“One small step for Twitter’s design team…one giant leap for marketing-kind.”
That’s how I describe a change in Twitter’s user interface that’s helped me more effectively and creatively tweet about some of my favorite marketing events.
The change makes conversations easier to follow, by creating a thread for the tweets people have sent to each other in a conversation. This small change is visible both on the desktop and mobile versions of Twitter, where a line shows up on the left side of the screen to connect tweets sent as replies.
Intended to help follow everyday conversations, it can also have a big impact on marketers and how we tell stories on social. One of the best marketers in New York (editor’s note: I see what you did there, Elias!) describes it as “almost a native Storify.”
In this guide, I’ll teach you how you can use this feature to improve your event marketing.
How Twitter’s threaded conversations are supposed to work
Twitter groups conversations with a line connecting replies to each other and automatically pushes them all to the top of your timeline together, even if the response comes months later: instant visibility.
If the conversation went back and forth, all or some of the tweets will be displayed and you may be given the option to click on the “replies” text on the left side to see more tweets from the conversation.
How to use threaded conversations for event marketing
One thing I learned while studying journalism is that a good story makes you feel like you were there when it happened.
The same thing applies to social media, and Twitter in particular, when you’re live-tweeting an event. You want to share the best photos, the best quotes, the best stats…in a way that’s easily accessible to your audience.
That accessibility is especially important when someone who doesn’t follow you finds your tweets, which is bound to happen when someone retweets you.
You want anyone who sees one of your event’s tweets to easily continue exploring your other content without searching for it: that’s exactly what connecting your tweets helps you do.
Exhibit A: Lengow Ecommerce Day (#LengowDay)
When you’re at a huge annual conference, with plenty of mini-events going on simultaneously, and your job is to take photos and tweet nonstop, it’s impossible to be everywhere at once.
But what I found in June at Lengow Day (an event Mention CMO Guillaume Cabane has enjoyed attending and sponsoring) was that by walking around the venue and taking photos while tweeting all the tweets from the @Lengow_UK account as replies to each other, I was able to maintain a #LengowDay storyline that anyone could follow.
At the event, plenty of tweets were being sent out, and #LengowDay was even a trending topic in Paris (it was at #3 for a while).
But since most people that I share updates with on LinkedIn don’t live in France and weren’t online at the time, I had to use a different strategy to spread the word to the outside world easily and quickly.
So I published two LinkedIn status updates during the day to let everyone know that they could:
- Follow a short URL I made with bit.ly (bit.ly/LengowDayTwitter).
- Or simply scroll down from my first tweet about the event to see even more, if they wanted to keep up with the exciting news.
An example of using Twitter to make people feel present included the sharing of interesting and spontaneous photos (like the one below of founder and digital expert Hymane Ben Aoun) that were attached to tweets that contained the main substance (quotes, statistics, etc.).
The result: It was easier to bring the #LengowDay story to life and at the same time, attract more readers to the Lengow Blog thanks to the high reach of these tweets (some of which included links for relevant articles on our blog).
Exhibit B: Search Marketing Expo, i.e. SMX (#SMXParis)
SMX is a standout conference “Made in California,” so it was only right that I attended the Parisian version of one of my home state’s signature marketing events.
Held a few weeks after Lengow Day, it was a perfect opportunity to see if the Twitter success of the former was just a fluke.
In this case, I had less responsibilities since it wasn’t my event (although, as with anything good associated with California, I wanted it to be a success), but I still wanted to share in English the insights of some of the top francophone marketers in Paris, and of course the keynote by Danny Sullivan.
So I defined my goal: put all the linked tweets of content I translated into English into an appropriately-titled bit.ly URL (bit.ly/SMXParisEnglish) then share it on LinkedIn and via email.
The result: the string of tweets served as an interesting counterpart to my article because it featured many more details from the event that I didn’t include in the story. And when it came to capturing and sharing moments like Sullivan’s keynote, this feature was very helpful.
How you can use linked tweets
Here are some other ways I’ve used this feature. Hopefully they can inspire you as you prepare your social media strategy for your next event or campaign.
1. Promote a tweet about a previously discussed topic
After SEO extraordinaire and SEObserver founder Kevin Richard delivered one of the best talks on the importance of ethics in marketing that I’ve heard, in Tunis at the memorable Tuni’SEO conference, I had to share a similar reminder.
Thanks to the linked tweet feature, I was able to connect the tweet containing Richard’s advice with another SEO-focused tweet:
Here’s another example from just last Monday, another occasion to use the #MobileMonday hashtag.
While I wanted to share some news I published on the Lengow Blog, I also wanted to reference a similar report on mobile I tweeted at the end of 2014, without having to post a brand new tweet.
I wanted to let people know about an event in Paris co-organized by the HUB Institute and Prisma Media, so I linked my new tweet to the former tweet to help people discover it more easily.
Takeaway: Create streams of tweets that all talk about a similar topic.
2. Share statistics from a live presentation
Experience tells me that it is definitely a challenge to live-tweet as precisely as the speaker on stage. It’s not easy to follow along to their fast pace, as well as share what they’re saying.
But thanks to this feature, you can tell stories about live presentations in a multi-faceted way, such as when I shared graphs and other data from a keynote at an event that my Lengow colleagues attended.
3. Use along with the “quote tweet” feature to stay really organized
I like the way Twitter’s new(ish) quoting style lets you respond to two tweets or subjects at once. In the example below, I replied to the previous talk on Retail Week and then quoted a tweet with new data from Retail Week.
Because as mentioned earlier, with all the tweets flying around, it’s important to centralize important tweets so that they can be seen easily.
One of the most important keys to success on Twitter is standing out and finding something unique to put into your social strategy. Taking a feature and using it for your own thing is a great way to do that.