Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has dominated headlines for the last few days. The news has led to differing perspectives and left many asking what it means for the future of the platform. While only time will tell how this ownership change will impact Twitter’s future, PR professionals should be considering impacts and changes now. Twitter plays an important role in the dissemination of news, so here’s what public relations professionals should be considering.

 

General Audiences Use Twitter to Consume News

According to a Pew Research Center report, about half of U.S. adults (53%) say they get their news from social media at least sometimes, with the level of news consumption varying across social media platforms. Twitter is one of the top sources, with about seven-out-of-10 U.S. Twitter users (69%) who say they get news from Twitter and many turn to Twitter for breaking news. The report also found that 70% of Twitter news consumers say they have used Twitter to follow live news events, which is up from 59% who said this in 2015.

While those against the acquisition are tweeting #GoodbyeTwitter, it’s unlikely the more than 200 million users will all disappear from the platform permanently. So, if you’re planning to release news or share company updates, you will want to continue to share them on Twitter.

 

Twitter is Journalists’ Preferred Platform

Not only is Twitter important for reaching your target audiences, it’s also an important source for reporters. Many reporters turn to social media platforms to learn more about organizations, their executives and connect with potential sources.

Business Wire asked journalists about their social media preferences and found that Twitter was the favorite with LinkedIn serving as a close second. Fifty-nine percent of the journalists surveyed said they visit an organization’s social media site when researching a company.

With this in mind, it’s important to consider what content would be valuable to reporters when developing posts for Twitter and other channels, including LinkedIn. Developing posts that reiterate key messages, link to executive profiles, and share visually compelling content will be informative and engaging for reporters.

 

Explore Other Platforms

As noted in Business Wire’s survey, reporters’ top three platforms used are Twitter (76%), LinkedIn (66%) and Facebook (53%). If you’re not already posting content across Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, you should share relevant content across the platforms consistently.

While many reporters and individuals have indicated the change of ownership won’t impact their use of Twitter, other events are indicating that news organizations and reporters may be taking a step back to reevaluate how they use the platform. For example, just a couple of weeks before the acquisition, the New York Times stated that it would like its reporters to “Tweet less, tweet more thoughtfully, and devote more time to reporting.” If reporters reduce their time and reliance on Twitter, it’ll be important that content shared across other mediums, including company blogs and other social platforms.

Digital media and how it is used continues to evolve rapidly, so it’s critical that organizations are monitoring trends and being thoughtful about how to use these platforms to communicate with their audiences. Only time will tell if Elon Musk’s acquisition will have a major impact on the use and engagement of Twitter.

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