Villing & Company

Panic at the Timeline! What Twitter’s New Algorithm Means for You

Twitter has a very loyal following, myself included. When news broke that the social media network was planning on introducing an algorithmic timeline, all you-know-what broke loose. Many users started to lament that Twitter as we know it would never be the same.

Is this bad? Is it good? It depends on who you’re asking. For Twitter the company, it is clear that changes need to be made. Much has been written about Twitter’s stagnant user numbers and volatility in leadership. The bottom line is that Twitter needs…something.

But is this it? Well, if you ask users, I’m sure the predominant answer would be “No.” It feels as if the essence of Twitter is being infringed upon. Maybe that’s what is needed to help the platform grow. In any case, here’s what the changes mean for YOU:

Organic Reach is a Thing of the Past

Much the same as when Facebook changed its algorithm, a big impact on users will be the inability to see posts getting much organic reach at all. This means you can’t expect your tweet to reach a large amount of people without promoting it.

The utility for Twitter here is obvious: forcing users to promote tweets to get reach gives the network more options for monetization. For you, the user, this could be good and bad.

The good is that you will see more popular content at the top of your timeline. You won’t have to flip through every single tweet from those you follow. The bad is that your content will have a harder time reaching an audience.

The bad is that you may have to pay to get your best content in front of the people who matter most to you. Certainly to get a large number of people to see your content, having a strategy for promoting tweets will be vital.

Focus on Quality

Good content still rules. In fact, now it rules even more. Because of the change to Twitter’s timeline, content creators will be incentivized even more now to craft quality messages. Because the most popular content will appear at the top, quality will dictate what is seen. Highlighting quality content is always a good thing.

Now more than ever, it will be vital to craft content with Twitter users specifically in mind. Content that is not optimized for the platform will not perform well. Make sure that you are creating content that transitions seamlessly across platforms.

Don't Be That Annoying Brand

Gary Vaynerchuk has called Twitter the “cocktail party of the Internet.” If that’s true, then you do not want to be that loud, obnoxious guy at the party who’s only talking about himself. Just like when Facebook changed its algorithm, now brands must be more careful about the amount of promotional messaging they send via Twitter. Those types of messages get less engagement. In the new Twitter world, less engagement means less eyeballs on your content.

All in all, the social media world has not come to an end. Will Twitter be the same? Probably not. But we will learn to adapt and use the platform in its new fashion. But the basic guidelines for brands on social media will continue to be the same.

Filed Under: Social Media

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