What is the X Factor for Your Social Media Strategy?
Twitter has been a staple in the social space since 2006 but has undergone some major changes in the past few months. Ever since Elon Musk acquired the company in October 2022 for $44 billion, he has been implementing his vision for the future of social media. But what does this mean for advertisers and marketing teams that use Twitter as part of their strategy?
One of the first changes that Musk made was to rebrand Twitter as X. He replaced the iconic blue bird logo with a simple letter X, which he said represents “the unknown and the infinite possibilities” of social media. The rebranding process was bumpy, as some parts of the platform still used the old name and logo for a while. The URL for the website is still twitter.com, which Musk said he will change soon. The rebranding also caused confusion among users and followers, who were not sure if they were still on the same platform or not.
Musk also introduced a subscription service called X Premium. This service gives users a blue check mark next to their username and various benefits, such as prioritized rankings in conversation/search, the ability to add bold and italics in posts, post longer and higher quality videos, edit posts, and see fewer ads. The subscription fee is $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. All the old, verified checkmarks were removed from celebrities and brands unless they subscribed to X Premium. This has caused some backlash from high-profile users and brands, who feared losing their credibility and influence on the platform. Brands and organizations have the ability to purchase a gold organization checkmark for $1,000 a month. This will appear on their profile to establish credibility for their business and also includes all the features X Premium offers.
Musk also added some new features to X, such as a view count for each post, and a new tab called the ‘For You’ timeline, and now audio and video calls. The view count shows how many people have seen your post and the ‘For You’ timeline is an algorithm-based feed that shows posts from people you may not follow, but who are relevant to your interests. This can help you discover new content and accounts to follow, as well as expose your posts to new audiences. However, some users have complained about seeing inappropriate or unwanted content on the ‘For You’ timeline, which can be hidden if desired. X Premium subscribers now have the ability to call anyone through the platform. Anyone can receive audio or video calls, but only Premium subscribers can initiate the call. Users are able to control calls from the Direct Messages Settings.
Musk has also made some drastic changes to the company itself, laying off around 80% of the staff since his acquisition. He said this was necessary to streamline the operations and reduce costs. He also plans to hire more engineers and developers to improve the platform’s performance and security. Some critics have argued that this move has compromised the quality and reliability of X, as well as increased the risk of spam and hate-speech on the platform.
Musk has not stopped there. He has stated that he wants to make the entire platform a paid product, which he claims is the only way to combat bots and fake accounts on X. He said he will offer a free trial period for users to decide if they see the value in a subscription model.
But perhaps the most ambitious and controversial plan that Musk has for X is to turn it into a financial app for all kinds of transactions and services. He has mandated internal teams to develop a payment system that will allow users to send and receive money, pay bills, buy goods and services, invest in stocks and cryptocurrencies, and more – within a year. He said that users will no longer need a bank account, as X will be their “entire financial life.” He also hinted that he will integrate his other ventures, such as Tesla and SpaceX, into X, creating a synergistic ecosystem of products and services. Musk’s ultimate goal is to create an “everything app” that can rival the likes of WeChat, the Chinese super app that combines messaging, social media, payments, e-commerce, and more.
So, what do all these changes mean for advertisers and marketing teams? Is X still worth using as part of your social media strategy? The answer is yes, but with some caveats. Here are some tips on how to use X effectively:
Consider subscribing to X Premium: If you want to maintain your credibility and influence on X, you may want to subscribe to X Premium and leverage the blue check mark next to your username. This will also give you access to some useful features that can enhance your posts and reach more people.
Monitor your view count: The view count feature can help you track how many people are seeing your posts and how well they are performing. You can use this data to optimize your content and timing for maximum engagement.
Use the ‘For You’ timeline: The ‘For You’ timeline can be a great way to discover new content and accounts that are relevant to your niche and audience. You can also use it to expose your posts to new potential followers who may be interested in what you have to offer.
Be careful with your content: With Musk’s changes, X has become more unpredictable and controversial than ever. Consider what you post and how you interact with others on X, as you may encounter some inappropriate or offensive content or feedback. You may also want to avoid topics that are too political or sensitive, as they may spark unwanted attention or backlash.
Stay updated: Musk is constantly changing X and announcing new plans and features for it. So, stay updated on what’s happening on X and how it may affect your strategy. You can follow Musk’s account on X, as well as some reliable news sources and blogs that cover X.
X is still one of the most popular and influential social media platforms in the world, with over 300 million active users. Despite Musk’s changes, X still offers opportunities and benefits for advertisers and marketing teams who want to reach and engage their audience. However, X also poses some challenges and risks that need to be considered and addressed.