Since the sale of Twitter, the hyperbolic statements saying “This is the end of Twitter” have been told many times. However, the service is about to make a massive change affecting all users.
“Tech billionaire Elon Musk said he plans to start charging all users of X, his social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “We are moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” Musk said during a live-streamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.” – https://www.politico.eu/article/x-could-go-behind-a-paywall-musk-says/
I won’t go into all the issues people have raised over the last year. However, Musk announced that ALL of Twitter would go behind a paywall. (as you can read above). How many people will pay for the service? Twitter has been free since its creation back in 2006. Only recently has there been any paywall.
Most people are not going to pay for Twitter. I said it because there are so many more options now than ever. The competitors are Threads, Hive, Mastadon, and BlueSky. The latter is still in “beta,” and you need an invitation to join. The downside is that nowhere is as robust in followers and people as Twitter. We will see different parts of Twitter migrating to other services.
Twitter (or, as it’s called now, X, but I will always call it Twitter) is trying to be an everything app, similar to WeChat in China. This approach is different from what most people want in the US. Plus, an app for “everything,’ you need the trust of the company running it. The people who used the app preaquisition are posting 25% less, according to NBC News ( https://www.cnbc.com/2023/05/17/twitters-top-users-are-posting-less-since-musk-acquisition-pew-shows.html). This trend will not slowing down any with this recent announcement.
So, should your Twitter Strategy be in the light of this announcement?
- Start searching for an alternative network, even if you don’t plan on leaving the service when it goes up behind a paywall. Find where your customers are going by asking them via survey or social media.
- Create accounts on alternate services now – Be sure to create an account, claim your name on the different services, and share them on your current site, email marketing, and social media sites.
- Staying on Twitter – If you stay on Twitter, monitor your analytics weekly. Check your engagement, reach, likes, comments and retweets. If you notice a trend going down, judge if it’s worth the effort, and if not, start engaging on other sites.
- Push your Email sign-up on Twitter – Push for people to sign up for your email marketing so you can send info directly to your customers if you move or start to focus on another network.
- Only abandon your Twitter once you have to – keep your Twitter going until you have to give it up. If you refuse to pay, run it till the day you can’t post anymore, then make your last post where you can be found and pin it to the top of your profile. If you pay and decide to give up, stay till the last day of your membership.
- Be Prepared to do things manually – Some new services have third-party tools and apps to schedule, monitor, and give you analytics. Tools like Later do integrate Mastadon for scheduling. The other means will be added as they grow and changes happen. However, be ready to manually post and answer people on these sites, just like in the old days of social!
The key to social media marketing is to be flexible. Everything changes, and usually with little notice. Don’t be discouraged by missteps or errors made in strategy. If you choose the wrong service, don’t worry; no one will likely remember you posted on Hive instead of Mastadon.
We are still determining when this will happen or if it will happen. The current management has a way of rushing into something only to change their mind on the new policy in days or even hours. This could be a big bluff, but the uncertainty of the site is making me tell clients to get ready with a Plan B and be prepared to implement it. We are all looking for an alternative with stability and growth. It’s hard to tell what that will be right now, and we’ll have to follow the numbers and people.