How to tell stories on Twitter

How To Tell Stories on Twitter

Stories are the next big thing in social media and everyone is consumed with Instagram, in particular, as a story-telling channel. Of course, Instagram is the haut monde when it comes to social media stories, given its story feature introduced back in 2016 that mirrored Snapchat’s ability to post an image or video that expires in 24 hours.

But did you know you can tell stories on Twitter too? Granted, Twitter is yet to introduce its own specific “Twitter Stories” feature, but it does have a plethora of other areas where telling stories make for an engaged audience.

If your target customers and staff use Twitter and you want to engage them with a little storytelling, here are a few ways you can go about it.

 

1.Broadcast on Twitter Live

Creating live stories on Twitter is a great way to mimic the story feature widely available on other channels. It’s fairly undertilised and as with most channels, video is prized highly in Twitter’s algorithm meaning a video story from you could get pushed to the top.

Twitter once had its own live video tool, Periscope, which is now used to power live videos directly within the app. To create a live video, simply click on the compose button inside the Twitter app as if you were to write a tweet and you will see the live icon. By clicking this (and enabling microphone and camera access) you can begin a live Twitter video feed.

The best thing of all? When you go live on Twitter, your video is saved and posted as a tweet so you, and your customers, can go back to re-watch it at any time.

To further engage your audience while using Twitter live, users can comment and send in hearts to react to your content. This lets you do a Q&A type video and gain feedback on the parts of your story that resonate with your audience the most. If you want to create a private live stream (that isn’t discoverable on Twitter), you can do this directly through Periscope.

Twitter live can be used to:

  • Share an exclusive “behind the scenes” insight
  • Launch a new product, service or event
  • Introduce members of your team or even customers

 

2. Create a Twitter thread

Despite Twitter’s upgrade to 280-character tweets (from the previous 140 characters which made tweets conveniently fit within the size of an original text message), sometimes you still need more room to tell a story.

A really useful trick to tell a story on Twitter is to use threaded replies. Twitter has introduced a feature where you can “link” different tweets together into one comprehensive story, so that when a user is interested they can click on the thread to read more.

To do this, open a new tweet. As soon as you begin typing, you will see the + button appear next to the “Tweet” button, as shown below:

How to create a thread in Twitter

When this appears, you can use it to create a second (or third, or fourth and so on) tweet that is connected to the first.

Compose a thread in Twitter

Many users also add the word “THREAD” in the initial tweet, so that their audiences know to clickthrough and read more.

Within the feed, you can spot a thread by the words “Show this thread”.

Show this thread on Twitter

By clicking on this, your audience can view the full set of tweets that are joined, plus any related comments, likes or retweets.

A thread on Twitter

Threads are a great way to tell a story outside of the traditional means such as video or imagery, and to grip users enough to make them want to read each message.

Twitter threads can be used to:

  • Create a mini-blogpost
  • Start a series: for example “social media tip Tuesday” to share your best insights
  • Give details about an event, product or service you offer

 

3. Use Twitter moments

Another way to create stories on Twitter is to use, and become part of, Twitter Moments. According to Twitter, “Moments are curated stories showcasing the very best of what’s happening on Twitter”. To view daily Moments, click on the “search” icon within the Twitter app. Underneath “Trends” you will see “Today’s Moments”. These are collections of tweets that have been curated into a single story by Twitter.

On desktop, they can be accessed using the “Moments” tab in the navigation bar.

Twitter's moments tab

As you can see here, Moments are often split into different categories such as “News” or “Sport”. These will also be organised by any content that’s timely or trending at that moment in time.

By selecting “Create New Moment” you can create your own Twitter story using the Moments feature. This allows you to add a title, description and specific tweets such as those you have liked or tweets from your own feed.

For example, here is a Moment we created on Twitter Search tips.

Twitter moment example

You can see how we have added tips from our own account and tweets from other users too:

Tweets added to a moment

Moments can be used to share content and create stories around:

  • Company events or tradeshows that span over multiple days
  • Tips and advice
  • Timely commentary or company news (for example a press release, broken down into individual tweets)
  • A shoutout to customers or other users

 

Time to stop tweeting and start telling stories

Stories are a powerful medium and one that not many brands or businesses are utilising on Twitter. Why not share your story using one of the methods above and see how much more engagement you can get?

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