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Twitter algorithm change: what it means for marketers

Twitter’s algorithm changes will significantly change the way marketing is conducted on the social media platform. Here’s what you need to know.

When new Twitter owner Elon Musk announced last year that its blue verification tick would have to be paid for, there were a lot of very famous people who said, “Yeah, nah”.

And now that Twitter has started removing the blue tick from the accounts of celebrities and businesses that refuse to pay, the Internet is watching keenly to see what a lack of blue tick will mean for these brands.

Yet, what’s sometimes getting lost in the commotion about the blue tick, is all the other Twitter algorithm changes that are being rolled out.

These Twitter algorithm changes will significantly change the way marketing is conducted on the social media platform, and the most successful marketing strategies will be ones that understand and embrace the Twitter algorithm changes.

Here’s what you need to know.

Blue tick verification is being removed

Social media is the playground of imposters and for many years, global brands, celebrities and journalists have been using blue tick verification to claim their identities.

The blue tick was once free – but it’s not anymore.

The cost of blue tick verification ranges from $11 per month for individuals to a whopping $1,400 for organisations.

If a blue tick is important to your business, these costs will need to be factored into your marketing budget. Smaller businesses, less at risk of being hijacked by imposter accounts, may wish to forgo the blue tick altogether.

Gold and grey checkmarks are being introduced

Under the new Twitter algorithm, two more ticks have been introduced to the verification palette.

Grey ticks (or checkmarks) can be used by government departments or officials – but only in the USA, and gold ticks can be used by verified businesses.

Both these ticks are part of the Twitter Verification for Organizations, which allows an organisation to link affiliated individuals, businesses and brands to their account. When they do, affiliated accounts will get a small badge of their parent company’s profile next to their blue or gold checkmark.

Twitter Verification for Organizations costs $USD1,000 per month, and $USD50 per month for each additional affiliate.

What will boost your reach and engagement?

The constant refining of the Twitter algorithm keeps marketers on their toes, but there have been significant movement in some key areas.

Here’s what will boost the reach and engagement of your tweets:

  • Tweets that are liked, retweeted and replied to have become the highest ranking, meaning engagement has never been so important. Likes are particularly valuable – it’s estimated they can boost a tweet by as much as 30 times.
  • Twitter is becoming more visual, with tweets featuring videos and images being rewarded with more reach.
  • Tweets about trending topics are also being rewarded.
  • No surprises here, but having a paid verified account will boost your reach.
  • The Twitter algorithm is also rewarding accounts with good reputations. They calculate a reputation by follower ratio, usage, verification, and past history of being banned.

What the Twitter algorithm will downgrade

The Twitter algorithm gives with one hand and takes away with the other – specifically accounts that:

  • Only post URLs or only post images.
  • Link to non-news and media sites – and this will be challenging for businesses marketing products and services as they often link to non-news sites.
  • Overuse of hashtags, which is a bit of an eyeball-roller given that Twitter basically invented hashtags. Twitter recommends using a maximum of two – so from a marketing perspective those two hashtags should be strategic.
  • Have a bad follower to following ratio – that is, if you follow more people than follow you.
  • Interact with low quality accounts, such as accounts that have had reported tweets or experienced bans.

How does the Twitter algorithm change impact marketers?

So, what does all this mean to businesses that use Twitter in their marketing strategies?

Here’s a few takeaway lessons:

  • Prioritise engagement: develop a marketing strategy that will increase the number of followers, likes and shares.
  • Develop quality content: boost your reputation by providing thoughtful and useful content rather than resharing URLs or simply posting images.
  • Diversify content: incorporate images and videos with quality copy in the post.
  • Hashtags: use fewer but invest in hashtag research so the ones you use deliver the biggest bang for your marketing buck.
  • Act with integrity: avoid following and interacting with low quality accounts, and non-news or media accounts.

Speak to the marketing experts

Social media algorithms, including that used by Twitter, are constantly evolving and changing, and getting the most out of your social media marketing requires up-to-the-minute knowledge.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne that understands the intricacies of social media algorithms and we can develop a marketing strategy that will help your business grow its brand, build its social media presence, generate leads, and achieve real bottom line results.

To find out how we can help your business, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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