3 min read
Do You or Don’t You: Is It Time for Your Organization To Exit X?
By: Emma Cline Oct 17, 2023 11:00:00 AM
X is back to dominating headlines and boardroom discussions. (But let’s be honest, did it ever leave?) This time, owner Elon Musk announced the platform’s algorithm will discourage any posts with external links, meaning posts from organizations looking to drive users back to their own websites and content are being buried by long-form content from subscribers. Meanwhile, several big-name brands like Gilead have publicly announced pulling advertisements from X after finding they were positioned next to white supremacist content.
Add those complications to the litany of confusing but significant X updates recently, including a potential paywall and continued benefits for platform subscribers over everyday users. Not surprisingly, the former go-to platform for brands sharing an authentic presence with their target audience has become a point of frustration in strategy meetings: Is it worth it? How many resources should we be allocating toward its management? Do we even stay on the platform?
For many organizations, the short answer is: It depends.
Audit Your Social Media Channels Against Current Business Objectives
It’s important to frame your social media strategy through the lens of your business objectives. If you’re trying to answer the question, ‘Should we still be using X?’ you need to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding why your company is using it in the first place.
The benefits are many: customer service, lead generation, general brand awareness, thought leadership, reputation management, etc. Keep in mind, social media platforms can (and should) be leveraged for all of these objectives, but where has your organization strategically been placing focus?
Once you’ve aligned on your company’s objective for X, lean on metrics to tell you how X is performing against those objectives. Google Analytics (GA) is a helpful, free tool for organizations to track referral traffic from social media. NPR, who left X earlier this year, reported they’d only seen a 1% decline in web traffic since moving off the platform. Is that 1% worth the time, energy and effort allocated to managing X? For some organizations with personnel and budget, it may be. For others, the time and budget may be better spent strengthening brand presence elsewhere. Pulling the analytics from GA or a social management tool like Sprout Social will help you weigh those factors.
Consider Cutting Back
If your organization decides it’s worth cutting back on X and maintaining a lighter presence, you still need to adapt to the recent changes. Update your bio to include a Linktree or other external link management tool, as you would with Instagram. This enables you to drive followers to external links without the algorithm de-prioritizing your content. Be mindful of your posts’ calls-to-action and follow a similar format to an Instagram feed post (i.e., ‘Check out the link in our bio to learn more’).
Soft Launch a Soft Exit
Since early 2023, many organizations have stopped using X for certain initiatives. For example, Apple no longer provides customer support through the platform, and some have ceased using the platform altogether like the aforementioned NPR. If your organization decides to stop leveraging X for the time being, we recommend a ‘soft exit’.
Rather than deleting your organization’s account, update your bio to tell users where they can find company updates, news and support, such as your website or other social media channel. The soft exit creates an opportunity for your organization to rejoin X should it become a more beneficial use of resources down the line while keeping the same handle and audience.
No matter what your organization decides, continue to track how any change in strategy impacts overall performance toward your social objectives. If you see little impact in leaving X, we still encourage you to revisit the conversation on a regular basis, be it monthly or quarterly. A change in platform ownership or your company’s internal business objectives could be reason to shift your strategy in the future.