Eye on the Industry: Navigating the “New Twitter”

The following is a post from Kevin Olivieri, TIG Global Social Media Analyst.

Over the last week, you may have heard rumblings about a ‘New Twitter,’ an announcement that leaves many marketers perplexed and curious about what this change will bring about for their ongoing strategy.  Many questions race to mind. Is there a new alternative to Twitter sweeping the world?  Did Twitter completely change its product? How will I adapt from the current version? Well, let me give you an overview of what the future of Twitter has in store for you as a marketer. 

What this change means for you
The “New Twitter” is actually the nickname attached to Twitter’s much improved interface that will transition the site from the original single paned look we’ve known and gotten used to, to an updated, two-paned design that allows for a bevy of new features that promise to improve your social media returns.  Most notably, an option to embed videos and photos within Tweets will become available, making the tweeting process much more advanced and streamlined, likely to keep up with heavy hitters in the industry, such as Facebook. Additionally, information on users is more easily accessible and robust from the homepage using this new multi-faceted interface.

Another feature rolling out for Twitter is the establishment of keyboard shortcut keys to help you navigate the page more efficiently. When the New Twitter interface is rolled out to you, press the “?” button and a pop up screen will guide you through all the new keyboard shortcuts the page now has, making navigation much more convenient and lithe in speed. Check out a full list of keyboard shortcuts here:

Timing for the rollout
Unfortunately, this new Twitter won’t be launched for all users for another few weeks. But in the meantime, there are a few steps that you can begin taking advantage of this new interface for your business when it becomes available. For starters, the integration of video and photo content right in a user’s stream is a big change, and a positive one at that. If you’re a business with commercials, vlogs, or any other video content, users will no longer be ushered outside of Twitter and onto another page to view your content, but will now be able to stream your videos in the dual pane without ever leaving your branded Twitter page.

If video is not your thing, you will also have the option of posting photos directly to the streams as well, allowing users to view them in the secondary pane. If you have any digital marketing materials that you want to share on Twitter, you now can. For example, if you’re advertising a special or deal for an upcoming holiday or weekend, you can now add visuals to your marketing to better catch the attention of Twitter followers. Or if you’d just like to aggregate the photos from your Flickr (online photo sharing albums), you now can have a clickable album right within a Twitter post.

Specify your search terms
Another great way to use the new interface is through the newly added ability to save searches on your page. Twitter search is a widely popular search aggregate that lets users seek out and find individuals and groups to engage with. Businesses stand to benefit greatly from this feature by setting up search terms for their brand(s) or adding industry definitions on their page.  Once this information is saved, business users will have the option to return to their search page, monitor it, refine it, and stay up to date with all things related to the search terms, creating an extra outlet for expanding your message.

For example, if you’re a hotel in Sacramento, you can set up a search on Twitter using the words “Sacramento” “hotel” and find tweets incorporating those keywords. You can find users using those words, whether their reviewing a particular hotel or looking for a hotel, and start dialog with them.

Getting analytical
Planned updates and add-ons to Twitter won’t be stopping anytime soon after the new version Twitter is fully launched and available to all users. Just a few days ago Twitter announced that they will be launching a free real-time analytics dashboard to the page sometime during Q4 of this year. This is good news for businesses using Twitter. It adds a new element to track your conversations and engagement with your followers, really giving you an opportunity to put numbers and metrics to your Twitter marketing efforts.

Going mobile
Mobile Twitter apps are also undergoing a redesign on their products and moving towards the soon-to-be-standard double-paned view. For users of the popular smartphone, Android, Twitter announced just last week that the app ‘Twidroyd’ debuted, which is a new update that gives users the opportunity to use an original view of Twitter’s site, or the updated view (simply by turning your phone sideways).  I believe over the next few weeks, as this new interface rolls out to all Twitter users, mobile Twitter apps will quickly follow suit.

Overall this new Twitter interface is a much improved upgrade of the previous version. Its features will be used to spread quality content that will now include essential elements, such as photos and videos, to all Twitter users. Businesses should really learn to embrace these new features (and upcoming features) and start planning now in order to take full advantage of them by the time the new look rolls out, and get a healthy leg-up on the competition.

How do you feel about the new Twitter interface? Have you gotten access to it yet? Which update do you think Twitter should incorporate next on their site?  Sound off in the comments section!

Interested in ramping up your social media strategy?  TIG Global offers a full suite of interactive tools to get your brand going with the online conversation. Click here to learn more, send us an email, or give us a call at 301-841-4700.

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