Editor’s Note: The pandemic has brought regularly scheduled social media programming to a grinding halt. The crisis has also seen companies switching to a service model. Even as organizations strengthen ties with audiences, they will need a long-term engagement strategy that builds on that trust. Staying ahead of social platform usage trends can proactively deepen and maintain these connections. With that in mind, Mitchell CCO Sadie Schabdach offers a look at what could be the next evolution of Twitter conversation.
Twitter has the shortest half-life of social media platforms, so it makes sense that the social network is piloting an even shorter feature: fleets. These Twitter stories will be similar to those of Instagram and Facebook, where content is active for just 24 hours before disappearing into the ether.
Twitter fleets are currently in beta testing in Brazil, but it is likely that the feature will soon launch globally. This is good news for brands who already have audiences on Twitter: The format is in line with users’ intent to post whatever is top of mind (a "fleet"-ing thought) in a given moment.
Aside from the fact that fleets will disappear and users can only respond to them via direct message, fleets are similar to usual tweets in that they are primarily text-based and have a character limit.
If brands use this lead time before Twitter fleets launch globally, they can carefully craft a strategy to meet consumers on a new platform feature and provide fresh content.
Here are a few places you can start:
- Share time-sensitive content.
Twitter fleets could be an excellent way to quickly communicate timely information. Many subjects would be better covered in a fleet than a full post that will become irrelevant after the launch or event passes. You could also share exclusive information like flash sales, discount codes and giveaways; only those who viewed the fleet will have access. This will encourage more people to keep up with your organization—it’s a low-barrier point of connection between users and your brand.
- Leverage direct messaging.
With all Twitter fleet replies sliding into your DMs, you’ll never be left guessing whether the message’s content resonated. You will be able to identify the exact consumers most involved with your brand. This will grant you the opportunity to create hyper-targeted audience subsets based on the fleet response, allowing you to develop highly customized content.
- Build community.
If your Twitter brand voice reads more “consummate professional” than “snarky friend,” fleets might prove a testing ground for less polished content, a peek behind the curtain. Or, string several fleets together to tell a chronological story about your brand, a member of your audience, a new product or an upcoming event. The goal here should be to find a more authentic voice that resonates with fans and builds a community of support.
You want to meet consumers where they are—and soon, they’ll be checking their Twitter fleets in addition to their feed. Be prepared to show them new content that complements what they have already come to expect on Twitter.