Twitter has just released a new service which is it calling Custom Timelines. You can read all about what it is and how it works over there, but we’ve been experimenting with it here at Battenhall to see how it can be best used for brands, content publishers and in community management. Here are some tips on getting the most out of Custom Timelines and how the new set-up works.
First you need to go to http://tweetdeck.twitter.com. If you don’t have an account, or if it’s been a while since you last used it, Tweetdeck is now in your browser, no software download needed, and you can get up and running in a few minutes.
Once you are up and running in Tweetdeck, click on the 3rd icon from the bottom left and you will see Custom Timelines pop up. Set one up, give it a name, then start dragging and dropping tweets into it. It’s best if you pick a theme, then use search inside Tweetdeck to create a new column and drag tweets into our Custom Timeline.
Then you need to share the timeline for others to see. You can do this by clicking on the slider icon to the right of your Custom Timeline name and you have three share options – view on Twitter.com, embed on to a website, or tweet about it. At the bottom of this post here on our blog is an embed of one of the Custom Timelines that we have created, all about the most current brand issue to emerge right now, the Haggerston Tesco Tumblr.
Twitter says that coming soon you will be able to automate what tweets appear in a Custom Timeline, which will make the streaming of content on to Twitter for brand channels much more sophisticated than the current alternatives.
If you are a brand, content publisher of blogger, here are some ways you could get the most out of this new Twitter feature:
- Themed tweeting: brands are always looking for creative ways of publishing themed content, whether it’s about the day’s news or a product or service. This is an elegant way of setting up specialist streams of brand and consumer tweets.
- Customer service: publish your own and your customers’ tweets to address issues from people to people without having to always be the brand.
- Investor relations: create Custom Timelines from one main brand account dedicated at the investor community, including news, briefings, product information and influencer opinion
- Event live tweeting: think Storify but in an exclusively Twitter environment
- News channel: create a brand news feed that pulls in your own announcements, news coverage, expert opinion and more
Twitter has published some early brand examples of how Custom Timelines are being used. If you have any other interesting uses, let us know.