Last November, Twitter joined the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat by adding “stories,” a type of post that disappears from your account within 24 hours. Twitter’s version, called Fleets, was intended to offer a casual environment for any “fleeting thoughts” that were left sitting in drafts.
Reactions have been mixed, but it’s clear that Fleets are here to stay. What may not be as obvious is that Fleets present an innovative option for social media marketing. How does it help when any message disappears within a day? Here are seven ways you can utilize Fleets for marketing.
Overview of features
Before posting, it’s important to understand the features and limitations of a Fleet. You’re able to do many of the same things you do with a tweet. You can share another tweet or generate a new post with text, pictures, GIFs and videos. One major complication is that Fleets are currently only available for mobile users. Don’t let that deter you – a report released by Google says that 80 percent of Twitter’s users access it through a mobile app.
One key difference from other social media platforms is that other apps include an option to permanently save stories before they disappear. Currently, Fleets don’t offer an in-app saving function, though you could always screenshot or repost any Fleet onto your feed.
Here are a few other specifications provided by Business Insider:
- The default post lasts for six seconds
- Videos can be up to 30 seconds long
- You can post up 75 Fleets a day
So, what can you do with Fleets? Here are a couple of ideas to get you thinking.
Highlight another post without retweeting
On Twitter, you can pin one tweet to the top of your feed, and it’ll be the first post on your profile. Fleets can serve a similar purpose. When logging into Twitter, all of the available Fleets are sorted right at the top of the app. Instead of retweeting or pinning an earlier post, feature it as a Fleet. Screenshot an article or snap a quick picture of a new product you’ve announced. These disappear within a day, but it’s an easy way to promote an earlier post.
Giveaways and sales
Use the short timeframe to your advantage! The 24-hour window is perfect for a flash sale or giveaway. Longer campaigns can be promoted in your feed, but if you’re going to offer a promo code for just a day, a Fleet creates a sense of urgency and may get the most exposure.
Offer a personal, behind-the-scenes look
As Twitter wrote in their launch post, Fleets were intended to provide a casual space for tweeting. After all, Fleets disappear within a day, so they aren’t intended to feature heavy production numbers.
Of course, it’s important to highlight that Fleets can still be screenshotted and reposted by anyone – once it’s there, it’s on the internet forever, as the saying goes. When posting on your company’s profile, you still need to be responsible and think about how it could affect your reputation.
At the same time, you can use Fleets as a way to showcase a more authentic or “humanized” side, especially when compared to your carefully curated permanent social media feed. If you’re recording a promotional video, you could include a picture of your setup. If you’re up late working on a project, take a quick selfie at your workspace. These will be seen by your biggest fans without lingering on your public feed.
Expand on the 280-character limit
Jumping from 140 to 280 characters was quite a leap, but Tweets are still relatively short. While an individual Fleet is still limited to 280 characters, you can link multiple Fleets in sequence for long-form content. Rather than creating a long Twitter thread, this keeps your posts in one place.
Post frequently without clogging a feed
How many times should you post on Twitter per day? Five times? 24? Over fifty? Even without a clear consensus, you may be concerned about posting too many times per day and hurting engagement. According to Business Insider, you can post 75 Fleets per day – more than enough for the average user. Every post will appear under the same “story,” so it won’t take up your entire social media profile.
Interact through polls and questions
While Twitter already has a dedicated poll option for tweets, a Fleet could also work for an informal interaction with your followers. Post a Fleet and encourage responses in your comments. It doesn’t necessarily have to relate to your business. You could post a question like “what are some new hobbies you picked up during quarantine?” It gives followers a chance to interact with your profile, and you may be able to start conversations in the comments to help you connect more with customers and supporters.
Post without pressure
Sick of worrying about your like to tweet ratio? Fleets remove this problem entirely! Users are unable to like or retweet a Fleet (though they’re still able to comment). If you’ve been holding off on a post because you weren’t sure about how much engagement it would have, a Fleet would be a good option. It’s a nice break from social media analytics!
Have other ideas? Feel free to share them below!