Twitter continues to pack a punch online, with excellent SEO traction and the brilliant ability to have conversations with just about anyone, and with the raft of new Twitter updates they have definitely earnt a social media gold star.
We have been fans since Twitter launched, in fact two of our founders met on the platform back in 2008, when they were part of the first 50 users in the UK. You can follow us here if you aren’t already.
While we know a lot of business owners are wary of using it in any other way than just as a placeholder or broadcast tool, it’s always been a great platform for visibility online and to help establish and reach an engaged audience. It’s also always been brilliant for social sales and research.
Now it’s getting better and better because Twitter has lately been working really hard with these updates to reduce the toxicity and disinformation and to increase the flexibility of posting in new and interesting ways.
Multi Tweets aka Threads
You have probably noticed the Twitter update that allows you to post connected multi tweets, known as threads. When using them for business it’s best to keep them short and succinct, and treat each tweet as a complete standalone tweet if you can, complete with hashtags and tagging other accounts. This is because the ones in the middle of the thread usually get hidden by Twitter and have to be clicked on to expand, so they miss out on retweets and likes. Numbering your thread tweets can also help if it’s longer than two tweets.
Add video, audio or visual content to the last one (or one of the last ones) as this is the one that will get shown the most and it will then prompt people to check back through the thread.
FYI you can also add an additional tweet after you post a thread (a button appears) and if you want to see a thread in its entirety you can use an unroll tool such as @Threadreaderapp and it will post it as one document and tweet you the link.
This maybe our favourite Twitter update to date! Yes, the blue bird finally has a voice, and yes, you can record and share audio tweets!
We particularly liked one of the first audio tweets Twitter shared from one of the Black Lives Matter co-founders, Opal Tometi.
Today is #Juneteenth— Twitter (@Twitter) June 19, 2020
We’re honored to have @opalayo, one of the three Black women who co-founded #BlackLivesMatter, speak on the meaning of this day, this moment, and where we go from here. pic.twitter.com/0XwuQXM0tS
You now have a schedule option for single tweets, although it can be a bit glitchy, so for now we would advise you still rely on your usual scheduling software.
Use Lists Better
We have long adored Twitter Lists as you can tell from our numerous articles over the years. However, they have also long been the unsung heroes of the Social Media world.
Not any more, because Twitter has pulled them centre stage!
Add new voices and conversations to your Timeline using Lists.— Twitter (@Twitter) June 18, 2020
You can now:
👉 make a List
👉 discover new Lists
👉 follow a List
👉 Tweet a List pic.twitter.com/7xhwMXRUWG
Hide and Turn off Replies
Early last year Twitter updates included the ability to hide replies to tweets (click on the right-hand arrow and that option appears), and they are now testing the ability to switch off the option to reply to a tweet.
“This is a test and we’ll be listening to feedback before determining if it should roll out to everyone. Being able to participate and understand what’s happening is key for useful public conversation. So, we’re exploring how we can improve these settings to give people more opportunities to weigh in while still giving people control over the conversations they start.
“The ability to control who replies to you singlehandedly truncates one of the worst aspects of Twitter harassment — being inundated with replies from strangers after a tweet you make goes viral or gets retweeted into a community beyond your own. Even if these conversations aren’t inherently toxic, they can still be overwhelming, unexpected, and difficult.“
Here’s how it will work
Testing, testing…— Twitter (@Twitter) May 20, 2020
A new way to have a convo with exactly who you want. We’re starting with a small % globally, so keep your 👀 out to see it in action. pic.twitter.com/pV53mvjAVT
While social media marketing is mostly about being able to engage with many people and increase visibility, it can also be lovely to just have intimate conversations. In addition, we also know too well that posting something can sometimes become a bunfight and trigger a social media crisis. So we think this is a really useful tool for brands as well as individuals, and we hope they decide to keep it.
In addition, if someone comments on your tweet in a retweet, this will now show up in your notifications and if you click on the retweets button on the tweet, and you can also hide replies to your tweets.
We aren’t sure how often businesses would want to use this function when the whole point of social media marketing is to drive conversation and you wouldn’t share a tweet unless you wanted it to be shared (we hope not anyway). However, if you do want to enable this function, go to settings and choose to ‘protect my tweets’.
This one is a couple of years old, but we are still finding people who are unaware of the function, so we are including it.
To bookmark a Tweet, tap the share icon under the Tweet and select, “Add Tweet to Bookmarks”. To find it later go to your profile icon menu and tap “Bookmarks”. You can remove Tweets from your Bookmarks at any time.
You have long been able to choose to follow (or unfollow) specific Topics in the Topic Browser, and Twitter is now prompting you to choose to follow topics direct in your feed.
You might have noticed the President of the United States’ strop about Twitter fact checking one of his misleading tweets about mail-in ballots. This is all part of Twitter stepping up to try and tackle the disinformation that is rife on social media, and with this update they introduced thousands of fact-checking labels to dodgy tweets and are being much more proactive in taking down false and suspect accounts and content.
Twitter said in May that its policy of
“adding fact-checking labels to disputed or misleading coronavirus information would be expanded to other topics, prioritizing claims that could cause people immediate harm.”
Banning all Political Adverts
Going hand in hand with the fact checking, Twitter have also announced that they are banning all political advertising in the lead up to the U.S. 2020 election.
Currently being trialled in Brazil, Fleets are posts that disappear after 24 hours a feature that was originally pioneered by Snapchat in 2013 and then copied as Instagram and Facebook stories.
Fleets do not receive retweets, likes or public replies and users can only react or respond to them with direct messages, much like Insta’s stories, and we anticipate them being used the same way by brands. Fleets do not appear on people’s timelines like normal tweets but are viewed by tapping on someone’s avatar, so this may mean that they have much less visibility for businesses than normal tweets.
It appears that the next Twitter update may well be a paid subscription product after they posted a job listing looking for a senior software engineer to join the new team, codenamed “Gryphon”.
Sounds interesting and we’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
As you can see the latest Twitter updates are really ramping up the business potential for this stalwart social media platform. So if you aren’t really using Twitter for your brand, we have to say that it’s a missed opportunity as it can really help increase online traction and get you on the first page of Google!
Follow us on Twitter here or tips and updates, and when you are ready to up your Twitter game do get it touch!