In an effort to gain exposure and effectively reach Facebook fans, one of the obstacles dealerships face in social media marketing is the continuous battle against Facebook’s algorithm. Facebook rolled out its ad platform attempting to monetize its platform and satisfy shareholders. As a result, businesses experienced an extreme decline in reach and were forced to either pay for exposure, or find other innovative ways to get their brand message out.
Twitter, on the other hand, has always offered an unfiltered and chronological display of tweets that individuals can follow. Well, sorry folks but that’s all about to change.
Twitter announced on Feb 10 that it would be rolling out an algorithm to all users which will transform the default Twitter feed for all users to one that includes top tweets, rather than chronological ones. This threatens to minimize the previously unfiltered exposure to followers that businesses had. It also increases the importance of producing compelling content which is more likely to engage followers. It seems that, similar to Facebook, content that is engaged with on Twitter via favorites and retweets will now dominate Twitter users’ feeds.
While the user can choose to change back to Twitter’s current chronological and unfiltered state, the major concern is that this is opt-out rather than opt-in. This means that the feeds for all users will not be filtered by default. The majority of social media users – while they may spend a lot of time on social media platforms – are relatively casual users. Some may not even realize that this change has occurred. And, even if they do, may not understand the implications or know how to revert back to Twitter’s current status.
My guess is that the normal Twitter user will simply continue to use Twitter just as they are now -- except their Twitter feeds will now be filtered. Twitter claims this will improve the user experience by showing more relevant and interesting content, in the same manner Facebook has always defended its algorithm. While that may be true, many Twitter loyalists don’t want their newsfeeds filtered. And, unlike Facebook, have the option to return their Twitter experience back to its previous state.
For dealerships, this means that producing branded content that creates engagement becomes more important on the Twitter platform. And, for the most part, the content that will be engaged with is the exact same type of content that is on Facebook. Namely content that is hyper-personal and of interest to a user and his or her followers. It is more important than ever to ensure that you’re tweeting relevant and useful information while also enlisting your customers to share your brand. Just as on Facebook, the content most likely to be engaged with will not be that which your dealership shares. Rather, it is content which is shared by your customers that also includes your branding.
Yes, it’s going to suck -- but all is not lost. Dealers will now have to start thinking about and creating a Twitter strategy just like they currently do for Facebook. Of course, dealers can always opt to pay for exposure via Twitter ads… but getting your customers to broadcast your message is far more effective and far less expensive. Start thinking about how you’re going to overcome this change and continue to reach your audience. Or you may find yourself in Twitter purgatory. And that won’t accomplish anything.