Twitter has launched a new feature, called timelines, which will make it easier for users to create streams of related tweets. For businesses that use Twitter to promote their brand, publicise events and connect with their public, this new feature could bring lots of new opportunities.
What is a Timeline?
In essence, a Twitter timeline is a stream of tweets that are all related to each other. A user that creates a timeline will get to decide which tweets are displayed. Right now, users will use TweetDeck to drag and drop public tweets into timelines, but Twitter is testing an API that will allow timeline creators to add tweets according to topic or specific requirements.
How do People View Timelines?
Twitter timelines are displayed on their own page on Twitter, much like a person’s profile page. When you create a timeline, you can share a link to its Twitter page, which people can see even if they aren’t a Twitter user or logged in.
Timelines are also very easy to embed, so you can add them to your website, blog or anywhere else. The embedded timelines are automatically updated as you add tweets through TweetDeck, providing a constant stream of tweets to those who visit your website.
How can I Create a Timeline?
If your businesses wants to set up a timeline, you will need to use TweetDeck. From there, add a new column and select “Custom timeline.” As you find tweets you want to add to the timeline, just drag them into the new column. You can just as easily remove them by clicking on the “X” in the bottom corner of the tweet.
To share the timeline, use the column options and click “Share.” This is where you can navigate to your timeline on Twitter.com or embed it on another site. If you choose to embed it, you can customise everything from the timeline’s height to its colour theme and link colour.
The timeline API is currently being tested, but once it is widely available you will be able to use it to set up logic rules that fill your timeline with tweets.
Why Should I use a Timeline?
The possibilities of Twitter timelines are virtually endless. If your business uses Twitter you should consider whether or not timelines could enhance your social media marketing strategy.
Just few ways you could use the timeline feature include gathering and sharing tweets related to:
- Promotional Events
- News Events
- Product Launches
- Twitter Chats
- Ways to Use Your Products
- Customer Support Topics
- Company Developments Your Business
When you use a timeline, you are collecting tweets that can help you keep your market informed. Since you are able to separate these tweets from your regular Twitter feed, using a timeline is much more powerful than simply retweeting related tweets.
Some examples of timelines include Carson’s Voice Timeline created by Carson Daly and Music Superstars created by Twitter Music. The Guardian used a timeline to highlight some questions and answers during a recent Twitter chat.
If you already use Twitter as part of your digital marketing strategies, take advantage of the new timeline feature by using it to keep your market informed about anything from an upcoming event to new product launches.