Social Media Marketing: A Fleeting Thought
In an age where social networks are repeatedly and unashamedly copying features from their rivals, it came as no surprise when Twitter’s new release seemed all too familiar. As experts in social media marketing, we’re not afraid to be up front about the limitations of Twitter as part of a social media campaign, but this new release instantly piqued our interest. Now that the dust has settled on Fleets, we take a look at how they can be utilised and whether there’s room for improvement.
What are Fleets?
In a nutshell, Fleets are stories on Twitter. Snapchat did it first, Instagram and Facebook swiftly replicated it and even LinkedIn beat Twitter to it. Upon release there was a flurry of activity but uptake on the new feature seems to have died down – so what seems to be the problem?
From our point of view, it’s an unfinished feature. Instagram stories have swipe up links, stickers, gifs, polls, timers and even your favourite music. Twitter has one font and customisation is basic at best, meaning that visually, Fleets are actually quite bland. Creating custom graphics can be a costly venture for any business, so without the ability to pin them to a highlights reel like you can on Instagram, there’s limited scope for receiving a return on your investment.
Room for improvement
But that’s not to say that we don’t see potential in the feature – Twitter has a reputation in the social media marketing industry for being expensive, so when working with limited budgets, it’s common to divert funds to Facebook, Instagram or YouTube in order to generate better results. If Twitter were to introduce paid opportunities within Fleets, this could turn things around for ad spending on the platform, bringing Twitter back to the forefront of advertisers’ minds when budgeting for a campaign.
Customisation is also a huge opportunity for Fleets – whilst we’d not expect Twitter to copy Instagram’s full roster of features, the key opportunity lies within being able to add links. Brands and influencers need to be able to achieve a return on their investment and this generally comes from linking to external sites and driving sales – whilst you can currently see vanity metrics such as views – when working on a digital marketing campaign, link clicks are an important metric to track.
Fleets can also pose new engagement opportunities, they can give brands a chance to engage their audience on a deeper level because when replying to a Fleet, this drops directly into a brand’s DMs, opening up the opportunity to begin genuine conversations with your most engaged fans, allowing you to turn them from a regular fan into a brand advocate.
So whilst we’re not rushing to create a Fleet-first marketing campaign for any of our clients, we’re not writing off the feature just yet.