Now that Twitter has filed for an IPO (Initial Public Offering), it’s priority will be making a profit for its shareholders.
We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.
— Twitter (@twitter) September 12, 2013
How does this effect anything?
Taking Facebook as an example this gives us a very good idea of what we can expect to happen to the platform in the months after it goes public.
The Old Facebook
In the good old days when social media was really free, building Likes on Facebook was a lot easier than it is now. Early adopters of the platform really did have a greater opportunity to leverage the platform and build an audience in a fast growing environment.
Those late to the game read the success stories of these forward thinking companies and join in the hope of replicating their success. Alas, they find that social media is a far more difficult beast to tame than they realised, and what they fail to see is that the game has changed.
Pay To Be Viewed
Before advertising was prevalent on Facebook it would be relatively easy to engage new users and have your content appear in their stream. Now Facebook needs to make money they’ve turned off the content fire hose, and getting seen is a lot more difficult.
Not only that, but there are now many more businesses to compete against.
The perfect environment for paid promotion and advertising. Want to be seen more? You need to pay more.
So be warned, those fantastic case studies from 2010 no longer apply!
The Lesson for Twitter Users
Some may argue you are already too late to the game, but I believe you still have an opportunity on Twitter if you work fast.
Twitter are already looking for revenue streams. Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts are available to some businesses. They have also introduced Twitter analytics, a sure sign they want advertisers to be able to see the success of paid promotions.
You can be sure that these promoted updates will get priority over unpaid content, just as in the Facebook scenario. Leaving late comers with the choice of spending money or waiting at the back of the queue to be discovered.
Take Action Now
We are way past the point of deciding whether social media is a key marketing channel. If you’re still undecided on that, then you will just have to pay the price to join the party later.
For those that want to still get some of the benefits and advantages of being part of a growing platform, get on board now with these 9 steps.
- Create an account or refresh your old one
- Seek out peers, industry leaders, industry news sources, customers and potential customers on Twitter
- Add these accounts to relevant lists
- Sit back and listen to the conversation for a bit
- Start to produce content related to the conversations you see and add it to your website
- Start sharing useful information from relevant 3rd party sources
- Follow accounts of interest
- Answer questions and point to content with more depth on these answers (hopefully this is already on your website)
- Repeat steps 6, 7 & 8 to eventually gain authority in your market sector
Surviving the Gold Rush
Gold is still a valuable asset, it is difficult to mine and it’s availability is finite. It’s price is also controlled by those that have access to large quantities of it.
Social media is still in the “Gold Rush” phase, but it is slowly drawing to a close. New platforms will emerge, each learning from the ones before it. The difference will be the cost of entry, as new ways of driving revenue from these platforms are being proved. These revenue drivers will also be introduced earlier in these platforms life cycle as social media becomes ever more accepted.
So stake your claim now, don’t rely on any one platform and ensure you have valuable content on a platform you own and control. In this way you can just funnel your audience from whatever new entity emerges in the future, to your home base!
If you need help are advice in implementing any of the suggestions above please get in touch by email email@example.com or by phone on +441379 330330.
[Photo Credit: sryffel]