On October 28, 2022, Elon Musk officially purchased Twitter. After months of back and forth & potential courtroom battles, the Musk / Twitter Saga is
finally done just beginning. Since taking over, Musk has fired Twitter’s CEO, CFO, CLO, and General Counsel. In the days after the acquisition, Twitter’s CISO, Chief Privacy Officer, and Chief Compliance Officer have reportedly resigned from the company.
Why Does This Matter to You?
Now that Twitter isn’t a public company (there’s no Twitter Stock — it’s privately owned), Musk has final say over anything (and everything). It’s worth noting that with ~a billion dollars / year in interest payments alone, Elon Musk needs to monetize, and monetize quickly.
While speculation has been fast and furious, not a ton (to us — users of Twitter) has changed. So far, we’ve seen:
- Approximately 3,700 employees laid off to reduce overhead and try and make Twitter more profitable
- A charge implemented for Twitter Verification
- A large number of advertisers have suspended on-platform Twitter advertising
- Content moderation council is (announced / supposedly) on the horizon
- Vine, a short form video content platform, might make a comeback
But the overall usability of Twitter has stayed consistent.
What We’re Watching For
On a day-to-day basis, we’re watching for a few pieces that may change our recommendation to clients.
1. Increase In “Hate Speech”
If we start to see a further increase in hateful speech on Twitter, our recommendation may change. We don’t want to associate our brand or our clients’ brands with hateful content in any manner. Elon Musk has said that he sees Twitter as a public square and would review the way they suspend accounts, as well as past suspensions.
2. A Decrease in Active Users
If we start to see individuals leaving/deactivating their accounts due to any reason, we’ll want to have a conversation about where your target audience is.
3. A Fee to All Users to use Twitter
In my opinion, this is one of the least likely scenarios. Twitter’s strength (and weakness) is its user base.
What Do We Recommend in the Meantime?
Something that RyTech is investing heavily in during late 2022 and early 2023, and something we believe our clients can benefit from is building your own community. There are a number of benefits & possibilities to community building — one of the largest benefits however is the ability to build on a more stable platform, or turn your community into first-party data.
Instead of building a community around a hashtag on Twitter, the following options are always worth considering.
- Group Building on Facebook
If your audience is largely on Facebook, this may make the most sense. Facebook has turned itself into a platform too large to be acquired as well, so the potential of one billionaire (even if it is the richest person on earth) is slim to none. The only downfall? Meta, Facebook’s Parent Company, still is responsible to shareholders as it’s a public company. Because of the pressure to consistently grow, pieces of Facebook, like their recent newsletter service Bulletin, are introduced and cut fairly quickly because their goal is maximization of profits.
- Build a Group on LinkedIn
Looking at the past few years, LinkedIn seems to be one of the most consistent social media platforms. B2B focused and less social-influenced, LinkedIn is an exceedingly common platform to build a community on.
- Discord / Slack Communities
Moving off of social media and more towards the “owned” community, servers like Discord or Slack are great platforms to build on. They have more anonymity than social media, meaning a change to the platform can have a more limited impact on your community.
- Collect First-Party Community Data
Instead of engaging on social platforms with your users, aim to collect their email addresses and personal information so you can do direct outreach to your community. We do recommend having a social channel involved here for immediate feedback / faster communications, but having your communities first-party information means that any changes to social mitigates the potential of losing access to your community.
RyTech’s Recommendations as of 11/14/2022
Twitter Ad Clients: Our recommendation is to pause all ad spend on Twitter until there is a clear path forward for content moderation, verification methods, and user engagement. If you have been considering Twitter as part of future strategy, we recommend holding on pushing campaigns live. There are other avenues where this ad spend can be redeployed temporarily to achieve desired outcomes.
Twitter Organic Clients: If your organic social media strategy involves the use of Twitter as a significant part of your strategy, we recommend having a conversation with our Social Media Manager + Social Media Team to discuss if Twitter is the best platform for your brand based upon your marketing and communications goals.