Four Factors to Consider About Twitter Use in 2023By Dave Kushner
Since Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter became official in late October 2022, the popular social media app has been a continuous topic of discussion and inquiry within the social media industry. After a verified, but fake, imposter account resulted in Eli Lilly & Co.'s stock price plummeting, many companies are acting with extreme caution, pausing ad-spend or “going dark” as they consider their future presence on the platform.
As uncertainty rules the day, here’s what you should consider as you evaluate whether or not you should be active on Twitter.
As the platform adds more commerce features, and charges users to utilize certain services, like its overhauled “verified users” feature, concern is growing that data breaches could expose not just names and email addresses, but phone numbers, billing addresses, and other sensitive payment info. Until recently, Twitter users weren’t required to tie their accounts to legal names or any other personal information. Reports are coming in that users are now being asked to update their phone numbers and other private details in order to log into the platform. Twitter has been subject to data breaches prior to the Musk era, and with Musk laying off much of the company’s engineering staff, fears of future hacks into privileged data have only increased – as have concerns that Twitter itself will unethically utilize users’ data. This has resulted in major companies, including Coca-Cola, Pfizer, Walmart, Macy’s, GM, and more, pausing their ad spends.
Hate is on the Rise
In the wake of Twitter reinstating thousands of accounts previously banned for hate speech, and violent rhetoric, civil rights groups like Media Matters, Color of Change and more have launched campaigns against the platform urging more companies to halt advertising and account activity. According to the Brookings Institute, there has been an over 200% increase in hate speech on the social media site, leading to an unpleasant environment that many prefer not to enter. Twitter is having serious difficulty keeping its most prolific and influential users active as major names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Shonda Rhimes, Jim Carrey, Pedro Pascal and many more have deleted their accounts. The traffic provided by this tier of users is crucial to Twitter’s business model as they provide up to half of the company’s revenue worldwide.
Should you Stay or Should you Go?
Every entity is different and should carefully consider its options. Users must evaluate if their personal or brand values align with the current direction of the company, and its outspoken CEO. Accounts serving the public good or non-profit sector should not necessarily abandon the messaging network, as it remains a platform for organic communication, but proceed with caution, and avoid sharing any new information that Twitter requests. Pausing paid activity is a prudent move, until a time when less uncertainty and volatility hover over the social media network.
Explore New Social Media Platforms and Features
With Twitter in its current state of volatility, now is the time to seize the opportunity to create or solidify a presence on one of the many developing and trending social media platforms. Whether that be finally taking the plunge into TikTok, BeReal, or Discord, utilizing the new Notes function on Instagram, joining upstart Twitter competitor Mastodon, or the revamped Tumblr – now is the time to consider new social media platforms and strategies, and/or reallocating efforts and budgets to the ones that are more stable and deliver results.
The social media landscape is constantly and rapidly evolving; the changes at Twitter are just a part of that. It can be difficult to identify which platforms present the right opportunities for your company and decide the right strategy to execute on those opportunities. A sound social media strategy is based on identifying objectives, studying data, creativity in content, and testing. Evaluate your brand’s goals and you’ll be on your way to determining the social media platforms and strategy that will achieve the most success.
Dave Kushner is a Social Media Manager at Marino, serving the agency’s Lifestyle, Non-Profit, and Corporate Communications team. A veteran of social media and community management, with a decade of experience in the field, Dave loves talking Twitter and social strategy for all platforms. Reach out at: email@example.com if you’d like to discuss Twitter’s new developments or any social media platform.