relevant with millennials, "intentionally be a little ironic," and have some fun.

When asked why the brand had to use 279 characters to take a stand against expanded characters, Patrick Wells, social media creative at The Tombras Group, said: "We had talked about not doing 280, so the first tweet did not hit 280 [exactly]."

Even though MoonPie doesn’t want to take advantage of Twitter’s 280-character tweets, Tombras said the change could be positive for some brands, depending on what their brand voice is, what their goals are, and how they want to use the platform.

"Overall, when you have a social media strategy for a client, it needs to be channel specific and you want to play to the strengths of each platform," said Tombras. "It is our perspective that some of the real strengths of Twitter are that it is quick, real-time, and that is going to play into shorter tweets."

This is what other brands are saying about Twitter’s 280-character limit…

Denny’s

Burger King

Penguin Random House

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