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The last two weeks have certainly been tumultuous at Twitter HQ. Almost daily there seems to be news of another development on how Elon Musk plans to change things at the famous social network.

Perhaps one of the most controversial changes (and of most relevance to our world) has been the planned charge for the “blue verification” badge. Historically the badge was only awarded to accounts which were verified by Twitter as meeting a fairly strict set of criteria. In this way the blue tick was seen by many as a way of proving accounts were legitimate and credible.

Musk is now changing that by introducing a charge meaning anyone can pay for their blue check. Allowing any user to buy one takes away the legitimacy of verification, making it harder for Twitter users to determine what is real and what’s not.

But that is not the only concern people have. The almost daily changes at Twitter, combined with the maverick Chief Exec has meant that lots in our industry have been left confused and concerned.

We thought it would be helpful to summarise our recommendations so you can use these to help manage your social media presence on the platform:

• Don’t rush into anything. Lots has changed in a very small space of time. Our advice remains to stay firm and not make any drastic changes. Learn more about the implications of the changes and don’t change your plans until you are confident in the changes to the platform.

• In the same vein, don’t rush into paying for the blue check. Wait until we know more about what the process entails. Similarly, don’t abandon the platform altogether. Take time to develop your strategy based on the facts.

• Make sure you spend some time monitoring the platform to catch bogus accounts misrepresenting your brand. There is lots of data to suggest that the number of fake accounts is on the rise so stay vigilant.

• Monitor the competition. Some companies have turned to Mastodon (last week it said it gained 489,000 users in less than two weeks, giving it more than 1 million active monthly users). Platforms like this are worth checking out but again, don’t rush into anything and make sure any change you do make is aligned to your brand values.

• When continuing to use Twitter, remember to contribute relevant content backed by third parties which reinforces your brand and credibility.

• Use multimedia such as video and photos to boost engagement and credibility.

• Refer back to other Twitter handles used by your company, executives, partners and customers. This will help build your credibility further. Don’t forget to also cross link back to handles run on other social platforms such as LinkedIn.

• Make sure you tag trusted and bonafide third parties in your tweets and posts – this will help further boost your credibility.

• Pay attention to KPIs, keeping in mind that significant changes can still happen. If your stakeholders are still actively engaged and you are seeing positive results overall, then Twitter is still working for you. Once you know more you can have a subsequent conversation with those stakeholders and make a decision based on that.

Elena Davidson

Elena is the CEO of Liberty Communications.

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