Marketers love social media—and for good reason. Social networking has made it easier than ever for marketing professionals to tap directly into the mind of their audience and strategically interact with both current and potential customers by producing content that will pique each of their unique interests.

With the use of social marketing, however, comes great responsibility. Responsibility to not only keep up with what your followers—and the users you hope will become your followers—are interested in but to also pay attention to the latest social updates and what they can add to your marketing arsenal.

Recently, Twitter announced a brand-new set of features set to roll out during the first half of 2015, features that any socially savvy marketing pro would be wise to note.

So, what are the newest updates set to hit the Twittersphere this year? And more importantly, how can marketers take advantage of them to engage their target audience and add value to their social strategy?

1. Video

Twitter will be adding a new and more native way of adding rich media to tweets. The new feature will allow users to record, edit, and share their own videos on Twitter through a video- friendly interface. Although we haven't seen this feature in action yet, it's safe to assume that it could take your average YouTube video to another level.

What it means to marketers

Historically, Twitter users could only share videos from third-party sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Vine from the mobile app. The new video feature will allow marketers to create videos from anywhere, organically share these videos, and enjoy improved audience engagement that often comes as a result of this type of rich media.

2. Private tweets

Twitter users will soon be able to share tweets privately within a DM (Direct Message) with the click of a button, making sharing public content in private conversations easier than ever.

What it means to marketers

Although the real-time marketing advantage of this update may not be clear just yet, it will certainly become valuable as a way for other Twitter users to share brand messages with one another, creating highly targeted word-of-mouth advertising for brands with a dedicated follower base.

For example, imagine a Twitter user sees a promo code or a special offer for a product or service that he or she loves. If the Twitter user knows a friend or family member that might love it as well, the new private tweet feature will allow him or her to pass the message directly to someone that could be interested in making a purchase. And as the old saying goes, word-of-mouth is always the best form of promotion!

3. Timeline algorithm

Twitter CFO Anthony Noto hinted recently at coming changes to the reverse chronological order of the platform's timeline.

The organization of Twitter's timeline has not changed since the product was created eight years ago. Although users have become accustomed to it, it may not be the most effective in terms of overall user experience, especially as it applies to marketers. For example, highly relevant tweets can often get buried at the bottom of the feed if the user doesn't have the app open.

What it means to marketers

Marketers are going to need to get a little more strategic in the messaging they push out through Twitter—as well as how they push it out—to stay ahead of the curve with the new timeline algorithm.

A couple of ways marketing pros can potentially combat the change and remain at the top of the feed is to strategically respond, carefully choose the appropriate hashtags, and continue to post share- and engagement-worthy content.

* * *

Social media platforms are constantly adapting to the wants and needs of users. It's up to marketers to determine how to roll with the punches and use the new features to their advantage as they crop up.

By staying ahead of the curve, the marketing misters and mavens of the world can find huge benefits from Twitter's new features as they roll out this year.

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Three New Twitter Updates You Need to Take Advantage of in 2015

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image of Alfredo Ramos

Alfredo Ramos is general manager of small business social marketing platform Pagemodo, part of the Webs product suite, a subsidiary of Vistaprint.

LinkedIn: Alfredo Ramos