How to Incorporate Twitter’s New Custom Timelines into Your Social Media Strategy

Twitter Custom TimelinesTwitter recently debuted its Custom Timelines feature, and you may be wondering how your business can incorporate this new functionality into your overall social media strategy. First, let’s talk about what it is. In a nutshell, custom timelines enable users to create as many topic-specific content portals as they wish – essentially a curation tool in which users can add the tweets of their choosing to create a stream of content around specific topics or themes. Each timeline has its own page (a definite SEO advantage), and according to Twitter, the only real stipulation is that the tweets contained in the timelines will be public. At present, you can only create and manage custom timelines by way of TweetDeck, the Twitter account management tool.

So how can a business best take advantage of this new feature? Below are some helpful suggestions that businesses can implement in order to effectively integrate Twitter’s custom timelines feature into their social media strategy:

Create a timeline to monitor the Twitter activity surrounding your brand.

Any time that your brand is tweeted about via hashtag or direct mention (using the @ sign), it should be highlighted in this timeline. This will enable you to see how people are responding to your social media efforts in real-time, and it can also be a valuable tool to capture customer comments and complaints for evaluation and response. This timeline can serve as a powerful tool for surveillance and analysis.

Customize a timeline that highlights positive tweets and mentions from your fans and brand advocates.

This is the kind of timeline you’ll want to promote on your business’s web portals. The customized timeline interface allows you to drag-and-drop specific tweets into your timeline; this particular timeline should contain only the prime picks from all of the tweets that you discover. Plus, with Twitter’s customized timeline functionality, you can embed a timeline widget on other web pages. This feature can be a great addition to a company blog or something similar. You can access this feature by way of your Twitter account’s control panel. Simply go to the “Widgets” section of your account interface and click the “Create new” button. You’ll then have the option to choose your data source under the section “Choose a timeline source”.

The customized timeline is especially useful for specific advertising campaigns.

You have total control over how you present the narrative of your message, and you can hand-pick certain customer tweets that support the marketing message you’re attempting to convey. Build a case for your campaign by selecting timeline content that validates your product or service offering.

Create a timeline that features highlights from weekly Twitter chats with customers and fans.

Select the tweets that most accurately reflect your marketing messages, and be sure to include content that emphasizes genuine interaction with your brand advocates.

Craft a timeline based on your most popular content offerings.

What tweets or blog posts have been retweeted the most? Which tweets have created the most positive response among your audience? The answers to these questions will be your guide as to what this timeline should contain. Also, don’t be afraid to spread good will by including content from your most ardent fans; in other words, share what they’re sharing. This will strengthen customer loyalty, and will generally increase exposure for your brand.

You can also put your best foot forward by requesting to participate in the Custom Timelines beta API. Not only will using this new feature from Twitter help promote your brand, but you’ll also increase your overall reach and further leverage social proof for the benefit of your business.

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