When it comes to text messaging, every character counts. The beauty of a text message is that it’s short and sweet. But we’re not just talking about letter limits here; the people behind a text message are often just as important as the message itself.

So what exactly do we mean when we say that every character counts?

1. Cut down on characters. Every single SMS message has a limit of 160 characters. “But wait!” You might be thinking. “My smartphone shows really long blocks of text that are definitely longer than 160 characters.”

That’s because smartphones do something called threading, which means your phone groups together several 160-character text messages and makes them look like one long one. If you received the same long message on a phone that doesn’t thread messages, you’d end up with a bunch of texts that are chopped up in the middle of words or sentences.

Since you don’t know what type of phone every single one of your students has, it’s safe to assume that at least one person will have a phone that doesn’t thread conversations. You have two good options here: stick to one message that’s under 160 characters (check out our favorite strategies for keeping your message within the limit), or send multiple messages in a row that aren’t cut off in the middle. The Signal Vine platform alerts you when you get close to the character cutoff. You’ll know when it’s time to wrap up Part 1 and start on Part 2.

Remember: there’s nothing stopping you from sending multiple messages if you have a lot of information to send. Just make sure you do it in a respectful way by sticking to the 160 character limit for each part of your overall message.

2. Build your character. Have you heard about our new user community, The Vine? If you’re a Signal Vine customer, you can join the community right now to download new resources and meet your texting peers. The best way to improve your text messaging strategy – and your overall service to students – is to learn from others who are doing the same thing. So far, textperts from across the country have been swapping message templates and discussing things like emojis and how to handle inappropriate responses.

We’ve been blown away by the passion we’ve seen on the community in just a few short weeks. A bunch of our favorite characters coming together to talk about our favorite topics: what more could we want?

Want to talk character?

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