Two weeks ago, Twitter announced it was rolling out a GIF button specifically designed for its users. For all of us obsessed with social media, this was the greatest news that could have popped into our newsfeed.
The GIF button sounds great, but what does it mean for us PR people?
The first step is figuring out how to get and use the GIF button. Luckily, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. First, update the Twitter app. Second, close out of the app so it will refresh. Third, open the app and create your first GIF button tweet.
Step 1: update Twitter app. Step 2: refresh app for GIF button. Step 3: All dreams come true. pic.twitter.com/bPRCO3nfCk
— Taylor Morgan (@HeadsorTaylor) February 26, 2016
Here were some of the things I noticed, from a PR standpoint, as I created my first beautiful, visually moving tweet.
The content is limited to the companies Twitter partnered with.
Twitter created the button in tandem with Giphy and Riffsy, two companies that have revolutionized the GIF market. When you first click the button, all GIFs are searchable by emotions and actions, but you also have the ability to search for other content in the search bar.
However, if you have specific content for a brand that needs to be created, you will need to use other methods of design. GIFs are easy to create through online generators and through Photoshop, but the new button adds a layer of ease to the process.
Pre-scheduling tweets through a phone is a no-go… for right now.
One of the great tools that many in the PR profession use is a social media management site, like Hootsuite. It allows you to schedule all of your tweets at one time and not have to worry about consistently posting content. Using Hootsuite as an example, if you have the app on your phone, the GIF button is currently not an option when crafting and scheduling pre-drafted content.
This could be a unique opportunity for Hootsuite or any other social media management system to expand into their mobile app development. A partnership with Twitter would help in consolidating everything to one app, making posting and sharing even easier.
Content is fresh, visually appealing, and provides variety.
GIFs are a great way to incorporate fun, relatable content into a newsfeed among the static photos and informational tweets. However, using too many GIFs can have downsides. It’s good to mix-up the content that you use, but it’s important to have consistency in the creative direction to give a brand an identity.
Through GIFs, a brand is able to inject personality and emotion into what would normally be a static post. Brands such as Oreo, Netflix and Mcdonalds have found ways to incorporate GIFs sprinkled throughout other compelling photos and news.
All in all, the Twitter GIF button is a great tool that will, without a doubt, start to be used in daily content across all types of brands. Now, time to learn what the Facebook Reaction button is all about.