Should we stay or should we go?
That is the question facing mission-driven communicators on Twitter. The platform is not the knowledge sharing and mission amplifying communications tool it was just a few months ago. Under its new owner, billionaire Elon Musk, Twitter is chaotic. Half of its workforce has been laid off (or has otherwise left the company), its Trust & Safety team is practically nonexistent, and Musk has gone all in on a platform that elevates “free speech” without addressing harassment and hate.
While we don’t know what Twitter will look like in a week or a month—or if it will even exist—we can offer mission-driven organizations and professionals some dos and don’ts for how you manage your presence on the platform and how you might consider shifting your resources to other existing channels.
- Don’t establish a new Twitter channel, at least not right now.
Now is not the time to launch a Twitter channel and invite your staff, board, partners, and other allies to engage in conversation. It’s unclear if Twitter will reemerge as the vibrant space for networking and field building it has been in the past. It’s best to postpone any plans to start or expand your Twitter presence.
- Don’t delete your account, either.
You worked hard to build up an audience, followers, and a feed of resources and perspectives that represent you and your organization. Retain that value by hitting pause on all non-essential postings. For example, if you have a timely report or event and you want to promote findings or a readout, then share it on Twitter. But don’t sink time into regular cultivation of your feed.
- Don’t invest in Twitter.
We mean little “I” invest here. Avoid paid advertising campaigns, if not for ideological reasons then for practical ones. With a diminished workforce and shifting priorities at Twitter, it’s difficult to know how and if your messages will reach the audience you want to influence.
- Do download your archive.
If Twitter does go away so too does the record of your posts and, importantly, your following. If you download your archive you can track the organizations and individuals who have self-selected into your orbit during your time on the platform. You know how valuable lists are… don’t lose this one! (Go to Settings > Account > Download your data. Or follow a step-by-step here.)
- Do listen and engage with your community.
In today’s polarized environment, your followers may continue to be active on Twitter to voice their opinions and develop a community in opposition to the prevailing sentiment on Twitter. Monitor their activity closely and use your own voice to encourage and support them.
- Do track conversations to other established platforms.
With Twitter’s recent changes, many users have migrated to other platforms. Monitor activity on well-established platforms, as well as emerging ones, and explore ways to increase your organization’s presence on them.
The best platform for your organization depends on your audience, your goals, and how you want to engage a virtual audience. Consider LinkedIn, where organizational brand building is a platform feature. Facebook, which is facing its own existential crises when it comes to addressing misinformation and toxic content, fosters more dialogue than LinkedIn and has a strong educator presence. Instagram could be your go-to platform if you regularly have visuals to share, such as those from events or insights paired with images. If you already were on Twitter plus another platform or two, focus on those others and pin a tweet telling your followers where to find you.
- Do explore alternative platforms.
Some Twitter users are switching over to Mastodon, a growing platform that could emerge as a substitute to Twitter. Right now, it’s too new and niche for established organizations to pivot to at this stage. But pay close attention to the conversations relevant to your mission and consider engaging with members of your audience in the future.
To talk with us about these tips or learn more about how we support mission-driven communicators, please contact email@example.com.