Twitter’s new design – mirroring Facebook’s layout and emphasizing visuals – reinforces the importance of using multimedia elements in communications. However, the new layout offers more opportunity for brands than initially meets the eye. (See related: Coming soon from Twitter)
Surfacing granular content (& winning attention)
The brands that do it best know that Twitter is about granular information. The short format requires brevity, and forces tweet authors to get straight to the point. Best practices for tweeting links are straightforward:
- On Twitter, your tweet is your headline. Its role is to arrest the reader’s attention and get them to take a next step, such as clicking on the link or re-tweeting the message. Avoid generalizations. Instead, carefully craft your tweet to give followers insight into what the link contains (and incentive to click!)
- Include visuals that are strongly related to and illustrative of the content you’re sharing. Pictures and videos stand out in the newsfeed and command attention, and they convey messages in their own right.
- Use relevant hashtags. While hashtags can be used to convey side commentary or emotion, for brands, hashtags are also how content is found. Scan your own Twitter feeds for relevant hashtags, and also use the Twitter search function for research. Don’t use a hashtag without first looking at the related tweet stream. You want to make sure your messaging is in relevant and appropriate company.
Drill into the angles
You can surface (and illustrate!) a variety of themes and elements for the story you’re promoting. In most cases, the stories we create –whether in the form of a press release about a new product, a blog post about an industry trend or pitches about an important development at the companies we represent – contain multiple hooks and angles and elements. Every tweet is another opportunity to engage your audience, and sharing different story angles increases the message’s appeal.
So for PR pros whose brands have cultivated strong presences on Twitter, some new tactics are in order:
- Don’t get in the habit of tweeting the headline and calling it a day. Instead, create a series of tweets highlighting different elements of the story.
- Share individual visual elements. And when sharing large infographics, consider having your designer create image snippets that illustrate one key fact. A simpler image will render better in the Twitter feed.
- Don’t be afraid of tweeting multiple messages about one piece of content. One white paper or press release could reasonably offer a host of tweeting angles – quotes from people mentioned, a host of key findings, a variety of charts and graphs. Stagger the tweets over a few days (or even longer) to maximize visibility.
One final note: as Twitter rolls out the new design, we all need to be mining our image files for visuals that will fill the new space. Larger profile pictures and a Facebook cover-style banner are key features of the new look, and offer brands the opportunity showcase their visual identities.
Learn more about using visuals in B2B campaigns by viewing the on-demand webinar: Powering B2B Content with Multimedia.