Should I Start Marketing On Twitter Now That Elon Musk Is The Boss?

  • 9 min read

Twitter just can’t seem to catch a break. First Elon Musk laid off half the workforce, which everyone expected but seemed shocked when it actually happened. Next the introduction of the famous “paid verification” is stumbling out of the gate. Finally, some of the initially fired employees are actually being asked to return. 

After first announcing a takeover of Twitter followed by an attempted retreat, Musk has now formally taken over the social media giant. He entered Twitter headquarters last week carrying a sink so that people “let it sink in” that he was now officially in charge. Musk, who uses Twitter quite regularly himself, plans to completely overhaul the platform.

Elon Musk is not the first big name to take over a media outlet. Jeff Bezos acquired The Washington Post in 2013. Rupert Murdoch, who owns a number of media outlets,  purchased Fox News in 2019 and is now considering merging with News Corp.

What Could Change Now Elon Musk Owns Twitter?

Not ironically, so much of what Elon Musk plans to do now that he owns Twitter is playing out daily on the platform to the glee or the exasperation of millions of Tweeters.

Freedom of Speech Without Moderation

Musk had already launched several polls on Twitter before announcing his intention to buy the company. Among other things, he wanted to hear from users whether Twitter should become open source and whether the platform adheres to the principle of American free speech. 

Musk had repeatedly criticized Twitter for blocking or at least muting conservative accounts and for being a mouthpiece for left-wing voices.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

Elon Musk

A Fight Against Bots

Musk also wants to take rigorous action against bots. Bots often control fake or inactive Twitter accounts and distort both the follower count of prominent personalities and the opinion picture on explosive political issues.

“Twitter’s unending fight against spam accounts is now a problem for new owner Elon Musk, who pledged in April to defeat the bot scourge or “die trying!”

CBS

Musk Wants to Turn Twitter into a “Super App”

Musk had hinted that he wanted to develop Twitter into a “super app” that would enable everything from money transfers to online purchases to taxi services — similar to WeChat.

Given the excitement around Musk’s acquisition, however, the company is in danger of losing its most active users. The “heavy tweeters” make up only about ten percent of all users, but account for 90 percent of all tweets and half of global revenue.

“Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app”

Elon Musk

Subsequent Editing of Tweets

Another change that has been under discussion for years is an “edit button.” On this topic, too, Musk asked Twitter users if they wanted such an option. Three-quarters of participants answered “yes” to the question. In the USA, subscribers to Twitter Blue can already test the function.

“Musk so far hasn’t publicly talked (or tweeted) about his plans for the edit button since taking control of the company. But the feature was one of the first Twitter-related topics he raised after he first acquired a large stake in the company this spring.”

engadget

A Paid Blue Check

Elon Musk wants only Twitter users who pay eight dollars a month to get the coveted blue tick in the future. Musk plans to integrate the verification check mark and other benefits into the existing “Twitter Blue” subscription, which so far includes bookmarks, a special reading mode and the option to correct a tweet that has already been sent. 

Currently Twitter Blue is only available in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

“Far too many legacy ‘verified’ checkmarks were handed out, often arbitrarily, so in reality they are *not* verified”

Elon Musk

Move Over Twitter — Welcome to The Fediverse!

“I’m moving over to Mastodon!” is the new “I’m moving to Canada” call that has been resounding over social media since Musk’s takeover of Twitter. 

Mastodon is the elephant in the room that everyone suddenly sees — a free, open-source alternative to Twitter. The platform is a decentralized social media platform that originated in Germany in 2016. It reminds me of how Twitter used to look and feel when it first began in 2006.

Star Wars fans might appreciate Mastodon’s setup. While Twitter is a single network, allowing people to sign up and share content only on Twitter, Mastodon is a “federated platform.” In essence, it is a collection of social media networks that link together but are owned by different people. It’s a bit like the Bitcoin of social media platforms.

Comparing Birds to Elephants — Twitter versus Mastodon

Mastodon is a bit different from Twitter, should you like to try it out. 

For example, on Twitter you “tweet.” On Mastodon you “toot.” You have 280 characters on Twitter. On Mastodon you have 500.

The most obvious difference is that you can create and host your own Mastodon instance. What is an instance? An instance is basically your own Mastodon. The “flagship” instance is https://mastodon.social/

Some other interesting ones are: 

  • securitymastod.one (infosec enthusiasts) 
  • animalliberation.social (animal rights)
  • linuxrocks.online (linux users)
  • mastodon.partipirate.org (the French Pirate Party)
  • meow.social (cat lovers)

You get the idea.

Some brave souls on GitHub began keeping a list, but gave up as the number was simply growing too quickly.

“Before Musk completed the Twitter acquisition on Oct. 27, Mastodon’s growth averaged 60-80 new users an hour, according to the widely-cited Mastodon Users account. It showed 3,568 new registrations in one hour (after the acquisition).”

Reuters

Why Social Media is Important to Your Online Marketing Strategy

If you aren’t yet using social media as a part of your marketing, you may like to ask yourself why? Often it’s a question of resources. Time isn’t something we can buy more of.

Depending on your company, the business model, and, above all, your own target group, synergies arise via social media that are difficult to pass by. Social media adds transparency and dialogue to your marketing. It also allows your loyal customers to talk about you, and answer other customers’ questions based on their experience. It’s like free marketing!

Regardless of platform, social media helps your business in many ways not least of which are: 

  • bringing visitors and clients from sources other than search engines or other people’s websites. 
  • and giving people a way to interact with you in places other than your website or your email. It’s like “Building in Public” but for your community dialogue.

“While social media isn’t the platform where you’re going to get all your problems solved, it is a great place to connect with your WordPress hosting provider and ask questions. It’s a great way to dig through existing posts and find answers already out there.”

Rocket.net

Is Twitter a Good Place for Marketing?

With more than 200 million daily active users, Twitter is one of the largest social media platforms in the world. What was actually only meant to send short messages to friends developed into a worldwide platform and an excellent marketing tool. This makes the microblog a huge, open space that suits a wide range of businesses. 

Tweets are indexed by Google which makes them an important part of any business’ SEO strategy. When it comes to audience, users on Twitter have a higher income and higher level of education compared to the average social media user.

In addition, probably everyone you know is on Twitter too! We’re there, as are Cloudflare, and probably all your WordPress crew are there, too.  

You can use Twitter on their website, or their mobile app, and of course, you can connect Twitter to your WordPress website using one of the many plugins. 

Start Here: What is Your Goal?

Think about what you want to read on Twitter and what you want to accomplish in the first place. Do you want to connect and share with other people who have the same interest? That’s what Twitter is great for. It’s just as suitable for getting people to your website by tweeting links with your posts.

Businesses on Twitter Reach their Customers Easier

Twitter has now found a place in many people’s everyday lives. Many look at Twitter before they get out of bed or while brushing their teeth and check their status. This is an opportunity to be with your customer while they are still getting ready for the day! We see Twitter handles for their local news anchors when they catch up with the morning show or the weather. Screenshots of tweets are routinely shared on Instagram, Facebook, and in the news. 

Customers want a quick question answered quickly, too. If a question can be asked on Twitter in 280 characters (the maximum length of a tweet), it can also be answered in 280 characters. That’s why many companies use Twitter as a support channel, taking the pressure off their phone hotline: Twitter helps you to help your customers quickly and understandably.

Twitter is Free and Real-Time

Content on Twitter is shared instantly and is an effective way to safely reach your clientele. A key advantage of Twitter over other platformers like Facebook is that it does not curtail organic reach and there is currently no algorithm that filters content. In this respect, you can theoretically reach all your followers with your tweets.

This happens at different times for each user. And it depends on how their user behavior and especially their interactions with your company account on Twitter. Of course, this also has its good side, namely if one of your tweets belongs to the “Top Tweets” (i.e. has received many likes and retweets), it will be displayed high up. 

The real time aspect of Twitter makes it the perfect place to go during natural disasters and times of crisis. We also complain about the lack of a passing game as well (*cough* Packers *cough).

Twitter is Perfect for Cross-Promotion

You’ll probably be using other social networks and maybe even a blog with your business anyway. If you have posts and videos on Facebook or YouTube, why not share them on Twitter too? Updated your LinkedIn profile? Share it on Twitter. Have a new blog post? Share it on Twitter. 

Here you can ask your followers to post their opinion about it. Even if a negative opinion is expressed — see this as an opportunity: You can ask about the motives for the criticism and sort out any problems. This will make your company better and the transparent approach will present you positively to the public — and improve your image. Even better is using Twitter as a way to learn about your target audiences and use that insight to correct your marketing personas.

Twitter is Viral and at the Same Time Personal

Twitter went online with the idea of sending quick messages to friends. That’s why you should act as a person, not a company, on Twitter. You should come across as honest and personable, not as a corporate identity machine. For example, share photos of your employees (ask permission first!) or ask for your followers’ personal opinions. This will make you valuable and inspiring to your customers. 

Every retweet increases your reach. When one person retweets, all their followers can see it. This includes replies which, frankly, are Twitter’s secret weapon. Since so many businesses automate their Twitter, actually engaging with your audience gives you a competive advantage. 

Twitter Means Staying Competitive

Posts on Twitter are usually open to everyone. Not only can you read what your customers are saying about your business, but you can also read what they are saying about other businesses. For example, if your competitor doesn’t respond to questions, you can step in as a savior, so to speak, and offer the questioner an alternative solution. You can also get in on current Twitter trends and positively link your brand to them (“newsjacking”).

“Driving people to your website via Twitter gives you the best results for brand awareness and puts you in a position to take the customer down your marketing funnel or buyer journey.”

Bridget Willard

How to Start Marketing on Twitter

Honestly, there is probably a Udemy course that answers that question! Twitter Business has a few answers of its own, too.

Twitter marketing offers great potential for marketing purposes, thanks in part to:

  • direct messages
  • the 280 characters
  • the ability to share content 
  • the creation of followers lists

Twitter Marketing Tip #1 Personalize

Give your Twitter presence a face or recognition value. Accounts without a header image or a trustworthy profile photo don’t cut it. You’re not on Twitter to remain anonymous. Use your company logo and corporate colors. Get creative, a bit unorthodox — get people talking about you and interested in connecting.

Twitter Marketing Tip #2 Listen

You know what? It’s not always about you. Yes, you read that right. What your product offers is secondary. Focus on people. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to be active, but primarily you should:

  • engage in discussions
  • retweet
  • Mention people
  • keep an eye on what other users are interested in

Good tip? Talk about yourself 20% of the time, and talk about the industry, and others’ success stories 80% of the time.

Twitter Marketing Tip #3 React

Your followers and all other users use Twitter very selectively. No one reads through their entire timeline unless they are plagued by acute boredom. And no one wants to bother with topics from the previous day either. If someone explicitly engages you in tweets or conversations, you need to respond as quickly as possible. Tomorrow may be too late to make that sale!

Twitter Marketing Tip #4 Try Stuff Out

This is where another fact you should know about Twitter comes in handy: It’s a real-time network. Every tweet is lost in a flood of other posts, so small slips are soon old news — unless you make a gross blunder and someone immortalizes it as screenshots. Often the “new stuff” is only available in the native app – not even on Twitter.com.

Twitter Fun Fact: Only about 1% of your followers will (probably) see your tweet.

Twitter Marketing Tip #5 Use Images

A visual marketing strategy can be very helpful for any social media site, and Twitter marketing is no exception. Visual information is far easier to consume and retain than its text-based counterpart. Most of the information we gather on a daily basis is visual.

This means that images, rather than 280 letters, can be more interesting and lead to more engagement than plain text. According to Twitter, tweets with images get 35% more retweets on average.

“People are three times more likely to engage with Tweets that include visual content.”

Twitter Business

Should I Start/Stop Using Twitter Now that Elon Musk Owns it?

To be honest with yourself, look at your track record. What other products have you stopped using when a change of ownership occurred? 

To flip that, ask yourself, why do you use Twitter, and are any of what Musk says he wants to do in conflict with what your company needs?

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