More Customer Service Brands Are Getting Creative With Twitter’s New Curated Profiles

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Starbucks, Airbnb try ‘featured tweets’

Earlier this summer, Twitter started beta testing a new feature that gives brands more creativity and control over how their accounts appear. Now, it seems to be rolling out the feature to a wider swath of brands.

The design tool—dubbed featured tweets—essentially breaks a company’s page into three sections instead of having a running string of chronological tweets in Twitter’s website and mobile app. In the top two sections, brands can pick around 10 tweets and a handful of photos to promote. Beneath the curated sections, all of the brand’s tweets appear in a normal timeline.

In theory, featured tweets are meant to highlight a marketer’s best posts, much like a Facebook Page that can pull in multiple pieces of content. Twitter has also been encouraging brands to pump more video and pictures into their feeds as part of the platform’s move to become a video hub over the past year or so.

In July, Marketing Land reported that AT&T and Alaska Airlines were using the custom design, and now it appears that a slew of customer-service oriented brands including Starbucks, Hyatt, Citibank, Hotels.com and Airbnb have created custom profiles.

“This is a continuation of the testing we kicked off earlier this year as we continue to explore ways to surface the best content from brands using Twitter,” a rep said via email.

For customer service-oriented businesses, featured tweets is a way to show users a few pretty pictures or a smattering of curated tweets before they scroll down to see thousands of replies to consumers’ complaints.

Take Hotels.com, for example. The brand cherry-picked four pictures and a handful of tweets that either contain a photo or video, including an Instagram contest and a video campaign with spokesman Captain Obvious.

Under that is the “all tweets” section of the page, listing all of Hotels.com’s tweets in chronological order.

Meanwhile both Starbucks’ main account and the account for its loyalty program, Starbucks Rewards, have featured tweets. The main account highlights Christmas pictures, tweets and videos while Starbucks Rewards’ account is designed around offers and promotions for members.

Twitter has worked to become a customer-service platform over the past year, labeling accounts that respond quickly to tweets with “provides support” buttons. And in November, Twitter launched its version of customer service chatbots called Welcome Messages for brands including Pizza Hut, Evernote and Spotify.

This article first appeared in www.adweek.com

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