A young man with dark curly hair and a dark beard sits at a desk in a dimly lit office. He holds an electronic tablet with one hand and has his other hand held to his chin in deep thought. His head is turned toward something on the desk, possibly a computer screen based on the light reflected off of his glasses. Behind him, the wall is made up of clear glass panels, through which can be seen a large empty space with white walls.
Although some of Twitter's proposed and announced changes have yet to fully develop, your small business can plan for their future adoption. — Getty Images/Jay Yuno

Twitter has experienced several changes since billionaire Elon Musk purchased the platform in October 2022. Businesses with a social media presence must stay up-to-date on policy and use changes to ensure their content reaches its intended audience.

Here’s how Twitter's policy changes can impact your small businesses.

Capitalize on the absence of large advertisers

The introduction and evolution of Twitter Blue has changed how advertisers interact with users. Small businesses that used to advertise on Twitter may need to shift their strategy. For those who haven’t, the absence of larger advertisers clears a path to speak directly to their audience without “paying to play.”

Twitter Blue was launched in November 2022 and is described as Twitter’s “premium subscription service that elevates quality conversations on Twitter.” This opt-in paid subscription adds a blue checkmark to a user’s account and offers early access to certain new features. While Blue subscribers have yet to see a reduction in ads as of January 2023, Musk claims an “ad-free” feature is coming.

[Read more: BIPOC Business Leaders From Indeed, Twitter and More Share Success Tips for Entrepreneurs]

Businesses that rely on Twitter as part of their advertising mix are currently waiting to find out if they’ll be required to pay a monthly subscription (like Twitter Blue users choose to) to continue serving ads.

The subscriptions also aim to reduce the number of scammer accounts that negatively impact businesses on the platform — from bots that inflate metrics to disparaging scam accounts that damage and defraud legitimate business accounts.

Take advantage of fewer bots

According to Musk’s team, upwards of 27% of the platform’s current users are bots. However, Musk has vowed to rid the platform of as many bots as possible — meaning businesses will have real customers to interact and build relationships with.

The move toward an open-source algorithm, if it happens, will most likely bring more users and edit their feeds to be highly relevant.

Businesses can leverage this new, bot-light audience by fostering genuine connections and performing in-depth research with an audience that actually interacts with their profile. Strategies for engaging real users on Twitter include:

  • Following and leveraging timely trends and hashtags. If you own an ice cream parlor and the hashtag #favoriteicecreamflavor starts to trend nationwide, involving your business in the conversation presents a massive opportunity to get eyes on your content.
  • Using media-rich elements. Post photos, gifs, and polls to better engage your audience. After all, Twitter Business recently found that tweets with video get 10 times more engagement than those without.
  • Segmenting your audiences with lists. If it makes more sense for your business to use Twitter as a networking tool, follow relevant journalists, industry experts, and trade show attendees. Then, filter your news feed or posting options to generate a hyper-focused audience.

Appeal to open-source algorithms

Having an open-source algorithm, which would give users access to the algorithm that determines how tweets are promoted or demoted and allow them to suggest changes, has dominated conversations about Twitter in the last year. Musk’s approach, that open-sourcing enables users to have more control over what they see in the app, may produce a positive impact on business too.

The move toward an open-source algorithm, if it happens, will most likely bring more users and edit their feeds to be highly relevant. In turn, businesses will see a more extensive base of potential audience members and — as long as advertising exists on Twitter — serve hyper-targeted ads to the users who would most likely interact with and benefit from the product or service a business offers.

[Read more: Executives From TikTok to Glossier and Twitter Share Insider Business Tips for Entrepreneurs and Startups]

Embrace subscriptions

As mentioned above, Twitter’s subscription service, Twitter Blue, has existed for a few months. Though it’s gotten a lukewarm response, businesses with a presence on Twitter should embrace subscriptions from Twitter itself. Musk hasn’t announced concrete plans, but many digital experts wonder if and when he plans to shift Twitter from an ad-driven business to a subscription-based business.

To prepare for either, businesses can start strategizing how to segment the content they create, think about what they’d create for subscribers to their profile versus what they’d want public-facing, and continue growing their audience base so when changes do happen, they’re not starting from square one.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Applications are open for the CO—100! Now is your chance to join an exclusive group of outstanding small businesses. Share your story with us — apply today.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Brought to you by
Dedicated to turning our advantage into yours.
Unmatched 5G network : Get work done where your business happens with the speed, bandwidth, and reliability your business needs.
Learn More

Connect with vendors who can meet your needs

Answer a few questions to tell us more about what you're looking for, and we'll help you reach vendors who can provide you with more information, pricing, and products.