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The implications for PR if Twitter goes away

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Twitter is more alive and vibrant today than ever before. It’s become as essential to real-time communication as amateur radio, broadcast radio and television, the cellular spectrum, POTS dial tone, water, sewage, electricity, and the internet. But it’s not uniquely essential to public relations, marketing, or advertising any more.

The reports of Twitter’s death have been greatly exaggerated — but what if they’re not?  Personally, I feel like PR people might be happy when Twitter finally gives up its ghost or falls into disuse.  To many brands, twitter is an uncontrollable firehose that can easily get away from you and turn from a promotional campaign to extreme crisis management.

One of the reasons why there’s even a fear that Twitter might die on the vine is because it’s not pulling its weight in revenue. The truth is, everyone does advertising better than Twitter.  Every time Twitter pushes for new revenue channels, the twitterverse pushes back and the Twitter overlords fold and retreat. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, reddit, YouTube and even Snapchat have integrated ads so thoroughly and shamelessly for so long that there’s not fight left in any of their ‘verses.

The transition has already begun. PR agencies are already doing an amazing job engaging on Instagram and Facebook — but I would focus my energy on Snapchat and YouTube stars as well. The same kind of high-profile publicity — and controversy — that used to find its home on Twitter now finds itself on YouTube and Twitch. Over the last couple of years, even mainstream news channels have been using Instagram as a source for soft news, not just TMZ.

If I can remember far enough back, Twitter started off being a news source for celebrities. From the latest @justinbieber news to what the kids are doing to a local news staple do mandatory byline-fodder to the go-to communications platform for @POTUS (all your tapps belong to us).

There’s a limitation to Instagram and the others, though, because Twitter’s the only by-default public social sharing platform that is quick enough to fuel the real time web. Private and encrypted chat programs might be fueling intelligence but open source intelligence — the kind that fuels PR and crisis shops — damands public and persistent social media sharing.

Instagram can surely be open and public, but there are a lot more protected Instagram profiles than there are Twitter profiles. And Facebook is a walled garden, requiring extra effort to make each profile public, though it does have excellent brand pages.  And while so many platforms cross-publish and cross-share their Instagram and Facebook content real-time with Twitter, it rarely goes the other way. So, while that will be a pity — losing the OSINT firehose — there will be adaptations.  Still, to this day, YouTube is the least understood and least appreciated online community ever and also happens to be the number-two most-used search engines online, just under Google Search.

Twitter is more alive and vibrant today than ever before. It’s become as essential to real-time communication as amateur radio, broadcast radio and television, the cellular spectrum, POTS dial tone, water, sewage, electricity, and the internet. But it’s not uniquely essential to public relations, marketing, or advertising any more.

Do you have all your eggs in your Twitter basket? It’s time to diversify. Who knows when @realDonaldTrump will jump the shark and bring Twitter down with it? Don’t let that happen.

It’s now or never.

Via Biznology

Mar 14, 2017 10:56 AM