Though Christmas Eve fell on a Thursday, we at #TwitterSmarter didn’t want to cancel our weekly conversation. Instead, we made it a community chat. We spoke about new features in Twitter, namely video replies on mobile and Fleets. Fuelled by the success of that chat, we decided to make the following chat—on New Year’s Eve—about some more new features in Twitter. We discussed improvements made to drafting and scheduling, replies, and reactions. As we closed out 2020, we hope these two community chats were helpful in planning your Twitter content strategy for 2021. Here’s a summary of our second community chat.
Guest: The #TwitterSmarter community!
Topic: What’s new in Twitter: Scheduling, Replies, and Reactions
Format: Eight questions directed at our community. Everyone’s welcome to share.
Scheduling is a great feature. It took quite a while for Twitter to allow scheduling, and so many other platforms already have scheduling as a primary feature. However, if you’re new to Twitter or prefer not to use a separate social media tool to manage your Twitter activities, this new capability will add a lot of value for you.
As Kevin pointed out, scheduling can help distribute evergreen content periodically so as not to overwhelm your audience. It’s also helpful to share tweets at a time that’s more ideal for your audience, even if it’s too late or early in the day for you to manually tweet it out.
A1: I have used it a few times and I like it. It's a good way to share evergreen content or to share something during a time when you know you're going to be away from Twitter. #TwitterSmarter
— Kevin Fitzsimmons (@kevinfitz1) December 31, 2020
On the flip side, though, as Yewande mentioned, drafts as a feature still need some tuning. Though it’s refreshing to see Twitter bring out the new functionality, your drafts don’t sync across devices at the moment. It may not be a big deal for you, but it’s good to be aware of the limitation.
A1: I use it a lot for scheduling especially since I can schedule posts for later on in the year (even till the following year)
I don't use it for drafts because it's not synced up with drafts on mobile#twittersmarter
— Yewande OLAMIJU (@YewandeOlamiju) December 31, 2020
Why not have the best of both? As Rachel from Express Writers suggested, try to find a balance that works well for you. Schedule tweets that need more contemplation and strategic timing so you can focus more of your time on engaging in real time.
A2: It's smart to have a mix of scheduled and spontaneous tweets. Scheduling in advance allows you to be strategic, but being in the moment is fun as well. You never know when something will come up that you'd like to share. #TwitterSmarter
— Express Writers | Your Content Writing Partner (@ExpWriters) December 31, 2020
When you schedule tweets, however, always keep an eye on what’s going out and when, as Neil reminded us. Go through your schedule every week or fortnight to make sure that your tweets are still relevant in a world of changing trends and situations.
A2. Brands should be both spontaneous and use scheduling.
Take advantage of opportunities as they come up, but with scheduling, make sure you check periodically so you don't send insensitive tweets after major news events. #TwitterSmarter
— Neil Parekh (He / Him / His) (@neilparekh) December 31, 2020
A great way to use these features, as Chris suggested, is to categorize your tweet content. You can schedule tweets for events and occasions like holidays and special days, and draft tweets for situations that may change at any time. For instance, if something happens and you assume it will result in a certain way, draft an appropriate tweet for it. It’s easier to tweet on time if you already have a draft ready to go.
A3: Schedule tweets that you KNOW will happen (holidays, closures, etc). Drafts for things that MAY happen (so you can be ready on the trigger with approvals complete when it’s go time).
— Chris Kirk (@imchriskirk) December 31, 2020
Madalyn shared another great use for scheduling on desktop. To get the most out of your time on social media, block time off your day to schedule tweets. Use that time to bulk schedule tweets so that you’ll have a series of content that’ll help you be consistent.
A3: To effectively use Twitter’s scheduling feature, block off time in your day to batch schedule content at once. This way, your posts will be queued up and ready to go, allowing you to focus on other important tasks like engaging with your community. #TwitterSmarter https://t.co/OpwzH6Afmz
— Madalyn Sklar – Digital Marketing since 1996 (@MadalynSklar) December 31, 2020
A controversial feature, the restrict replies option can be helpful too. As Marianne said, if you come across people who constantly spread negativity amongst your audience, consider preventing them from replying to your tweets.
A4: I don’t use yet, but do block offensive words so can see me using this in the future as SM gets more negative. I chose to keep a positive outlook and want the same with my online interactions.#TwitterSmarter
— Marianne Avery | Social Media Manager (@sociallymaz) December 31, 2020
Another great use case for this feature as Jake explained, is when you’re hosting panel interviews and fireside chats. In such an environment, you can effectively limit the number of people to avoid distracting the conversation.
A4: Not yet, but I have plans.
I think it would be great for an on-going interview type conversation or a "fireside" chat between thought leaders.
— JZ 💛 Jake Zachariah (@jzjakez) December 31, 2020
Kevin mentioned how restricting who can reply to your tweet can make it a small group conversation. It’s ideal when you want to share an inside joke amongst a group of friends or to have a semi-private discussion.
A5. It can provide humor based on the content of the post or create a VIP feel for those in the reply club. #TwitterSmarter
— Kevin Berry (@KBerryMS) December 31, 2020
Chaim also shared how it can help to restrict your replies when you’re running a marketing campaign or trying to create a trending conversation.
A5 If I am EVER trending, it WON'T be a good thing-and I'd limit my Tweets at that point #twittersmarter
— Chaim Shapiro🎤 I'll Help You Maximize LinkedIn!💻 (@ChaimShapiro) December 31, 2020
Alyx from Charlie Appel Agency and Jake spoke about how restricting who can reply to you can force people to quote retweet you if they want to reply to you. This, in turn, widens your reach and puts your content in new radars.
— Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) December 31, 2020
If you realize that you’re being targeted by a specific group of trolls, it’s a good time to restrict who can reply to you. Many brands face a lot of hatred even when they haven’t said or done anything to stir hate.
If you’ve taken a stance about a sensitive issue, you’ll face trouble from people who disagree with you. Be careful who you restrict, though—if you restrict everyone who doesn’t agree with you, you might eliminate helpful feedback too. It’s important to acknowledge and respect constructive feedback. But as Kaitlyn said, definitely block and restrict people who yell at you just for the sake of yelling. It’s important to protect your mental health and well being.
A6: When they are facing bullies, trolls, and racist/sexist comments.#TwitterSmarter
— Kaitlyn Arford — Freelance Writer (@kaitarford) December 31, 2020
We use emojis everywhere. It’s become something of a second nature for people online. It only makes sense for us to do the same on Twitter. As Jonni said, emojis in direct messages is yet another way for us to express ourselves on the platform.
— Jonni Martinez (@iJonniM) December 31, 2020
Besides, sometimes a thumbsup is all you need to acknowledge a message faster and easier rather than ignoring it or typing out a response. Not to mention a friendly way to end a conversation when you don’t have anything else to say.
A7: I think reacting with emojis is fun! It helps express feelings and can be a simple way to end a conversation by reacting when there's nothing left to be said. #TwitterSmarter
— Express Writers | Your Content Writing Partner (@ExpWriters) December 31, 2020
As Sam said, emojis are an excellent way to establish your brand’s personality. Not only does that help your branding, but it also allows you to condition your audience to expect a certain type of tone from you.
A8: Yes, emojis are tools that allow brand to influence tone. #twittersmarter
— Sam (@vSamAdvertising) December 31, 2020
Of course, as Darcy also pointed out, emojis can also be fun when paired with a lively word choices.
A8: And emojis are often more fun than I could ever be with words. 🤪#TwitterSmarter
— Darcy De Leon (still staying 🏠) Blog Editor 😷 (@darcydeleon) December 31, 2020
Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading through. Check out this Twitter Moment that Joana put together. It was so much fun to hear from our community. If you have some time to spare on Thursday, join us at 1pm ET for the next #TwitterSmarter chat. Hope to see you there.
In the meantime, all of us at #TwitterSmarter wish you a happy and productive 2021!
About me, Narmadhaa:
I write all the things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.