On October 27, 2022, Elon Musk became the owner and CEO of Twitter. In the five months since, decisions that have been made from the top have influenced a stream of social media updates that are changing the ways brands use the platform.
Twitter has been a cornerstone social platform for a long time, being a key part of a brand’s social media strategy. Over time, in line with other social media platforms, Twitter reach has consistently decreased, creating more of a pay-to-play space and increasing the hours and creativity needed to have an organic presence.
While Twitter’s algorithm is kept secret from users, it does take into account user interests, profiles they follow and the types of content they engage with to determine what content will be served. Many brands have continued to find organic success on the platform, having built their engaged audiences years in advance, whereas many smaller pages are having to commit to consistent advertising to reach interested users.
So how are brands having to respond to these changes?
When Twitter announced that all users would be offered a Blue Check verification option, $8 on web and $11 on iOS per month, it was seen as a cash grab to allow users to purchase a verification marker that used to be exclusive to brands, celebrities and influencers.
While this move will limit the number of spam bots with the need to pay being seen as a verified user, those who do not purchase Twitter Blue will see lower organic impressions and other metrics. For those in the PR space, this significantly impacts the perceived credibility of true journalists and media outlets, by taking away checks from legitimate reporters and giving it to those who opt to pay for one. For small businesses and organizations, this small but significant need for payment means another $100+ a year for organic social media content, putting additional stress on content creators and advertisers.
For organizations who have had blue-check verification in the past, brands will be losing their option and will be required to pay to keep their Twitter profile verification. While there are several new verification options for pages, businesses will need to qualify for these badges within Twitter’s specific guidelines.
After the decision on Twitter Blue, Meta followed suit with verification on Facebook and Instagram, separately, for higher prices. At Martin Waymire, our team is consistently assessing the value of paid profile verification, providing options and recommendations to clients on a case-by-case basis.
With Twitter Blue, many brands have seen spammers, who can create parody accounts with a blue verification mark, make comments and remarks, with minimal consequence. With massive layoffs at Twitter, advertisers and marketers are growing more concerned over the ability for the platform to effectively moderate this increase in parody accounts and spam.
Brands should consider additional checks on potential parody accounts throughout social media platforms and take appropriate action in reporting pages. Social listening is a great tool that we often utilize to help clients monitor the conversation around and involving your organization, and to help put out potential fires before they happen.
Since October 2022, half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have stopped advertising on the platform. Not only are brands considering the ads they place, but the content and streams where their ads will be experienced. GM, General Mills and others have recognized that, with changes to the content moderation and page verification, those advertising dollars are better spent on cornerstone and growing platforms like Instagram and TikTok, respectively.
Along with the price increases and platform management concerns listed above, organizations have considered and started allocating efforts and funds to more stable social media sites in place of Twitter.
If your team is thinking about moving away from Twitter, here are a few key items to think about:
- Deleting your account will cause you to lose all of the work you’ve done and all of your data. Consider going dormant on the account to keep this information and allow yourself easy reentry to the platform, if and when it stabilizes.
- In stepping away, produce and pin a tweet that prompts users to find you on other platforms. Unless you are looking to draw attention to your decision, make this statement casual and do not point out that your brand is leaving Twitter.
- Keep Twitter in your community management strategy. Your brand may still receive mentions or comments on posts and conversations on the platform may still be relevant to capture for internal reporting, customer service needs and more.
If you decide to stay on the platform:
- Continue to evaluate the frequency and type of content you are posting to the platform.
- Evaluate how Twitter fits into your broader social media strategy.
- Stay up on news within the platform, as it continues to change.
At Martin Waymire, we take a comprehensive approach to all social media decisions, including the addition and removal of platforms from a client’s overall strategy.
Have more questions? Get in touch.