How Social Managers Are Feeling About Twitter
Is the new Twitter brand safe?
I know. Not another think piece on Twitter! But for today’s newsletter, I was curious to hear how social media professionals, specifically those of us who work on the organic side of things, are feeling about the platform and all of the, uh, changes going on.
It’s important to go beyond the eulogies (FWIW I don’t think Twitter will just die) and hear how these constant updates are affecting the day-to-day work of social pros—whether it’s leaning into the “moment” (see above) or explaining to your boss why your brand doesn’t need a Mastodon strategy yet. I asked the Link in Bio community to DM me their thoughts, these were some of the biggest themes I heard:
“My biggest concern right now is brand safety, and navigating the platform in a way that doesn’t negatively affect our brand reputation or feel tone-deaf in the context of everything going on. For example, I saw an ad for a workplace software tool with a joke about making a spreadsheet in between four tweets about Twitter layoffs, and it just felt really awkward and like the company wasn’t aware of the vibe on the platform right now.”
“We plan to keep publishing on Twitter until it is entirely not brand safe—some internal voices say we’re past that point already, I’m on the fence.”
“I'm advocating we ride it out until the end (if there is an end). It's an important platform for us from a customer service standpoint, and unless we see a change in consumer behavior or additional changes in Twitter that would cause brand damage for us to remain on it, I'm going to keep plugging along.”
Hard to Keep Up With Everything
“Annoyed at how chaotic it is! Keeping up with platform changes is typically challenging enough. The updates at all hours of the day and night adds another layer of chaos.”
“Living in this collective anxiety, and the uncertainty about where we go and what we do if the platform breaks down is real. My boss and team haven't put pressure to figure that out yet, but the anxiety is at an all-time high on the TL for me.”
Everything Will Be Fine-ish
“I largely think Twitter is going to be fine and won't shut down—at least permanently. Things could break, which could cause a temp closure but I don't see it halting forever”
“The main brand I work on lives and dies by Twitter—so maybe rationally I should be terrified if Twitter were to just disappear but I am genuinely not concerned. The man spent billions on this app and to let it just wither and die? No, he's going to fight for his life on this app. And we're all going to have to deal with it. It may, and likely will, get worse—functionalities, clunkiness, intermittent blackouts—but I just don't see it dying. I might end up eating my words, especially with the World Cup coming up, but I think we just have to go through it to see what happens.”
“We have no choice but to lean into the chaotic energy of the timeline right now. We tried a few tweets that nodded to how the platform was ending and they were some of our most engaged.”
Losing An Important Tool
“I’m really sad because Twitter feels like the only social space where we don’t have to be visual (no image required) or quite so curated.”
“Bummed to lose out on a great social listening tool, especially as other channels have more limited information available through APIs.”
“Not only has the platform turned out to be an invaluable resource to me both personally and professionally, but it's also been a refuge for the disability community online, a place where people can easily connect with others all over the world. The platform was really leading the charge when it came to progressing accessible social media practices too. Overall, it's a sad situation.”
Tough to Communicate Changes to Management
“Tired of this pointless energy I’m allocating towards it all. Instead of crafting campaigns I’m passionate about, I’m drafting one-pagers for leadership about POV’s and contingency plans.”
“I’m scared that the people that aren’t always on Twitter won’t understand the massive impacts. For example a social media manager on Twitter will know how bad the platform is, but the boss in charge may not. That means if KPIs aren’t performing well on Twitter, it may look bad on the SMM and could cause lack of promotion, trust, and understanding.”
“This morning, I got messages at 4 a.m. requesting me to make accounts on four new platforms (Tumblr, Twitch, Mastodon, and Discord) and I pushed back, saying we should look before we leap and strategize more before creating accounts. That pushback wasn’t well-received, so the new profiles were made…I’m not feeling great about it and it’s been hard to get my colleagues to understanding that cold-account-creation won’t help us if there isn’t already a community, or if the community is siloed. It’ll create twice the amount of work for me and I’m already strapped as it is.”
I generally agree with all of the thoughts and concerns outlined above! I’m also trying to not get too caught up in the “what ifs” and stay present with what’s currently happening on the platform. Based on what we do know about the changes, I am keeping a close eye on the news surrounding Twitter, taking the temperature of the timeline before any brand post goes up, and chatting with other social media professionals about how their brand is handling it all. And yeah, it might not be a bad idea to grab your brand’s handle on a few competing platforms. Just in case.
I want to note that these changes at Twitter have unfortunately resulted in a lot of layoffs. I have a thread on my subscriber chat that’s dedicated to both social media job openings and posting if you’re open for work. You can join here (it’s free).
Finally, would love to hear more perspectives on this and how you are dealing with all of the changes happening at Twitter.