Twitter has the reputation of being fairly simple. It sounds easy. It is not. Twitter still comes with a couple of very useful Twitter features and functions that help you get more out of the 280 character conversations.
Knowing about these Twitter features and utilizing them will let you get more out of your efforts and help you grow an engaged following.
Here are 15 Twitter features you should not miss!
1. Twitter Polls
Twitter Polls are a relatively new kind of tweet Twitter released in 2015. Before Twitter Polls, many people tried to make polls by counting a like as one answer and a retweet as another and then counting the votes. This was a backdoor solution and not very satisfactory.
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Today you can create a poll as a special type of Tweet. A poll can offer up to four answer options.
You can also choose who can answer your poll. You can choose between everyone, people you follow, or restrict the poll to people you mention.
You can select the duration of the poll up to seven days.
People can retweet your poll which is then still showing the original poll, votes on the retweets counting for the poll. This is much more comfortable than counting likes and retweets and poses a great opportunity to engage with your followers – or get insights from your audience.
Results of the poll will only show to the initiator of the poll until the poll is finished. Then the results will appear to everyone.
Twitter polls are a great way to increase engagement on your Twitter account. Plus you can get insight into the minds of your followers and create some awesome unique images for blog content.
There are endless options to use Twitter polls in your social media routine, in case you need some inspiration, here are some ideas.
2. The Twitter Feed
A while ago, I realized that not every Twitter user is aware that there are basically two options for your Twitter feed:
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- You can see every tweet from the people you follow in chronological order
- Or you can see the “top tweets” in your feed as picked by a Twitter feed algorithm
You can switch between the two feed options by clicking on the little star symbol on top of your home feed.
If you are only following a handful of peeps, you may want to choose the chronological feed. If you are following a large number of people the top tweet feed may help you to find the most interesting updates.
The top tweet feed is filled based on your preferences:
- the people you follow
- the topics you choose
- the people you interact with
Between all relevant tweets, the Twitter algorithm chooses the top tweets based on engagement, the popularity of the originator of a tweet, the recency of a tweet, and other factors like if the tweet contains an image or other rich media.
You can increase the chances of your tweet appearing in the feed of your followers by using keywords and hashtags, increase engagement and interact with your followers.
3. Twitter Advanced Search
We all search for something on Twitter from time to time. Usually, we just use the little search bar on the top right of your Twitter dashboard.
But are you aware that Twitter has a really powerful search? A search that allows you to search for almost anything? Tweets within a given time and date period. Tweets from certain users. Tweets mentioning keywords. Tweets NOT mentioning keywords. Twitter in a location or area around that location.
You want to search for something very specific? Twitter can do it.
You need to use the Twitter advanced search: https://twitter.com/search-advanced
How can you get to this form? Type a word into the search bar and hit return.
Now click on the three dots beside the search bar, choose advanced search from the drop-down and the form will open.
4. Twitter Moments
Twitter moments allow any Twitter user to group all tweets related to one topic, event or other in any way related tweets to one “moment.”
Twitter moments allow you to tell consistent stories. They are a bit like Instagram story highlights – just for tweets.
With Twitter moments you can preserve your tweets in topic-relevant containers for your followers to access at any convenient time.
5. Twitter Threads
Tweets are short. They used to be 140 characters, not you get 280 characters to tell the story.
But sometimes it just needs a little more words to tell the complete story.
And that is what Twitter threads are for.
Twitter threads allow you to string a series of tweets together to form one story.
You can create your thread by starting a tweet – but before you tweet it, you click the little “+” sign besides the tweet button.
A second tweet will open – you can add more tweets to the thread. Once you created all tweets you can tweet them all at the same time.
A thread will appear in the timeline of a follower as a series of tweets strung togehter by a vertical line:
6. Twitter Fleets
Twitter fleets are Twitter’s version of stories. They appear on top of the Twitter feet in the mobile app and disappear after 24 hours.
As with Instagram stories a fleet owner can see who saw or interacted with their fleet using the “Seen By” option.
Fleets cannot be retweets and they are not open to get public replies.
7. Twitter spaces
Twitter spaces are live audio conversations on Twitter. They pose the answer to Instagram live for Twitter users.
Twitter spaces are available on mobile and can be used by any Twitter user who has more than 600 followers.
If someone you follow starts a Twitter space, this space will appear on top of your feed in your mobile app – as you know from live videos on Instagram.
You can join a space as a speaker or a listener. If you join a space as a listener you can react to what’s happening in the space with emojis – or you can request to be upgraded to a speaker. As a speaker, you can also pin tweets to the space.
Image Source: Twitter
As a creator of a space you are in control:
- you can decide who can be a speaker
- you can mute speakers
- you can remove people from the space
- you can invite people to join the space via DM
8. Mention Tweets
Mentioning another Twitter account in a tweet can have a tremendous impact on the reach of a pin.
A tweet that mentions one or more Twitter accounts will show in the notifications tab of these accounts. If you misuse this, you can easily be regarded as a spammer. But this also posts a ton of marketing power.
You can use @mentions to earn retweets, engagement, and likes. But you need a reason to mention a Twitter account.
For instance, if you create a blog post about the most important Twitter accounts from our niche – you can tweet this post and mention some of the included accounts. This will often earn you likes and retweets.
You can also ask a question and address a specific Twitter account to get an answer. This can tremendously help to increase engagement on your Twitter account.
An exception to how @mentions are treated on Twitter are replies. If you reply to a tweet, this tweet mentions the Twitter handle of the Twitter account you reply to at the beginning of the tweet.
This tweet will only show to the people in the conversation plus Twitter accounts who follow both the participants of the conversation.
9. Twitter’s Pinned Tweets
Did you know that you can pin a tweet to the top of your Twitter profile? You may be familiar with pinned posts from Facebook, where you can pin an update to the top of your Fanpage.
On Twitter pinned tweets work in a similar way. They are especially interesting if you have many visitors to your Twitter profile and one special tweet you would like to get some additional attention.
10. Twitter Lists
Personally, I believe that Twitter lists are one of the most important features for a growing Twitter account. Once you follow more than a handful of active Twitter accounts you feed will get crowded, and you are prone to miss at least some of the incoming tweets.
If you now have a couple of Twitter accounts from which you do not want to miss any tweets, you can use Twitter lists: Add all the accounts you want to follow to a list. You can even use lists to sort your followers into different categories or topics. You can now either go to the list feed directly on Twitter, or you set up feeds for the different lists in your Tweetdeck account.
You can even follow lists that other Twitter users created, thus saving you the time to search for the best accounts for one topic.
11. Direct Messages
Twitter’s direct messages are probably one of the most controversial features in the social media sphere. However, while you are right that a lot of direct messages are promotional spam, they still offer a great medium to reach out to your followers.
It is up to you to find a message that speaks to your audience. And the open secret is that promotions or sales messages usually are not your best option. Done right direct messages contain a huge potential.
There are tools that let you send automated direct messages to your followers – before you spam your hard-won followers, think what kind of direct messages would you read and react to.
There are several places on Twitter where you should work with images:
- Upload an avatar
- Create and upload a header image for your profile
- Use images in your tweets
Do not underestimate the power of images on Twitter!
No one likes to follow eggs, plus an avatar makes you stand out and be recognizable. You can use the header in your Twitter profile to provide a little more information about what you do and what people can expect if they follow you.
Tweets with images get roughly 18% more clicks and over 80% more favorites and approximately 150% more retweets – do you really want to miss out on that? One reason for these stats is simply that in the crowded feed an image stands out far more than a 140 character text.
Twitter Cards are a special form of a tweet where you can attach rich photos, video or media to drive more traffic to your website. You need to add a few lines of HTML to your website, tweets with links to your website will then automatically have a „card“ added to their tweets which will show to their followers.
There are different kinds of cards like summary cards, player cards, and app cards. You will have to choose one type of car, add the right meta tags to your page and after approval, you can see the card showing below your tweets.
More information on Twitter cards can be found on the Twitter blog.
14. Your Twitter Profile
Now, this does not sound like a Twitter feature you could have missed, does it? Still, many Twitter users do not fully utilize their profiles.
It is important to fill out your Twitter profile by mentioning the right keywords. Many people search on Twitter for accounts on certain topics, you can make sure, you will be listed in the right niche, by paying a little more attention to your Twitter profile.
Also, the Twitter profile can be used to promote yourself or a product in an unobtrusive way. Mention your blog or a featured product and link back.
Click to tweets is not a Twitter feature, but it still is a feature that can easily help you drive more traffic from Twitter.
Click-to-tweet is a WordPress plugin that helps you create boxes with ready-made tweets within your blog content. Thus, you offer your audience various tweet text options for one article – and easily get more shares on your content.
About Twitter Features
Twitter evolves. There are new Twitter features coming up. Some Twitter features make it to fame but many Twitter features pass by underutilized by most Twitter users.
By knowing about the most important Twitter features, you can choose which ones you want to use. And you can avoid mistakes with your Twitter strategy
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