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Twitter Fleets

How To Use Them

Twitter announced their rollout of Twitter Fleets this week.

The reviews from Twitter loyalists are definitely mixed.

Many people are on Twitter because they really don’t like Instagram or Facebook Stories, or Reels or IGTV. They enjoy a more straightforward text-with-the-occasional-graphic thrown in approach to their communications. But let’s start at the beginning.

What Are Fleets?

Fleets are Twitter’s version of Instagram Stories, but still in its infancy, so there are fewer options at the time of this writing, and just as well, as this new feature is still a little buggy. A couple of bugs that I’m aware of include someone you’ve blocked can still tag you in their Fleet, some people can still see your Fleets even after 24 hours. But hey, it’s brand new, so I’ll cut them some slack.

Before we dive into how to use Twitter Fleets, let’s discuss why you might want to use them for your own brand. Or not.

It’s another way to connect to more people and inspire more conversation, albeit privately via DM. If you know me at all, you know I prefer my conversations to be in my public newsfeed for the most part, having learned not to talk to strangers or follow them into dark rooms, but apparently, I’m not the norm in this.

From a marketing perspective, if I get a question from someone, it’s likely that’s not the only person that would appreciate hearing the answer. So when I answer it in public:

  • I am in essence responding to many people, and
  • getting more eyeballs on that conversation, and
  • increasing my social authority.

Starting conversations where lots of people can see, creates this incredible thing called engagement where you have the opportunity to make more friends and find more potential customers. If you continue to help people, even existing or past customers see this and may remember to refer you or use you on their next project.

I can see a case can be made that getting someone to DM you is in fact one step closer to gaining a customer.

Fleets are Twitter’s version of Instagram Stories, but still in its infancy, so there are fewer options at the time of this writing, and just as well as this new feature is still a little buggy. A couple of bugs that I’m aware of are someone you’ve blocked can still tag you in their Fleet. Some people can still see your Fleets even after 24 hours. But hey, it’s brand new, so I’ll cut them some slack.

Before we dive into how to use Twitter Fleets, let’s discuss why you might want to use them for your own brand. Or not.

It’s another way to connect to more people and inspire more conversation, albeit privately via DM. If you know me at all, you know I prefer my conversations to be in my public newsfeed for the most part, having learned not to talk to strangers or follow them into dark rooms, but apparently, I’m not the norm in this.

From a marketing perspective, if I get a question from someone, it’s likely that’s not the only person that would appreciate hearing the answer. So when I answer it in public

  • I am in essence responding to many people, and
  • getting more eyeballs on that conversation, and
  • increasing my social authority.

Starting conversations where lots of people can see creates this incredible thing called engagement where you have the opportunity to make more friends and find more potential customers. If you continue to help people, even existing or past customers see this and may remember to refer you or use you on their next project.

Imagine If You Will

Let’s say you have 20,000 followers. You’re doing everything right and hundreds of people are starting to DM you because you’re creating awesome Twitter Fleets.

Now what?

I know many Instagram Influencers get lots of DMs and guess what? They often have a copy and paste response at the ready. So is that really connecting? Maybe to some. Not so much to me.

I’ll be using Twitter Fleets to see how they develop, but Twitter has a history of starting up features with promise and then letting them languish (Periscope) or killing them completely (Vine). So I’ll enjoy them while they last, but I’m not putting all my eggs in that basket.

In the meantime, let’s go over the basics so you can get started in case this turns out to be the biggest thing since Almond Milk.

How To Fleet

Something to know is that Twitter Fleets are only available on smartphones at the moment. So grab your phone and let’s go through this together step by step.

Good to know: I have an Android so this might look a little different on an iPhone. But I don’t know. I do know some of the buttons have changed locations since yesterday on my phone.

  1. Open your Twitter app on your phone
  2. Hit the Home button
  3. You should see your profile picture with a little + sign on it in the upper left-hand corner of your screen. (If you don’t see this, try going to your Profile Page and click from there)
  4. Click on that blue +
  5. You then decide if you want to create your Fleet using text only, a picture you already have on your phone, take a picture in the moment with your camera or a video (30 sec max)
  6. Whether you’ve added text or an image, you can use your fingers to make it larger or smaller and move it to whatever part of the screen you like Once you’ve stylized your text, added your emojis and feel it’s ready to go, you’ll see a button in the upper right-hand corner that says “Fleet” which will send your fleet out into the world.
  7. If you decided against it or you’re just experimenting, hitting the back arrow on the upper left side of your screen will take you a step back, and much like Instagram, you can back all the way out of the whole thing.
How-To-Add-Fleets

Adding More Fleets

Once you’ve added your first Fleet, you might want to add more, to create a series.

  1. Starting again from your Home button, you’ll know see your profile picture with a circle around it denoting you have an active Fleet
  2. To the right of that you’ll see profile pictures of people you follow
  3. To the left of your own profile picture you’ll see a blue icon of a camera with a + sign that says “Add” underneath
  4. Click on that blue icon, take the same steps you did above and you will end up with another Fleet that will show up after your last Fleet.

So if you want to create a Fleet series, upload them in the same order you want them to appear.

Other ways to Fleet

You can also Fleet a Tweet (say that 10 times fast)

  1. Go to the Tweet you want to send out as a Fleet. This can be your own tweet or someone else’s
  2. Find the share icon and click on it
  3. You’ll get a screen that says “Share A Tweet” with the options of sending it as a DM to someone, sending it as a Fleet, bookmarking it, and other options depending on what apps you have on your phone

Are you Fleeting? Tag me on Twitter and let me know. I’m anxious to see how people will begin to use these.

Let me know in the comments where you stand on Fleets. Love ’em or hate ’em? If you’re using them, is it for business or personal or both?

 

Get more Twitter tips and hacks by clicking here.

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