Twitter is often considered the step-brother to fan favorite, Facebook. But if that’s how you’re viewing the platform, you have yet to see the magic. Global news stories have been broken via Twitter, such as the US Airways crash into Hudson River in 2009. The platform has also been used as a communication tool during political uprisings and natural disasters to grab media attention, get resources to places in need and even locate people. One reason Twitter has become the go-to platform for news and real-time conversations is because of its ease of use, short text requirements and searchability for hashtags as a prominent way to discover content and join conversations.
As a marketing tool, Twitter is powerful and allows for a new audience to discover you and your business in a way that is uniquely different from other channels and advertising opportunities. Make sure you understand how to create content specific for Twitter and leverage the platform best for your brand.
Let’s begin by ensuring you have the sizing needs covered for creating engaging Twitter videos:
- Dimensions: Horizontal or square
- Maximum video length is 2 minutes and 20 seconds
- MP4 format recommended
- Minimum resolution: 32 x 32
- Maximum resolution: 1920 x 1200 (and 1200 x 1900)
- Aspect ratios: 1:2.39 – 2.39:1 range (inclusive)
- File size should not exceed 15 mb (sync) / 512 mb (async)
- Most important note: videos do not count towards your 280 character limit
Twitter was founded on quick and entertaining content and it remains the bread and butter of successful tweets to this day. When creating your video you want to make something a bit lighter than, let’s say Facebook. This is simply in order to stay friendly and in line with much of the other marketing content around you.
If the fluffy brand content is less your thing, then announcements are a great way to go. Tweets pass through your feed so quickly and people frequent the channel for real-time information, so announcements about a current sale or offline event are a great piece to share. You can also be super silly. You’ve got a ton of creative freedom. Unlike channels like Instagram, beauty is not the #1 goal of your content piece. It’s all about communicating a message and being unique, so let your wild side show.
Are you on your mobile device right now? Were you earlier today? The second screen is quite a phenomenon because you truly are doing two things simultaneously when engaging with content on your mobile phone. The second, or perhaps first, distraction can be activity around you in real life, a time crunch during a commute or other content items pinging through with constant notifications showing at the top of your screen. Whatever the distraction may be, we can guarantee your attention span is brief on mobile and that’s where most of your audience is viewing you on Twitter.
Knowing this limitation, you’ve got to create content that gets to the point right from the get-go. What can work as a fun and interesting hook on YouTube simply will lose your viewer on Twitter. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a quick teaser as the first slide, but that teaser has got to then be followed by an answer to your question within the first 5 seconds maximum.
One of the best things about Twitter is that people feel very free to engage with content and comment. The fast pace of the platform removes a bit of the pressure and feeling of permanency that other channels have when it comes to real communication. Not only that, so much content is created with the intention of eliciting a response and igniting a dialogue, that is a Twitter expectation of users when jumping online. This online culture can work great for a business who knows how to harness it.
You can begin by making sure the caption to your video item is written as if it is the start of a friendly chat. You can ask a question, offer your followers to “fill in the blank,” encourage retweeting to a certain someone that would relate to that video aka someone’s BFF. All of this “clickbait” style captioning that can look cheap on LinkedIn looks playful on Twitter and is totally reasonable.
This style of friendly and conversational content doesn’t need to be limited to your caption, you can put it right inside your video text as well.
Not familiar with the real use of a hashtag? It has now become a cultural phenomenon and used in all content to often make a final punchline, but in fact hashtags have a technical value far more than just adding a theme or joke to the end of your text. Hashtags are used to bring content from friends and strangers together into one feed. For example, during an event, you want to communicate using the same hashtag as everyone else in order to be a part of the global conversation.
On Twitter, you can search via hashtag as well as find the most populated conversations at any given time via the trending page. The trending page is a game changer for a business because it means that people you’d never be able to find on your own will have their eyes on your content. It’s like the difference between a local billboard and a national radio ad–just the 2018 social media version.
When creating all of your Twitter content, you MUST include a minimum of one relevant hashtag in your caption text. The best way to do so is by searching for various words in the search section and finding which combination has the most posts. Then use that. An example of great ones would be to use your industry, location, that specific videos them ie: Spring Sale and so on. The more specific the video, which they must be, the easier it will be to match the right hashtag.