The warning was blunt: “Once the deal is done, we don’t know which direction this company will go.” That’s what Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal told his employees recently, referring to the impending takeover of Twitter by billionaire flamethrower Elon Musk.
That’s probably not much comfort to organizations wondering how the Twitter takeover will affect their digital communications strategy. But while a huge amount of detail remains unknown — including whether Musk will even close the deal, as he hinted on Friday — there are things a smart organization can do now to bolster its communications plans. whatever happens.
Here are some possibilities you should consider:
1. If you’re too reliant on one platform, you’re not building a winning strategy.
As many observers have already noted, several progressive-leaning Twitter users lost followers who deactivated their accounts after Musk’s announcement, while several conservative-leaning users gained them through newly created accounts. Brands cannot control which users and platforms they choose to engage with, whether their choices are based on real or imagined concerns.
An ideal strategy requires thoughtful and complementary organic and paid strategies across multiple platforms, nurturing relationships with your user base in multiple places – whether it’s on Twitter, on an alternative social media platform, on your site web or through your email program. Your strategy should be based on knowing the users you’re trying to reach, understanding that audience, and adjusting to find the right forum(s) to reach them.
2. If the moderation of the platform is reduced, how much will it matter to you?
Musk has made it clear he doesn’t have much use for platform moderation, which he says interferes with free speech, and he just said he would end the President Trump’s ban. So, you may need to prepare for a future where anything goes, which could mean having to do even more disinformation monitoring, taking on more battles with adversaries (or making a conscious decision not to fight opponents) and prepare your executives for more negative chatter.
Thinking about how you will protect your message and brand in a truly unmoderated future will help you direct your efforts in or away strategically rather than just reactively.
3. If Musk adds authenticated users, as he suggested, there could be great value.
While major platforms remove third-party cookies and other tools that help advertisers know who you are online, channels that have directly authenticated user data may demand a bounty from advertisers who attempt to reach specific audiences.
Authentication will also likely mean that Twitter will be able to tell more stories about its users and what their interests and habits are, providing more precise targeting options. At the same time, authentication will reduce ad waste by removing fake accounts and bots, which has plagued Twitter for years, as Musk pointed out last week. The trade-off here is the implication that knowing the users are “real” will make the platform safer and more of a reasonable space for public discourse.
The reality could be the opposite. Facebook introduced its “authentic name” policy nearly a decade ago in an effort to make its platform more secure; it hasn’t made Facebook any safer, or less of a source of misinformation or disinformation.
4. If Twitter reopens to political advertising, make sure you understand your goals before jumping in.
Again, the answer to whether you should engage in a potential political advertising opportunity on Twitter is whether the platform is really tailored to your audience and your goals.
It’s the 14th largest social media platform in the world after Pinterest and Snapchat, with 436 million monthly active users – just 15% of Meta’s monthly assets. And the vast majority (80%) of Tweets are written by 10% of Twitter users. But perhaps even more important than its relatively limited reach is the growing body of evidence that suggests Twitter merely hardens the political views of its users, rather than serving as an effective tool of persuasion and discourse.
For all of these reasons and more, Twitter isn’t poised to become a premier tool for changing hearts and minds any time soon. This does not mean, of course, that it has no value. For example, the potential to engage influencers and decision-makers – or even rally your existing supporters on your issues – could make paid communications on Twitter an attractive addition to a branding or advocacy campaign, even if it isn’t. is not a main channel to reach the undecided. masses. And, for organizations that must play both defense and attack, there is a cost to leaving unchallenged rivals on a platform that has the potential to shape the discourse beyond its own user base. .
5. If Musk takes Twitter to a subscription model, a paid and organic influencer strategy will be even more important than it already is.
With a subscription model, Twitter could limit traditional ad inventory, making influencers the primary entry point for organizations that spend ad money. There are a growing number of companies that specialize in selecting paid influencers based on an advertiser’s metrics, providing valuable third-party validation.
All of these unknowns underscore the importance of a balanced cross-channel media strategy – one in which you cultivate relationships with your audience across all platforms and don’t rely too heavily on any individual channel to shape your communications. It’s also how people see the world — on many screens and devices throughout the day, so it’s an important reminder to surround your audience with your message.
This will allow you not only to break through, but also to innovate.
Andy Amsler is senior vice president at Precision Strategies and leads the paid media team. Kristina Villarini is vice president of Precision’s digital media team.