Messaging Monday

by: Veit Irtenkauf

Should you move from Twitter to Mastodon?

February 21, 2023

If a brand supports its customers via Twitter, or runs campaigns on it, predictability is one of the keys to success. Unfortunately, Twitter today is not a textbook-case of predictability. As a result many key users and influencers have left Twitter. Most are heading to Mastodon. Should you?

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The short answer: Try it out and develop a plan. Do your research and perform some tests to gather hard data to aid a decision, even if you decide to not move forward.

On Twitter and other social media channels you get both organic and actively generated traffic. You can easily move the traffic you direct to Twitter today by replicating your campaigns on Mastodon and then ramp down Twitter as your customer become more comfortable interacting with you on Mastodon. In addition, change your Twitter CTAs on your website and in your campaigns to Mastodon CTAs to get traffic redirected. Be aware, though, that users have to create Mastodon accounts before they can interact with you. That introduces friction and thus a potential loss of engagement. A measured approach with lots of checks is the smartest way to start this transition.

It won't be easy to address organic traffic. There's a history of your brand operating on Twitter and therefore an expectation that you are listening and be responsive. It will take time to move organic traffic away from Twitter.

To complicate the move: In both the brand defense and customer care use cases, the likelihood is very high that you want to move the conversation to a private channel. Twitter has that capability built into its platform; Mastodon does not support private messaging. You will need to channel switch Mastodon customers for private conversations, which will induce even more friction. Good targets for a switch would be your chat channels or other messaging services. QR codes in Mastodon replies may be a good way to initiate that switch. Keep experimenting and measure to see what works.

Whatever the outcome will be, it is time for brands to get their research done and their plan ready.

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