If you're reading this on the internet, chances are that you know what a blog is. With their catchy titles and easy accessibility, blogs have become a staple of online reading. It goes without saying that when it comes to building your online presence, starting a blog can be a great way to generate traffic.
You may have also heard of "microblogging." Contrary to what the name suggests, it doesn't involve writing diary entries on a tiny keyboard. Instead, microblogs refer to short-form content that can take many forms, including Twitter threads, TikTok captions and LinkedIn posts. They're essentially a new type of blog format.
As the internet and the blogosphere within it continues to evolve, understanding microblogging has become increasingly important. In this article, we'll delve into what microblogging is and how your business could benefit from it.
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What is microblogging?
Microblogging is the act of creating concise posts that are typically less than 300 words long. These entries often include multimedia such as images, videos, audio clips and links.
It's possible that you're already microblogging without even realizing you're doing it. For example, have you ever posted a thread on Twitter celebrating the return of 2000s fashion? Did you recently write an Instagram caption recounting your recent travels to Spain? What about a Tumblr post dissecting your favorite Saturday Night Live sketch? This is microblogging in action.
According to the results of a Contently survey, microblogs might be more popular than the standard blog. Of the 1,024 people in the U.S. that were surveyed, 75% said their ideal blog post length was under 1,000 words. Only 5% of those surveyed preferred articles longer than 2,000 words.
On the flip side, some studies show that long-form content still racks up more shares on social media. Additionally, longer articles tend to be more SEO-friendly. Thus, while microblogging may be more appropriate for viral topics and posts meant for instant consumption—longer, more traditional blogs still offer search value and long-term stickiness.
Benefits of microblogging
Familiarizing yourself with the benefits of microblogging makes it easier to know when to publish shorter versus longer pieces. Let’s discuss the different benefits of microblogging in greater detail.
Microblogging helps build an online presence
Microblogging platforms tend to have large user bases, giving you a greater chance at reaching a wider audience than if you were to use traditional blogging platforms (see best blogging platforms) that don't have established audiences. In addition to this, microblogging invites instant engagement and conversation, as users can easily reply, share or like posts. This can help to increases visibility around your content faster than on other channels that require more proactive promotion.
Microblogging is efficient
Writing a post longer than 2,000 words takes a good amount of time to research and write. One blog may take an entire day (or longer) to complete. On the other hand, a microblog can be written in a matter of minutes. This makes microblogging a great way to stay top-of-mind with followers without dedicating a lot of time and resources to creating a post.
Microblogging is mobile-friendly
Due to their compact nature, microblogs tend to be much easier to read on mobile devices than long blog posts. Oftentimes, a microblog will fit on a mobile screen without requiring visitors to scroll down. That's not the case for posts that are thousands of words long; these will require lots of scrolling and concentration for readers to fully absorb and appreciate. Given that more and more people are using mobile browsing, microblogging can play a vital role in almost any marketing strategy.
Microblogging can help promote a business
Microblogging is a great strategy if you’re blogging for business. By sharing links to your latest posts or products in your microblogs, you can generate interest and drive traffic back to your site. This, in turn, can help to increase sales on your site.
6 microblogging platforms
There are a variety of microblogging platforms—many that you probably already know and love—where you can start publishing your own microblogs. Your Wix website is a good place to start - or take the plunge with one of these best blog templates, as are many of today's top social media networks.
While Instagram is primarily a visual medium (every post must include a photo or video), its 2,200-character limit on captions makes it an ideal platform for microblogging. In this context, a microblog serves to complement the photos or videos that you post, rather than the other way around.
Because Instagram doesn't allow users to include links in their posts, microblogging on this platform won’t necessarily help with increasing blog traffic. Instead, it’s best to use microblogging on Instagram to elevate your branding, monetize a blog or stay top-of-mind with personal and business connections.
User engagement is one of Instagram’s most significant ranking factors, so your microblogging should focus on topics that are likely to engage people. Keep in mind that Instagram also cuts off captions at 125 characters (users can click “more” if they want to read the entire post), so it’s vital that you have a strong hook in your first or second sentence.
Given how tweets originally had a 140-character limit, Twitter most definitely played a role in making microblogging popular. Though tweets now have a 280-character limit, tweets are still digestible by nature, and users can create threads in which multiple tweets are linked together to form a longer narrative. With retweets and quote-retweets, Twitter is a highly collaborative platform that spurs conversation and sharing.
Because of its real-time nature, Twitter is popular for breaking news or commenting on current events. Microblogs on Twitter are usually more informational than content on Instagram or Tumblr, so the platform is particularly useful for brands looking to educate their readers.
Because of the professional nature of LinkedIn, microblogging has become a popular method for networking and lead acquisition. LinkedIn is also great place for establishing yourself as a thought leader or expert on a specific topic. The platform allows you to post updates that are up to 1,300 characters long, so it isn’t strictly a microblogging platform. That said, LinkedIn's interactivity gives it the same potency as a more traditional microblogging tool.
The most viral posts on LinkedIn tend to speak on a hot topic or unique viewpoint. Microblogs that get lots of viewership on LinkedIn often attract lots of organic engagement, plus reshares by prominent industry leaders. But you can also look to build an audience by consistently posting about a certain subject, tagging influencers and using hashtags.
As one of the oldest and most popular social media platforms, Facebook is a fantastic microblogging tool, especially for brands with an older or more international audience. Microblogging is not only useful for promoting your blog on Facebook, but it’s also useful for building a community and nurturing relationships with your audience.
It can be difficult to gain traction on Facebook, so consider microblogging on Facebook Groups to start. These groups tend to attract people who share a particular interest or skillset, so it’s easier to reach more targeted audiences than if you were to post from your personal or business profile.
Tumblr is a microblogging platform that allows users to post short-form content, including text, images and videos. Microblogging on Tumblr involves posting short and often informal updates, thoughts and ideas. Posts can include text, images, videos, polls and other multimedia content. Users can tag their posts to categorize them and make them more discoverable to other users.
Tumblr allows users to customize their blogs with different themes and styles, making it a flexible platform for creative expression. Users can additionally reblog and comment on posts from other users, which can help to foster a sense of community and interaction on the platform.
TikTok has quickly become a valuable platform for nearly every industry. While videos are the star of the show on this platform, users can use captions or in-video text to tell a longer story. TikTok limits post captions to 300 characters—up from the original 150 characters.
5 examples of microblogging
Let’s look at a few examples of microblogging on different platforms in order to spark your creativity.
Interior stylist Brit Arnesen is no stranger to content creation. Her blog, britdotdesign, has been alive and thriving since 2018. Her microblog on Instagram reads like a stream of consciousness, which makes her followers feel like they’re simply learning what their coolest friend has been up to recently.
02. Dan Oshinsky
Email marketing consultant and founder of Inbox Collective, Dan Oshinsky, microblogs about email marketing on LinkedIn. His posts are informative, engaging and often interactive. This content helps to boost the visibility of his small business, as well as his status as a thought leader in the industry.
03. Andy Gotts
On Andy Gotts' Facebook page, the photographer shares a highlight or two from his latest shooting sessions. By providing deeper context of his portraiture, Gotts’ microblogging complements his artwork and gives followers the opportunity to get to know the man behind the camera.
04. Dr. Nicole LePera
In addition to her work as an author, podcaster and founder of SelfHealers Circle, Dr. Nicole LePera is a diligent microblogger who has amassed close to a million followers on Twitter. Because she posts multiple times a day, LePera's content regularly appears at the top of her audience's feeds. The below tweet about Gilmore Girls is only 119 words long, yet it accumulated 6.5 million views and more than a thousand replies.
05. Design Matters
Debbie Millman uses Facebook to promote her interview-style podcast, Design Matters. For every episode, she writes a microblog that recaps her guest's history as a designer, writer or artist. In this microblog on an episode featuring Sarah Polley, Millman gives followers interesting tidbits about the director that spark readers' curiosities and entices them to give the full episode a listen.