If you’ve read any headlines the last month, you already know Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, reached an agreement with Twitter’s board of directors to purchase the social media platform for around $44 billion. For social media marketers, it’s led to a lot of questions. Many of which still lack answers. Here’s what we know.
- 400 million users
- 215 million active daily users
- 6,000 tweets sent every second
While these stats make Twitter a major player in the social media landscape, the platform remains far smaller than its competitors.
- Facebook: 2.6 billion users
- YouTube: 2.3 billion users
- WhatsApp: 2 billion users
- Instagram: 1 billion users
- TikTok: 800 million users
- SnapChat: 300 million users
About Elon Musk’s Plans for Twitter
Musk and Twitter publicized the agreement just over two weeks ago. Specific details about how Musk plans to change Twitter’s processes remain to be seen. However, he has used Twitter to throw out a few of his thoughts. It’s possible that these thoughts will never actually come to fruition. Think about all the ideas you’ve had for your business and how many you’ve actually put into action or that worked out the way you imagined. Musk’s plans for Twitter are the same but maybe with a few extra zeros at the end.
First, Musk has said he wants to restore free speech to the platform. Twitter actively moderates posts and has banned users based on their content. The most famous subject of their content moderation is President Donald Trump who was removed from the platform for his posts about the January 6 capitol riots. Musk says he does not support bans of users but perhaps limited “time-out” sessions instead. Some users have expressed concern that a lack of moderation will allow hate-speech to run rampant on the platform and reduce the number of active users.
Second, Musks plans to eliminate bots on the platform. While spambots aggravate all of us if he succeeds in removing all the bots expect your follower numbers to decline. In fact, the total number of Twitter users and engagement over all of Twitter will likely decline. Bots not only spam us, but they also provide a lot of engagement over all social media platforms. Removing them will change statistics for the worse. On the flip side, we’ll be dealing more with real humans and less with inflated numbers.
Third, Twitter for business may not be free anymore. In one interview, Musk suggested charging a small fee for commercial and government use of the platform while keeping it free for personal use. Subscriptions might offer some users ad-free Twitter feeds. In other words, start looking for other ways to interact on Twitter if you currently spend a lot on Twitter ads. Moving away from advertisers as the main revenue source will change how businesses use the platform.
Fourth, Musk released the idea he could open Twitter’s algorithm to businesses. While fewers ads may mean fewer opportunities to pay to reach Twitter users, an open-source algorithm means you can figure out what types of posts get the best results. We’re most excited about this part of Musk’s plan. By studying the algorithm, business marketers can better customize their posts to reach their audience organically. Removing bots may reduce engagement, but the open-source algorithm should increase it.
Your Business Twitter Strategy
For now, we recommend taking a watch and see approach. Twitter expects the sale to go through by the end of 2022. It may be 2023 before we see major shifts happen on the platform. At the same time, keep a close eye on your Twitter account. What do your engagement and follower counts look like? Knowing your current stats will help you keep track of changes when they happen. It can also help you decide if paying for business access to Twitter is worth it if that happens.
At Momentum Consulting, we’re always looking ahead for the best ways to help our clients use digital marketing to grow their business. If you’re looking for a real strategy and not a “hope this works” plan, reach out for a one-hour consultation to see if our services are a fit.