6 Ways to Improve How You Are Using Twitter
|Aliza Sherman is a news media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker. Sherman has received recognition for her role as an entrepreneur focused on women's issues, particularly women's role in the news media industry and their participation on the Internet.|
6 Ways to Improve How You Are Using Twitter
Twitter has changed over the years from a simple app with few features to a more feature-rich communications tool. Here are six ways to make your Twitter experience more customized and engaging.
1. View Most Recent Posts First.
When Twitter started out, the tweets you’d see in your news feed were the most recent tweets published by the accounts you were following. More recently, Twitter introduced an “algorithm” or software code to show you tweets that you supposedly would like to see based on the way you act and interact on Twitter including tweets you like or re-tweet.
If you prefer to see the most recent tweets from the accounts you follow, you can opt out of the algorithm that is showing you the automatically curated tweets by default. Go to your Twitter Settings then select Privacy and Settings. There you can uncheck the Best Tweets feature and return to the original way of viewing tweets as they happen.
2. Re-tweet Your Own Tweets.
Keeping up with regular tweeting can seem daunting, but there are several ways to leverage content already published on Twitter. Curating and re-tweeting other people’s content to enhance your own Twitterstream is a common practice on Twitter. In 2016, Twitter added a feature that lets you re-tweet your own tweets.
While it may seem strange to re-tweet yourself, by doing so, you can push evergreen content that you’ve already tweeted back to the top of your followers’ feeds. You can also re-tweet one of your older tweets and add a comment referencing or updating it. Twitter limits your ability to re-tweet your own tweet to a single time to prevent spamming.
3. Tweet more visuals.
When Twitter first started, tweets were like plain text messages. The addition of images and then video created more visual interest in the news feed, particularly once they appeared in-line visible right in the Twitter feed instead of as a link.
Twitter lets you upload up to four images directly to each tweet and the images appear as a collage in your Twitter feed. Twitter also provides an option to add animated GIFs to your tweets. Animated GIFs are very popular, often humorous graphics with a short, looping bit of movement that users of social media like to share.
You can make your own animated gifs from snippets of video you’ve made using tools such as Giphy and Gifs.com and then share them to your Twitter account.
4. Create Twitter Moments.
Twitter Moments are curated tweets grouped together to tell a story or to group related tweets together that can be viewed sequentially. At first, Twitter put together Moments and placed them under a Moments section on their app and website. More recently, Twitter started allowing users to create their own Moments.
Twitter provides three ways to access moments: from the web version of Twitter on the Moments tab, under the Settings gear where you can choose Moments then click the plus sign to start creating one, and on an actual tweet. When viewing a tweet, you can click on the “more” option to access “Add to a Moment.”
When you create a Moment, you can add a title and a short description as well as the featured cover image for your Moment. Find relevant tweets to add to your Moment by choosing from several options: Tweets I’ve liked, Tweets by account, Tweet link, and Tweet Search. You can also reorder tweets before you publish the Moment.
Once you publish a Moment, it appears in a tweet with a lightening bolt emoji in front of the title. You can go back and unpublish the Moment at any time if you’d like to remove it from your feed or to modify it. Use Moments for visual interest, storytelling, and grouping and archiving tweets together.
5. Tweet polls.
Twitter allows you to build a simple poll as a tweet that other users can take. Polls can provide more interactivity to your Twitterstream. Use polls to get a quick idea of what your followers think about a topic.
When you set up a poll, you can tweet a question up to 140 characters long then add up to four choices for response. Each choice can be up to 25 characters long. Choose the duration of the poll including days, hours and minutes. The maximum length for running a Twitter poll is seven days.
6. Tweet More Videos Natively.
While images are great additions to tweets, videos are even better for attracting attention and communicating more in-depth messages than 140 characters allow. Twitter lets you create video natively in their app up to a maximum length of two minutes and 20 seconds long. You can also upload video from your phone but are then prompted to edit longer videos down to the maximum length.
The Twitter app also provides a button to start tweeting live video immediately using their embedded Periscope app. Clicking the button does lead you to one more screen prior to actually going live so you can make sure you’re ready for livestreaming.
Twitter continues to be a useful tool for communicating to a wide audience. Using best practices and the various features that Twitter offers can make your tweeting more compelling and effective.
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