If there’s one constant we can still all cling to in 2022 it’s that people love Twitter. They clock in with just under 400 million users and aren’t showing signs of slowing down any time soon.
We have a theory around here that everyone (and business) has their “Social Media Love Language” so to speak. It’s the platform that is the easiest for them to maintain, update, and contribute to because they just “get it”. Personally for me, it’s Twitter. While I don’t post as often as I’d like, when I am ready to turn my thoughts into quips or comments, I turn to Twitter. For one of our team mates, her social media channel is Instagram. She’s a natural at it. While I love Instagram for scrolling, posting, and commenting, I use it to capture my real life moments, while she turns our IG feed into a work of art on a regular basis.
But, I digress.
Let’s get into what new with Twitter, how you can use it, and why anyone should care. We’ll also touch on what we think their overall strategy is for releasing new features like Flock and what that means for the ever-shifting social media landscape.
Three Things To Try On Twitter: What’s New, What’s The Same, And Why It Matters
This is the newest feature from Twitter and they rolled it out in beta on January 25, 2022. It’s been in the works since July of 2021 and the world finally has the chance to experiment with this feature.
While the name “Flock” may just be a placeholder (no one knows for sure), the concept is pretty straightforward. Users will be able to create a designated list of their “closest friends” and then only send tweets to those friends via a group blast. Think of it like group texting. But for Twitter. Or, for those who breathe IG, like your “Close Friends” list on Instagram. In a statement sent to The Verge Twitter said themselves that they’re “always working on new ways to help people engage in healthy conversations, and [it’s] currently exploring ways to let people share more privately.”
How We Feel About It For Business Owners And The Internet:
Frankly, a little concerned and with an eyeroll attached to it. Do we really, actually need more ways to segment people online thus creating more echo chambers for ourselves and our businesses? Like, really? It’s sort of a funny thing to think about — when the Internet was new and people were naïve to its ways we couldn’t stop thinking about how best to blast our message (usually “hello world”) to everyone everywhere. Now that the Internet is just as cluttered and noisy as most of our tech-addled brains, we’re looking for ways to draw boundaries around the sea of listening eyes and ears so that we can actually be heard.
While I get that Twitter is iterating on its own product because they want to remain contenders, there’s an argument to be made for just staying good at what you already do well.
Who remembers Clubhouse?
While it was fun while it lasted (and probably still is to folks for whom that’s their social love language), Twitter launched their own version of audio-only interaction in their Twitter Spaces product. Overall it’s pretty cool — you can set up a Space (which makes you the Owner). Folks don’t have to be your follower to join in (so the exact opposite here of Flock) and you can have up to 13 people at one time speaking in a given Space.
While you can only launch a Space from your phone for right now we don’t really see that as being an issue — most of us are tuning into things like this from our phones already and with Twitter being a very phone-centric user experience, it makes sense.
How We Feel About It For Business Owners And The Internet:
So this one is tough for us — we were, admittedly, part of the Clubhouse bandwagon and I was hoping that Spaces would prove to be a really fun and useful alternative. What I personally love about this concept is that you can host a real-time podcast with an active and engaged audience. I haven’t seen it used successfully like this yet but I can see so much potential in it. That said, Spaces hasn’t exactly taken off and it does seem that the Clubhouse fad has faded into the receding twilight. Turns out folks like being able to see the person they’re chatting with and having somewhere to capture links, references and notes is super, super useful.
As advocates for a free and open internet, the idea that you can host a public discourse is really valuable to us–trolls are gonna troll but with a well-organized content and PR strategy in place, you really don’t have to worry about them.
#3 Hot Takes and Tips For Small Businesses
With the social media landscape constantly changing and things being updated and moved around on us, we aim to clear out the clutter and silence some of the noise around social media and the choices you and your brand have to make.
So, here’s our hot takes on what’s new with Twitter and what it means for you.
Hot Take Number One:
Be wary of fad marketing. It’s fine and fair to want to be where the action is but just because a social platform has rolled out a new feature doesn’t mean you have to add another leg and budget bracket to your marketing action plan. Ask yourself if your audience would really benefit from your voice being on the platform (or platform extension) and take the time to evaluate what you would be able to bring to it. At the end of the day, no one needs more noise.
Hot Take Number Two:
We mean it when we say that we think the last thing the Internet needs is another way to create an echo-chamber. It’s a lot easier to spot mis-information, track news stories and get to the bottom of things when you have a diverse diet of content to ingest. It’s no different than what we consume for food–you eat nothing but starches for the rest of your life and you’ll pay the consequences. Just like if you eat that whole bag of cherries in one sitting in summer. Don’t ask us how we know. While it may seem easy and convenient to just put all of your favorite, like-minded people in one room, remember that easy has a cost.
Hot Take Number Three:
There is enough to do in this world when you’re trying to run a business–whether you’re a startup or a mid-market company looking to stay relevant and innovative. Spending all of your time on social media without a plan or strategy in place is a waste of time, money and valuable resources. Marketing should be fun and nimble, not stuffy and cumbersome. Stay curious about what the market is doing and where things are heading but don’t kill yourself trying to stay on top of every trend. That’s our job!