Back in February, we wrote about Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover. Since then, Twitter has had a somewhat controversial rebrand as “X”, and users are noticing a number of changes to how the platform works.
This is hardly surprising: shortly before he took over, Musk declared that “buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app”. The concept, according to Musk, is to turn Twitter from a social networking site into an all-inclusive app that people can use for payments, news and food orders (which sounds very like the WeChat app which is hugely popular in China).
Well, now Twitter is X – although It’s fair to say that the changes we’ve seen so far don’t yet reflect Musk’s aspirations. It’s also fair to say that not all users are happy about the direction in which X is going(!)
But don’t be fooled – “X” is still a major social media player, despite what might seem like an increase in people announcing their migration to Mastodon or Threads! X has 436m monthly active users worldwide, with almost half of these using the platform daily. Its total user base has increased by 3% since 2020, and over 500 million posts are sent every day. It’s safe to say this platform isn’t going anywhere!
It’s also a fundamental tool for business, considering that 82% of B2B companies use X for marketing, and 16% of X users use it for brand research.
So, let’s explore how your business can best leverage the platform in its current form.
How can X help me grow my business?
If you’re new to X, or to social media for business, you first need to assess how it can help you grow your business. The main benefits of X for small businesses are as follows:
Build your following
Connect with your current customers, future fans, and loyal brand advocates on X.
Help launch new products and services
Whether you’re launching a new product or highlighting a flash sale, X could be the place to be to break your latest news, the platform being synonymous with trending topics and current issues.
Provide timely customer service
Keep an eye out for @mentions of your brand and provide fast service or personalised help through DMs. Twitter was always recognised as a simple tool to seek help and support on, and X is no different with good businesses willing to engage their customers when required.
Monitor your competition
Create X Lists to keep tabs on specific accounts, industries, and communities.
Leverage the power of ads
X is free, but by using paid ads, you can amplify your following, drive website traffic, increase sales and more. Note that advertising on the platform is now only available to X Premium subscribers (see below).
So, what’s new on X?
It was clear that Elon had plans to shake up the platform when he took it over, so what’s changed? It’s not yet the “everything app”, but there are several new features:
Twitter Blue (X Premium)
Probably the most infamous change Musk has made is to start charging for X Premium, previously known as Twitter Blue, giving subscribers the blue tick which appears next to their username. The blue tick used to be a free-of-charge verification given only to recognised and verified public figures and celebrities etc, but now it’s controversially available to anyone willing to pay £8 per month.
One of the main advantages of X Premium is that you can submit posts up to a whopping 25,000 characters long. This is really handy if you want to explain something in detail to your audience (great for full blog posts etc). You’ll also be able to edit your posts after they go live, and take advantage of X Pro, previously known as TweetDeck, for a more professional dashboard to manage things.
X now offers a “Tips” feature. Users can edit their profiles to turn on tips, allowing them to collect donations directly from their fans and followers.
Users with more than 500 followers are also eligible to offer subscriptions, where they can offer bonus content to their followers for $1 a month or more.
These features may not be suitable for all businesses: they’re probably of most interest to content creators and influencers.
Available only on the X mobile app, Spaces are a direct competitor to Clubhouse. They enable users to host live chat rooms with up to 11 speakers and unlimited listeners.
Spaces are entirely public and they can be scheduled and recorded. If your business hosts webinars or podcasts, Spaces could be an interesting string to add to that bow!
X now has a feature that lets you post only to a select audience. You can choose up to 150 connections to include in your “Circle”. To post something just for them, simply change the default setting from “Everyone” to “Circle” when you publish. This can be a really effective way to nurture client relationships, and post offers and advice just for them.
No doubt these changes are the tip of the iceberg, but as you can see, there are lots of ways businesses can leverage the platform to their advantage.