Fleets is one of Twitter’s newest features, introduced in late 2020. It is a way to post your Fleeting thoughts on Twitter with confidence. Fleet’s are comparable to ‘Stories’ which appear on most other Social Media platforms, whereby they only last 24 hours. This post will disseminate how your brand can take advantage of this new feature from Twitter.
How Does It Work?
Fleets can be compared to Stories that appear on other social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. Though Twitter’s Fleets have their own set of rules to stand out from being just another story feature. Here are some things you should know before you start creating your Fleet content.
- Fleets of people you follow are listed along the top of the Twitter app in bubbles
- Tapping on a profile picture will also bring up that user’s Fleets
- New Fleets can be added by tapping on the + circle at the start of the Fleet bubbles
- Tweet’s can also be shared as a Fleet
- Tweets shared as a fleet link back to the original post with a tap
- Videos recorded on Fleets are 6 seconds by default
- Videos of up to 30 seconds can be uploaded
- Fleet posts last 24 hours
- Up to 75 Fleets can be posted a day
- Fleets are played in the order they are sent in
- Replies (text And emotes) are sent via DM’s (along with the Fleet post for context)
- Everyone that views your Fleet is listed
How can you use Fleets for Marketing?
The use of Fleets in marketing will primarily be for quick turnaround content such as reactions, responses, or short-term promotions. It is a quick and easy way to give your audience perishable information. We’ve shared some recent examples that we’ve enjoyed below.
Giveaways – as shown below in Razers Fleet about a giveaway they were doing for advent over the Christmas period. By posting a Fleet of their giveaway they have set the content aside from their normal tweets making the post easier to find as a Giveaway tweet is the type of content the audience wants to interact with.
Behind the Scenes (BTS) Content – doesn’t need to stay on your dashboard but is a nice treat for your followers to see.
Limited Time Offers (sales/ promotions) – as shown below by McDonald’s Fleet advertising a free McFlurry on their app. This is available for one day only and so makes the most of the perishable nature of Fleets as the information is not needed after that. This also removes the need to delete a tweet of this nature to avoid customer confusion.
Emotional or heat of the moment content – such as passionate or angry content that fits at the time but if it was looked back on without the context would be seen as unprofessional.
Showing off content that needs attention away from the main feed – Cambridgeshire County Council has used Fleets for this by putting important Covid messages there. An example is shown in the image below in a graphic. With Fleets used less than tweets, the Fleet bubbles are less cluttered and make it easier to find posts than in the feed. Here content will stand out from tweets, replies, and retweets.
Instant responses – if you have something to say why wait for the next scheduled post?
Highlighting good responses to a post – which Spotify did in their series of Fleets shown below. These show a video of Celebrity influencers autographing the screen of their top percentage listeners for 2020 as shown in their Spotify wrapped. This is then followed by Spotify sharing the tweet of the fan’s response. By using Fleets it tells a story and links the posts better than a retweet/ quote retweet would. Responding to breaking news – sometimes needs an instant reaction especially if it’s relevant to your market/ industry/ campaign.
Promoting your own or other people’s Tweets by giving them another platform to be seen on – as shown below by HubSpot who have been using Fleet to promote their Tweets which ask questions. This is to increase the number of responses/interactions they get on the post, which otherwise would be just another post in the user’s timeline. Explaining complex topics with Images and text in a series of posts to break it down into digestible sizes for the reader.
How does it compare to other stories?
So now you know the rules and possible applications of Fleet in marketing let’s see how it compares to other story features and Tweets.
Can take and post Photos
Can record and upload Videos
Can use Text
Can use GIFs
Can use Emoji’s
Uploads are Editable
Tweets can be Shared (both your own and other peoples)
Seen By list is available so data of views and potential influencers can be collected
Replies are sent in DM’s which can be a 1:1 Conversation Starter
Post last 24hrs
Not on Desktop currently Fleet is only available on Mobile Devices
No Public Interactions/ Replies
Currently, no Stickers BUT they are coming in the future
Currently, no Streaming BUT they are coming in the future
Not available to everyone as it is slowly being rolled out. So some users may not be able to see the content.
What’s the verdict?
“It was only a matter of time before Twitter rolled out their own version of Stories, and late last year, they did just that with Fleets. Although a very different platform to the likes of Snapchat and Instagram, Twitter still has its own audience to cater to. Placement and timing are key when it comes to your content strategy; nail these and you’re setting yourself up for success. Know your audience behaviour across the different channels and ensure you evolve your strategy to allow new ways of joining conversations.
Do I think Fleets will be on par with the likes of Instagram Stories? No. But we’re not comparing apples with apples, because the channels are so different. Do I think there’s a place for it? Yes – for some there will be, for sure. Do I think it’s here for the long-run? Only time will tell, but looks like there are already plans to include collaborative interviews in the future, so we’ll see.”
Helen Sharpe, Account Director at OST.
With Periscope being discontinued in March, Twitter should have the time to perfect Fleets over 2021. Currently, it is not quite there with an incomplete rollout and some ‘coming soon’ features that are available already on other platforms. But we feel Fleets has the potential to be a good platform in its own right and stand out from other ‘Story’ features.
If you want to apply Fleets to your social media campaign please speak to our team.