What to do about Twitter
28 November 2022 at 4:09 pm
How should not for profits respond to Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter? Richenda Vermeulen explains in this handy guide.
You’ve seen the news, Elon Musk has taken control of Twitter. And in the three weeks since he arrived at Twitter HQ holding a sink, the platform has become increasingly unstable.
Though not as popular as it is in other parts of the world, Twitter is huge among journalists, government agencies, policy makers, and industry leaders in Australia. This means it can be highly effective for not-for-profits when used to build 1:1 connections and foster high value relationships. However for mass marketing & fundraising, it’s never performed well.
Your organisation might have ethical concerns as to whether they should leave Twitter. However, it’s our opinion that you shouldn’t abandon the platform unless you’re willing to abandon the benefit it brings your organisation.
If it doesn’t bring much benefit now — then that’s another story.
Here are our tips on protecting your organisation and using the platform over the coming weeks and months.
Safeguard your Twitter account & past content
There is a real risk of Twitter crashing or of something going wrong with your account. The reasons for this are twofold. First, a huge number of staff have left and Musk is making changes quickly and the risk of rushed code causing issues is a real one. Secondly,with the confusion around verification there has been a huge increase in users impersonating brands. That’s why it’s so important to safeguard your content. We recommend these three steps.
- Download all your data and archive your content. Follow these instructions to do so: Settings and Support > Settings and privacy > Your account > Download an archive of your data.
- Use social monitoring tools to keep track of your brand name. A number of brands have had people impersonating them and this can obviously pose a huge brand risk. Report misuse to the Twitter Help Centre.
- Disconnect your credit card from the account.
Don’t advertise on Twitter
We’ve been steering clients away from advertising on Twitter since before Musk’s takeover. Repeatedly we’ve seen that both engagement and ROI are dismal. Twitter has 13% ROI on paid social media campaigns compared to 19 per cent on Instagram and 26 per cent on Facebook. (State of Inbound Marketing Trends 2022 | HubSpot)
On top of that, since the takeover things have gone from bad to worse. Read the below screenshot from one marketer and their experience with Twitter in the weeks since Musk took control.
Be strategic about the content you post over the coming weeks
We recommend continuing to post but not prioritising any Twitter-specific formats. Instead, just repost from other platforms.
This is also a great opportunity to thank your audience for all their support over the years and to repost a few significant moments from your organisation’s history.
Even if you’re not deleting Twitter, it’s a smart move to let your audience know where else they can find you online. Pin a tweet to the top of your feed guiding people to other platforms or ask them to sign up to your newsletter.
Don’t be beholden to one platform
The current situation with Twitter is an important reminder of the risks of relying too heavily on any one social platform or channel.
It’s important to acquire audiences across a wide array of platforms so that if anything goes wrong — whether it’s an algorithm change or an ill-conceived takeover — you still have a means of connecting with your audience.
For organisations that use Twitter heavily for the management of stakeholders and media (eg government agencies) we recommend focusing heavily on building your LinkedIn account where those same stakeholders exist.
For organisations using Twitter for mass marketing and fundraising engagement, consider other social channels such as Instagram, TikTok or Facebook.
Finally, when is it time to jump ship?
We don’t think it’s quite time to abandon Twitter just yet, but we will be closely monitoring the situation and we advise you to do the same. Who knows where things will stand in a week, a month or even a year.
If the ecosystem or audience of Twitter changes significantly it may be worth pausing your account and putting the time, effort and budget elsewhere.
Whatever happens with Twitter, this case study highlights the need to diversify your media ecosystem and not be beholden to one platform. We’ll be keeping a close eye on all things Twitter related and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch.