Twitter's main strength has always been its ability to aggregate real-time reactions to cultural events. That strength tends to pose trouble for many brands that struggle to figure out how to use Twitter appropriately in their marketing. Additional confusion is added since, for many, the platform tends to be more about customer service than providing value to someone during their shopping journey.
Combine the skepticism of marketers with the fact that Twitter users are rushing to other platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, and it is not a surprise that Twitter was in a hurry to launch something new.
For those of you that are familiar with the platform, you are probably aware of the Moments tab, indicated by the lightning bolt icon. The feature has been on a separate page, away from your main timeline. When it was first released, Twitter attempted to promote it, but because of its location, it was not natural for users to adapt.
Additionally, only a select group of content partners along with the Twitter internal team were able to create Moments, which made it seem overly curated and limited.
Introducing Moments Maker
Now Twitter is opening Moments to more brands, providing you with a visual storytelling tool that may make the platform a more interesting part of your marketing mix.
Using Moments Maker, brands will be able to promote and publish Moments within the main timeline and leverage more interesting elements like video, GIFs, and Vine.
A Head Start for Marketers
Surprisingly, Twitter plans to eventually open the new Moments Maker up to everyone, not just brands, so it remains to be seen whether any advantage the new tool provides ends up buried in normal timeline noise.
That said, if Moments Maker becomes the default way of communicating on Twitter, brands will want to take advantage and get a head start by testing the new feature and learning how to best contribute to the conversation.
Here are a few ways that you may want to think about using the new feature:
- Tell a Story: moments provide the opportunity to tell a more consistent story grouped together vs. the one-off tweets and customer service replies, which we have grown accustomed.
- Use Video: In addition to the story you tell, you must consider how you will tell it, and more importantly, how it will be consumed. Don't expect your customers to read a lot of text on their phone; instead, engage and entertain them with video.
- Leverage your Audience: The idea of user-generated content, and the loss of control that comes with it, tends to make most brand managers uncomfortable. However, when it comes to Twitter, the platform is only as good as the users. Chances are your brand has some very creative fans on Twitter. These fans are most likely dedicated to the platform, know how to use it well, and will probably have a significant audience that enjoys their style of content (maybe even more than yours - gasp!). Use this to your advantage and consider partnering with them to create something authentic that other like-minded fans will enjoy.
Twitter may have lost a little of the glow that it had a few years ago, but they are determined to provide ways for brands to help breathe life back into the channel and get users engaged. As they attempt to challenge Snapchat and Instagram for the attention of everyone with a smartphone, it's a good idea for marketers to learn and test the tools quickly in order to gain an advantage before others jump on.