Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a news media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.
Getting the Most Out of Twitter
Social networks seem to change every day, and Twitter is no exception. Keeping up with the changes can be a full time job. Understanding what features Twitter offers can help you better leverage this fast-moving communications platform.
Twitter still limits you to 140 characters when you add a photo, but they made a few small modifications so certain elements in your tweet do not count as characters, theoretically giving you more room for words:
Replies: If you mention someone with their @name in a Tweet, the letters in the name count as characters. But if the @names auto-populate when you hit the reply button, those no longer count toward character limit.
Media attachments: If you attach a photo, video, GIF, poll, or quote a tweet, those items no longer count towards character limits. If you type in a URL or paste it inside of a Tweet, they do still count.
Tweet visibility: You may not have known this, but up until recently, if you started a tweet with an @name, only the people who followed both you and that person could see the post so technically it would be invisible to most of your followers. The solution was to place a period in front of the @name such as this: .@janedoe - but that is no longer necessary. Tweets starting with @name are now visible by anyone who follows you.
Connect tab: Use the Connect tab on the mobile app to scan your contacts for people to follow. From the Home screen, click on the add a person symbol on the upper left side. This leads you to the Connect tab. There you can see recommendations on whom to follow because of the accounts you’re already following and based on your activity on Twitter. You can also see which of your contacts are also on Twitter and opt to follow them as well.
GIFs at your fingertips: Animated GIFs, also known as “memes,” are incredibly popular in social networks. Now Twitter gives you access to well-produced animated GIFs that can add humor and visual interest to your tweets. As you compose the tweet, you’ll now see a small gray box with GIF in white. Click on that, and you’ll see a grid with images that move in general categories such as Applause, Fist Bump, and High Five. Animated GIFs may not be appropriate for all brands, so review them carefully and determine if the sentiment and image is what you want to portray.
Multiple Images: If you have several relevant photos and can’t decide which one to use with your Tweet, why not use more than one? Twitter allows you to upload up to four images with each Tweet and arranges them in a grid with one large image and three smaller ones to the right. Vary up using one, two, three or four images for visual interest in your Tweet stream.
Go Live: As you’re composing a Tweet on the mobile version of Twitter, you should now see a Live button to the right of the Video button. This gives you immediate access to Persiscope, Twitter’s live streaming app, so you can begin broadcasting live straight from Twitter. Use this at live events or for product demos, providing tips to followers, interviewing experts, or any other in-the-moment video you’d like to produce to gain more viewers and followers and provide value to your followers.
These are only a few of the features Twitter offers to enhance your Tweeting. Understanding how the Tweet has evolved over the years can help you get more out of those 140 characters.
Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman