Twitter’s recent flotation onto the stock market has grabbed all the headlines, but the micro-blogging site has also been busy issuing service updates.

In our second edition of Keeping You Posted, we explain two of the changes, which can bring extra benefits to your online activity if used correctly.

Successful social media strategies have content at the heart of them, and these changes shine the spotlight even brighter on the need for it to be of good quality. They force businesses to change their posting habits if they are to reap the rewards of a strong social media campaign.

In-stream video and images

Previously, Twitter users had to click a link to see a photo or video that one of their followers wanted to share.

Images now appear automatically in a user’s timeline, if they are uploaded directly

via Twitter. If images are uploaded through a third party application, such as Instagram, they will still appear as links.

The Twitter feed now looks very similar to the newsfeed on Facebook: less text is visible, and visuals now stand out more than ever, as you can see in the graphic to the right.

So what does this mean for businesses? You need to review the content strategy aligned with your social media activity.

With 500m tweets a day, your posts are in danger of being missed in all the white noise. Now, as well as having informative, unique and fresh content to share online, smart social media strategies should now include the use of eye-catching images to attract the reader.

Custom timelines

You can now create a timeline of tweets around any subject or topic that is relevant to you.

Using its Tweetdeck application, users can drag and drop selected posts, to create a custom timeline.

In my opinion, this is one of the most exciting tools released by Twitter as it boosts content creativity.

Do you provide weekly lists, such as top industry-related stories, in a blog post? Mix up how you present it by pulling in the top stories, as told in tweets, and show the information visually.

And remember, others can curate tweets for their own timeline, too. Use keywords and hashtags correctly to improve the chances of your content being used by a third party and shared.

If you are at an event or exhibition, set up a timeline that your followers can use to stay up to date with. The benefit to the follower? They get to see the most relevant updates without wading through the bog of general chit-chat about the event.

The benefit to you? Your business builds trust and credibility with its stakeholders.