So, Troy, can you summarise Twitter Communities for us?
Well, Twitter says that Twitter Communities were created to give people a dedicated place to connect, share, and get closer to the discussions they care about most. To me, it feels like a faster-paced Facebook group with a real emphasis on sharing, conversation, and engagement. This could be the add-on that re-energizes Twitter, but only time will tell.
What are your first impressions? Is this another fleeting feature (pun intended)?
The less said about Fleets, the better. So far, I’ve only got to look at some of the initial communities created. Twitter has selected a handful of accounts and collaborators to get things rolling. At the moment, in the early stages, members of a community can tweet, like, reply, and report. But community membership is invite-only right now. Non-members can read the tweets, see who is in the community, but cannot participate. I believe this is only until a full roll-out, though. I love that the tweets are visible to non-members; this should help with its growth. This feels different: a real positive for Twitter.
Who can access communities? Has it been rolled out to everyone?
Twitter Communities are initially being launched with selected users on iOS and web, with Android coming soon. If you want to take a peek, follow @JoinCommunities on Twitter and check out the first communities that are currently active.
This has to take up some real estate somewhere – will we start seeing fewer tweets on Twitter?
Not at all. From what I understand, the Twitter timeline will still operate as it always has. Twitter Communities is set to get its own tab at the bottom of the app screen, or located in the sidebar if you’re using a desktop. This means that it will have its own space within the app. It will be interesting to see if Twitter introduce a trending conversation for communities that would be featured on the regular timeline. That could be quite cool. We’ve also got to remember that Twitter is focussing on growth for the platform and I have to believe that this will be a major catalyst for this. From there, we have creator monetisation tools on Twitter that could take community growth to a whole new level. This really feels like an exciting time for Twitter and anyone in the community management/creator sphere.
Community marketing with Twitter
On the same day that they announced communities, they also officially rolled out the ability to subscribe to newsletters directly from your Twitter profile. Are your first-party data senses tingling?
Not really. This now feels like a natural progression. When you are building a community, you need to find your niche or the thing that you are passionate about. If you do that, the content part isn’t difficult at all. From there, you’re looking to engage with those who share your interests. They see your content, join your community, start a conversation and will help to build a really solid foundation. Adding a newsletter to the mix feels totally right.
People were doing exactly this (back in the day) with e-mail marketing; this is just that evolution. Since January 2021, Twitter has been preparing for the full roll-out of Newsletters. This feels like a more long-form way for writers, creators and journalists to reach out, build a community and again have the potential to monetise their work. Smart creators could turn Twitter into their go-to platform to cover all the bases. Community building, real-time engagement, community management, content monetisation, newsletter and finally… member email lists.
This shift from Twitter shines the spotlight on community, engagement, and for the marketers out there, richer insight into who is behind the conversation and that all-important first-party data.
Is this something marketing managers across the world should be testing? If so, how?
For sure! I’m hoping that Twitter Communities is here to stay. The best thing to do right now is to get a feel for how it works. Get a look at the community rules… Yes, each community will have its own community rules and moderators. Within the Join Communities channel, you can also see how you can sign up and apply to have your own community on Twitter.
In short, this could be a huge opportunity for marketers and creators who are willing to put the time in now to learn about the platform in preparation for the full roll-out. As someone who started off many years ago, helping businesses become more engaging on social platforms, this is super exciting for me.