Is it Time to Give Up on Twitter?

  • December 15, 2022
  • Fran Stephenson
  • 5 min read

It’s been a couple of weeks since Elon Musk took over at Twitter.  In that time, we’ve seen lots of upheaval over there, including some grabber headlines about employees leaving, others being fired and of course, Tweets from Musk himself to signal what’s to come for one of the earliest social media platforms.

In the first two tumultuous weeks, there was a lot of unrest. And many users were glued to their Twitter feeds expecting the screen to explode.  But it didn’t and it’s still there and many are still using Twitter for news, alerts, and pet photos!  Not to mention new accounts launched just to report on whether the platform is dying.

Many organizations have suffered during the transition or have had to rethink how they use the platform.  One example is the @LAFD who were among the first public safety orgs to use Twitter for public information in times of crisis.  Anticipating Twitter’s demise, they took to the platform to connect their audience to other key places to get information in a time of crisis. Smart thinking in planning ahead for their future crisis management.

On the other hand, an evil person spun up a parody Twitter account on behalf of a pharmaceutical company during that Twitter transition, and posted misinformation, causing harm to the company and their stockholders.  I am specifically NOT naming the players here because I don’t want to do further harm here. But what this shows us is that Twitter is still struggling to manage bots, parody accounts in the post-transition phase, something Musk claimed he would fix immediately.

What should you do about your Twitter account?

If you haven’t used your Twitter account for awhile, it might be time to do a security check.  Check your settings, your passwords, etc.  If you’re curious about the future of Twitter, maybe adjust your notifications so you stay informed.

What About Twitter for Business?

If you’re a business account holder on Twitter OR you are managing Twitter accounts for others, you have probably already noticed your audience eroding. Don’t take it personally. It’s most likely from users  deleting their accounts and leaving the Twitter altogether.  Social Media Managers will also notice that it’s a little wild right now as the safety and content moderation departments were dismantled when the new CEO took over.

This might be a good time to decide what you’re doing there and how you’re using it.  Some organizations I’m familiar with are evaluating their philosophical stance on Twitter. Others are assessing if it’s worth pursuing purely from a resource allocation point of view. Are we getting a return on this investment?

Once you decide what your future approach might be, you have options.  You can:

  • Idle your account
  • Adjust your posting schedule to a lower rate of posts each week
  • Back up your account, just in case
  • Download your complete history, just in case
  • Delete your account

Our Advice for Businesses

Make sure you’re monitoring your activity on Twitter using a third party tool like Sprout Social (my personal favorite).

You can also set up a higher level of notifications on your account so you keep it top of mind and check on it regularly.

And follow and watch thought leaders on the channel to see what moves they’re making. Many of the early thought leaders I followed who helped me learn about Twitter have already left.

Two Emerging Alternatives

In the past few weeks, two alternatives have emerged that are worth investigating.

Mastodon is a decentralized, server based alternatives. You need to join a server and then search for your “people.” So far, the instructions sound confusing and not necessarily strategic for brands looking for broader visibility.  I do know some people who are investing time there, so if you’re game to try, here’s a set of instructions from Digital Trends.

Post.News is very Twitter like and is in beta right now.  At the time of this writing, it had somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 users and more on the waitlist.  The community managers there are attempting at a more civil, accepting, less toxic Twitter but that’s hard to control as you scale any platform up.  For now, the founders are posting daily “how tos” and updates on new features as they roll out. I’m in there experimenting, but so is everyone else based on the amount of pet photos and tentative questioning posts that say things like “Hi Post I’m here. What next?”

This one feels more like the Twitter platform with its feed display, profile elements and follower/following count. If you’d like to try it, get on the waitlist.

Meanwhile, I’m @fransteps on Post if you want to connect.  I’ll be exploring it over the next month to see if it will work for me or for clients. Or if it even survives!

Let us know what you’re doing about Twitter or the new alternatives!