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Developments out of Twitter have been coming in fast and furious since our last blog post providing initial guidance on Musk-era Twitter. The platform is hanging on for the time being — but of course, we can’t tell yet how things will ultimately pan out. Here are some top recommendations for organizations wondering what to do right now, and considerations for how to think long-term.
- Download your account data. This should be the first thing to do given the volatile situation at Twitter. Keep in mind that Twitter’s increasing staff shortages could cause this to take anywhere from 24 hours to several days. Additionally, when you go to request your data, Twitter will ask you for a verification code that will go to the email address and/or phone number associated with the account. Click here for instructions on how to do this.
- Safeguard your organization’s presence on the platform. As we mentioned in our previous blog post, this may be a good time to devote more attention to community management and social listening. What is your audience saying? Have you seen an uptick in spam replies?
If you’ve seen an increase in spam and/or harassment, here are some helpful community management resources to get this under control:
- Controlling who can reply to your tweets (Start here!)
- Blocking & Muting on Twitter: How to use advanced muting options
- Protected Tweets (Making your account private to followers only)
To further secure your account, revoke access to any accounts/tools that you’ve linked to on Twitter and financial information that you’d like to safeguard. More information can be found here and here.
- Don’t pay for verification. The Verification feature is constantly changing under Musk’s leadership. At first, Twitter was charging $8/month for the blue verification checkmark, but this opened the door to fake accounts impersonating organizations and politicians. Twitter now plans to roll out three distinct verifications: gold checkmarks for companies, gray for governments, and blue for individuals. The company claims that verified accounts will be “manually authenticated” before the checkmark appears on the profile. We recommend waiting for Twitter to roll out this update and not paying for Verification.
In addition, when interacting with other organizations and individuals, make sure the verified account that you’re interacting with is actually verified.
Topics of discussion for long-term strategy
Here’s the thing about Twitter: It serves many different purposes for all kinds of organizations, individuals, and campaigns. It’s been a staple for partnerships and coalitions, influencing policy, expert positioning, building relationships with press, and responding to the news cycle. It’s also been a hub for P2P community building, marketing, and plain old fun and comic relief. Its previous and current purpose varies from one organization to the next, so the following considerations may or may not apply to your work.
- Continue building out your presence on other social platforms. Are you on other large platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn? Devote some more attention to ramping up your organization’s presence on those platforms. If you’re not on those platforms, take a look at where your primary audience(s) are already engaging. This includes keeping an eye on where your audiences are flocking to from Twitter, if they are in fact headed to lesser established platforms.
When building out your audience on other platforms, consider a mix of tried-and-true organic and paid strategies, like enhanced community management, following an influencer/partner engagement strategy, running ads, and sticking to a consistent publishing schedule.
We do not recommend focusing solely on Facebook. If your organization only has a presence on Facebook and Twitter, consider a new Instagram or LinkedIn page depending on your primary audience(s).
- Have a plan to migrate your Twitter audience. Cross-promote your presence on other platforms and channels, and hold some internal discussions to prepare for if or when you decide to no longer be active on Twitter. Consider pinning a tweet at the top of your page with links to other social media pages and using other communication channels (like email) to remind your audience about your presence on other platforms.
- Decide where you draw the line. Some said Musk reinstating Donald Trump’s account would be the final straw. If you’re seriously thinking about sunsetting your presence on Twitter, have an internal conversation to get aligned on when to leave. This might not be a single event — it could be a dramatic increase in hateful content on the platform, or the algorithm prioritizing radical right-wing voices, or banning progressive activists.
- Use this as an opportunity to refine the goal or purpose of your organization’s presence on each social platform and how you talk to your target audiences. For example, if you’ve used Twitter for expert positioning of individual leaders within your organization, consider how LinkedIn could serve a similar purpose. If your organization is deeply embedded in movement and coalition work, assess where partners, allies, and activists are most active, and meet them there to amplify those campaigns.
- Think about media relations. A lot of our clients use Twitter to enhance their media relations efforts, and there are plenty of questions about how to respond to the daily news cycle and stay top of mind with press. If you’re thinking about moving to an emerging platform (like Mastodon) for this purpose, consider grabbing a username now even if you don’t have a concrete plan to build that presence just yet.
Overall, we recommend using this time to plan ahead and not make any sudden decisions. There’s a lot of value in sticking to established social platforms and taking a step back to assess how you can best communicate with your target audiences through a suite of digital channels.
Stay tuned for more updates on Twitter from M+R in the future. M+R’s Social Media team is constantly monitoring the situation and will share updated recommendations as the situation changes.