Twitter was my first social media channel. Although 140 characters struck me as a superficial communications strategy and perhaps a waste of time, I joined to learn for myself in June 2008. After all, my friends followed fun knitters and I was always up for that! Three months later, my speciality tour operator launched its Twitter handle with great results over the next three years.
When the algorithm kicked in and the advertising pumped up, using Twitter still made sense. Working with small businesses, I encouraged them to launch Twitter accounts, depending on their audience and message. Even if your business wasn’t interested in making a statement on Twitter, listening to your customers and your competition made the platform an useful marketing research effort.
How would Twitter make it as an advertising revenue business? I didn’t know, and it wasn’t my job to figure it out. The platform cost nothing but time – so use it carefully.
In the last five years, I’ve found my Twitter lists the most effective way to get the tweets I wanted, rather than scroll through my feed. It’s worked for me, but works best on a laptop.
Clearly, Twitter users are heading out, hedging their bets and/or hanging on to the communal water cooler they’ve enjoyed over the years. Just as every business owner had to choose whether Twitter was the right place for them, that choice is still there.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence haven’t made it much easier to control a common conversation, and advertising revenue hasn’t brought Twitter the financial success on which many venture capitalists bet. With new ownership and new philosophies, things will change.
What are the three Twitter trends this month? Heading out, hedging bets and hanging on.
I notice that the number of followers on both of my Twitter handles decreased by 10% in the last three weeks. Those users headed out.
Some of my favorite personalities are hedging bets – posting more on LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr or creating new profiles on mastadon.social, cohost and counter.social. With the mass migration, there’s a bit of backlog added to your learning curve, but why not? In my Twitter user feeds, Mastadon is the clear leader.
Honestly, I expected more Twitter users to create their own community channels on things like Mighty Networks, Slack, Discord or other groups. Maybe in the future we will see this?
Most of my favorite local organizations and resources continue to post on Twitter – perhaps those feeds were already programmed a month ago? Maybe the timeline for “wait and see” is longer? Maybe they’ve been on Twitter so long, that the addiction is clear.
As tempting as it is to try out Mastadon, different deadlines and priorities mean I won’t carve out time for this until early 2023… and maybe not then.
I still encourage businesses to post regularly on their website and to keep that newsletter content coming. If you need a hand with this, don’t hesitate to contact me. (Yep, following my own advice and sending you to my Contact page and not a social media profile).
I’d love to hear about your Twitter strategy.
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