March 23rd is a day of big changes for one Social Media giant! Get Ready for More Twitter Updates!
The social media giant says they’ll be enforcing some new rules on their platform in an effort to curtail the circulation of spam, but some brands see this as a decision that will inevitably hurt their brand by limiting their ability to reach audiences.
There are a number of Twitter updates & rules that will be enforced come March 23rd, but two specific rules will change the way brands can utilize the social media platform to reach and engage with their target audiences. These are rules for ‘No Recurring Posts’ and ‘No Post Duplication’, no matter if they’re happening on the main brand’s page or if this is being recirculated on other channels the brand manages.
How will the Twitter Updates Change The Way Brands Use Twitter?
To answer that question we need to examine how and why the strategies no longer allowed by Twitter were used by brands to begin with.
Curating and Recycling popular content has been an important method for many brands to ensure the fast pace of the Twitter Feed didn’t lead their content down a dark hole of undiscoverable and missed content. In recent years, however, some brands leveraged the no-holds-barred use of the recycling of content to enhance or boost referral traffic by posting multiple incidents of the same content to their feed multiple times of the day, across multiple days, weeks or even months.
This practice became so commonplace that many 3rd party scheduling tools, and even Twitter’s own TweetDeck app, began offering automated recirculation technology to users as an additional benefit of their resource; lessening the time and efforts involved with the repeated rescheduling of content. These platforms included Dlvr.it, CoSchedule, PostPlanner, MavSocial, Edgar, SproutSocial, and Buffer.
Did scheduling recurring content really help brands in their reach of new audiences?
In 2014, Wiselytics completed a study using a cross-section of their 1B tweets on Twitter and the findings were astonishing… after analyzing about 1 million tweets it was determined that, on average, a repeated tweet peformed 86% as well as the original tweet. The went on to say that repeating tweets even as many as 6 times showed added value with increase in overall reach, traffic and engagement. This added benefit created the potential for additional leads and in turn, for many brands, a lead toward more sales. So, by 2017 the strategy of repeating top or strategic pieces of content was just a natural part of the social media scheduling process.
Publishers took it one step further, as part of an SEO play, and began publishing the same content across multiple Twitter profile feeds. This strategy often included referrenced links back to another published resource. It was the hope of the content or SEO manager that the strategy would fool search engine’s algorithms into believing there was a notable interest from multiple sources about a brand’s message and yield in an increased site authority, page or domain authority for the backlink. Unfortunately, these efforts also often served to cause more confusion and frustation for readers. Additionally, at least for a number of brands, the identical title and description of published content syndicated from platform to platform caused duplicate content challenges for search engines. So, if the strategy was ‘strictly’ for SEO purposes, it could have backfired; at least in part, to this strategy of simplicity.
Learn more about Duplicate Content Challenges; how they happen and how to address them, by visiting MOZ.com.
When audiences backlashed with reports of seeing the same thing over and over, or worse yet, when complaints about repeated content was so blattant, straightforward and painfully obvious to users these posts were advertising or sales tactics, users participation dropped. One of the biggest culprits in 2016 – 2017 was the recycling of hate speech, political spam, and fake news reports flooding feeds. As a result, usership took another hit and Twitter was under fire again (as were a number of the largest social media platforms) for the way they monitored, regulated and controlled the distribution of this type of content in feeds.
Heed Their Warning… “These Twitter updates are necessary and will effect the way many brands currently schedule or post content to our social media platform!”
It’s Twitter’s contention that reigning-in these spam-like practices and denying a user’s ability to repost duplicate content, whether that is multiple times on the same feed or across varied multiple feeds, will help bring back a variety of feed news and enhance user’s experience again. They’re goal?… To ultimately (and hopefully) regain user trust and expand the social media platform’s membership. But, how will this effect legitimate smaller brands trying to manage the fast-paced feed? And, to what level of critiquing will they use to determine duplication? Can you just reword some of what you posted? Twitter is currently saying… “anything duplicated word-for-word or in a similar context”.
Remember, one of the main goals is curtailing the type of recirculated content that spams the feeds of legitmate users and drives down usership, but it’s also in an effort to try and keep outside forces from swaying readers with numerous cases of unfounded, false, or manipulating pieces of content toward a specific agenda. But, just how clever or sophisticated is Twitter’s technology in their ability to identify and control these practices? Can it actually determine the originating content’s source to be published by truly separate users?
The rule is ‘no multiple pieces of similar content published to multiple feeds managed by the same person.’ With the ability of hackers to create the appearance of being someone else, and in separate environments, will Twitter’s technology truly weed this type of conduct out? Or, will it be the truly legitmate small brands to suffer the most from this rule in the long run?
BUT – TWITTER IS NOT THE ONLY ONE WITH THIS RULE…
Additional social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram have rules in their operations agreement addressing the use of recurring or duplicate content. But, how often are these platforms enforcing this little known rule in their agreement? Is Twitter setting expectations now, or are they really just following suit in a more publicized way, and as a result of recent events and a dwindling membership?
If small brands have to spend more resources to continually manage the best times and messages in this type of environment, will Twitter just continue to see membership and usership drop anyway? Less duplication of important or strategic content means more time spent on creation of content which means either less time working your business, or more marketing and/or administrative dollars spent hiring someone else to manage it for you. So, why not use another platform where the longevity and visibility of post has a better shelf life?
Well… we’ll have to wait and see because as of March 23rd any Twitter account who is reported to be utilizing such methods, or found to be using what appears to be one of these methods through independent audits will be in jeopardy of their Twitter account being suspended indefinitely.
- Maybe we’ll start seeing more need for better authentification of accounts; all accounts, personal and business.
- Maybe you’ll start seeing more limitation on 3rd party development through api access to platforms like Twitter and other social giants.
- Maybe we’ll start seeing the priority of developing strong content proofing software begin to take shape.
- Maybe we’ll start seeing more dissemination controls of content based on geographical locations; (a sad prospect).
- Maybe we’ll see more strategic partnerships in platforms to help recycle and recirculate content on behalf of other brands.
Whatever the case, one thing is for certain, the answer isn’t so simple, and as of March 23rd, 2018, everyone with current brand strategies on Twitter will need to make a necessary shift.
What’s your opinion on the new rules?
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