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How to make and use GIFs to increase Twitter's engagement

Every social media platform has evolved to excel in sharing certain types of content and, despite its shortcomings, Twitter is one of the best platforms for sharing news about your business, your blog posts and some graphics. ]

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) are animated mini-animations that last just a second or three. They are powerful on Twitter because when someone scans a long list of Tweets, the movement in a GIF commands the attention of the Twitter user.

Creating a GIF is easy. There are free online services that you can use. The process begins with a video. I've used Giphy in the past and I found it very user friendly.

Ideally, you will have a short video from which you want to capture a few seconds for your GIF. It can be an online file for which you have the URL or a video file stored on your local computer. In the example below, I'm dragging a file from my desktop to the Giphy window. (By the way, I used Giphy to do this GIF.)

Once the video is downloaded, use the online sliders to set the starting point of your GIF file and its duration. Under the sliders, you will find areas in which you can enter a caption, if you want a message to be displayed on your GIF. You can also add option tags and a source URL. Tags are useful if you want people to help people find your GIF on the Giphy website and use it for their own content.

Finally, you can share your GIF directly from Giphy, copy the link where your GIF lives on their website, get embedded code for your website, or download your GIF in different sizes.

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Do not use GIFs too much. If all your GIF flash messages in the eyes of your followers, at best, they will begin to ignore them, at worst, your followers will start to become annoyed. However, the occasional use of a GIF is a good way to highlight special content and remind your followers that you are still there and active.