November 29, 2012; Source: New York Times

The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog recently featured a post titled, “From Its Charity Efforts, Aflac Learns What Works in Social Media.” While the full article is worth a peek as a case study in the fine-tuning of a philanthropic social media campaign, we thought it was worth sharing a lesson that jumped out at Aflac. It’s certainly not the first time this suggestion has been made, and it may be an obvious reminder to social media mavens, but perhaps it may not be so obvious to those nonprofits that are still getting their Twitter sea legs underneath them:

“During the Swim With Kids initiative, Aflac executives determined that comments posted to the Twitter feed should be no longer than 120 characters, rather than the 140-character Twitter maximum. The reason for keeping the messages shorter, said Laura Kane, a spokeswoman at Aflac, was ‘so that people could re-Tweet without going over’ the maximum.”

Indeed, allowing others the space to pass you message along with their own comment is at the heart of Twitter. What do you think, nonprofit social media gurus? Should we all be sharing the idea that “120 is the new 140?” –Mike Keefe-Feldman