On the 27th of October 2022, the long drawn-out saga between billionaire Elon musk and social media platform Twitter came to a conclusion with Musk buying the company and taking it private. Along with this decision came a series of changes causing upheaval that has left many users in turmoil.
While several users have chosen to quit the platform and many others remain uncertain about the future of Twitter, we’re here to take a look at what’s new and how social media marketers everywhere can be using this as an opportunity to make the most of things.
Even before the buyout, Twitter had announced a series of changes this year. For marketers looking to stay on top of their game, the options are simple. Those who don’t find themselves riding the wave of change will soon find themselves beneath it. So let’s dive right into some of the most recent changes in the past year as well as take a look at some of the possible changes that have been announced and might be seen in the days to come.
Why Twitter has potential?
As a marketing platform, Twitter undoubtedly has the potential to achieve incredible results. Especially if you take a look at influencer marketing trends this year, UGC creators particularly on Twitter have become huge assets to brands when it comes to creating original, engaging, and creative content for businesses.
This is particularly common with micro-influencers who often have followers in the range of 1k to 100k. Although smaller in numbers they make up in terms of engagement as communities here tend to be hyper-engaged — particularly so on Twitter.
This means that when it comes to influencer marketing, Twitter is a gold mine, and navigating changes with regard to new policies is well worth the trouble, especially for businesses playing the long game.
So What’s New?
Below we take a look at some of the big changes we’ve seen come out recently and how they might affect us going forward. Let’s dive in:
1. Top Creators Might Be Compensated
A direction the winds of change are expected to blow towards is one where the top content creators on the platform receive more monetary compensation for the engagement they bring to the platform. This means we can expect to see more features like Twitter’s ‘Super Follows’ which offers users access to premium content not publicly available at the additional cost of a paid monthly subscription.
There are however a few catches to these new features. In order to be eligible a content creator must have over 10k followers and tweeted at least 25 times in the last 30 days. They must also be over the age of 18 and reside in the US. Users who meet these criteria can apply for monetization and must be accepted to the ‘Super Follows’ beta. They are also limited in the fact that they can only tweet to Super Followers on iOS devices only.
This could mean the platform begins to resemble sites like Patreon or Buy Me a Coffee. This is sure to open opportunities for influencer marketing, particularly for brands that can correctly identify the right influencers for their niche. However, businesses looking to get ahead of the curve might want to decide if this is an approach they want to consider in their campaigns.
2. Multimedia Tweets And Topically Related Videos
If you’re looking for a feature that allows for a playful mix and match of various media formats then as of October 5th, 2022, Twitter’s head of social made an announcement that going forward, users could tweet images, videos, and GIFs all in the same Tweet.
What makes this an interesting change is an ability to create funny memes. Brands looking to market to a particular audience segment through the use of memes can do so much more easily.
This also applies to any brand that just wants to share more information in a single tweet. Additionally once a user swipes up on a video, they’re now going to see topically related videos including videos from accounts they don’t follow.
This is likely to make the app far more engaging and keep users scrolling for much longer — something that Twitter seems to have borrowed from TikTok.
3. Long Form Content — A Game Changer
On 17th November 2022, Elon Musk announced via a tweet that the ability to do long-form tweets would be coming soon. One of the main characteristics that make Twitter so catchy is that it forces users to be concise and say things in a short, snappy, and occasionally witty way due to the character limit.
The ability for long-form content means that brands have to significantly change how they share larger chunks of content. Typically there are two ways to do this — through linking to blogs or through Twitter threads.
Take for example this article by Twitter user Hobo Speaks who primarily shares content about working and living as a digital nomad. Since several articles go into detail, these can’t be shared as tweets. Instead, the Tweet shares the link to the blog post but requires the audience to follow through by actually clicking it. Something that readers will not always do.
The other common way to share large chunks of information is through Twitter threads. This is when a single person shares a series of Tweets to give further context, provide updates or link relevant information. For example, take a look at finance influencer Sahil Bloom’s frequent use of Twitter threads.
Brands looking to take advantage of this new change may want to seriously revise their current content strategy which more often than not involves using bite-sized, short-form content.
The good news is that investing in a few content marketing tools, writing apps, and finding the right content creators who can capture your audience and keep them reading long-form content doesn’t have to be hard at all. If anything, it will help create a well-rounded content strategy that attracts all kinds of customers.
4. Convoluted Co-Tweeting
Another recent feature that brands can take advantage of is Co-Tweeting. This new feature allows two authors to simultaneously post the same tweet to both their profiles and their respective follower’s timelines at the same time.
There are several reasons brands need to be excited about this. Not only is it a new way to collaborate and share the spotlight, but brands can now use this feature to establish new partnerships and better engage with brand ambassadors’ followers or simply the audience of the influencers they currently work with.
Let’s take a look at this re-tweet by mattress company Zoma. Athlete Kharlton Belmat shared a post talking about a Zoma product which was promptly re-tweeted by Zoma. Re-tweeting is currently a common practice when brands want to share a tweet with their followers, however, under the new co-tweet feature, brands can now engage the audience of the influencers they work with more directly.
Rather than simply sharing someone else’s tweet, co-tweeting takes a bolder stance and demonstrates that the brand in question not only shares ideas about something but also voices them with equal vigor. Something brands are always looking to accomplish through their social media handles. Particularly during times of controversy as well as when they stand behind an ambassador.
Co-tweeting is still early but offers great promise with regard to the future of how brands look to capitalize on their ambassador’s engagement and connect better with their audience. While it may not replace re-tweeting, it will certainly change the game.
5. Account Verification and The Twitter Blue Blues
The last change we’re going to address in this article is all the back-and-forth flip-flopping on blue tick verification that’s been going on. Initially intended to combat the surprisingly large amount of fake accounts, Elon Musk came up with the idea of an $8 blue check subscription service.
The plan backfired as the relatively cheap price made it possible for virtually anyone to verify their fake accounts. Several fake accounts popped up overnight impersonating some big brands forcing Musk to backtrack on Twitter Blue as a service.
Twitter then also announced that in addition to Twitter Blue, another official label will be available only to government accounts, and some public figures, commercial companies, major media outlets, business partners, and publishers.
Arguably all this flip-flopping has left brands anxious, especially when it comes to the perceived authority that verified Twitter accounts wield. In this case, only time will tell what the best path forward is. Especially with the latest announcement that new Twitter accounts can’t buy Twitter Blue verification for the first 90 days.
Brands looking to get verified should stick to their normal content strategies and maintain consistent branding across all social media platforms. As soon as the turmoil dies down and the confusion around the correct type of verification has been sorted out, Twitter will likely inform users from an ‘official’ account about how to proceed.
So don’t sweat it!
All the rapid changes can be quite overwhelming, particularly to social media teams looking for stability and confirmation around all the new announcements, and understandably so. It can be daunting finalizing the budget for a social media campaign when you’re no longer sure it will be effective and don’t know if you’re even on the right track.
However, the only constant changes. Brands have an opportunity to leverage some of the changes and really stand out by using Twitter to voice their opinions in more creative ways. Be it through co-tweeting, Super Follows, long-form content, or just memeing. This tumultuous time will come to pass and we’ll look back at it for what it really is — an exciting time with endless possibilities.