Twitter is on the auction block, with big names such as Salesforce and Disney competing to bring the top shelf social media company under their umbrella of brands. Others have been in the running, but an article in Nonprofit Networking claims Google and Apple are no longer interested. Sad, had Google won, the irony in those headlines could have drummed up compelling tech PR headlines for the marketplace indefinitely.
But the players still in the game make one thing obvious — Twitter is a HOT commodity. The data collected alone could make the company worth the less than $20 billion price tag.
Of course, there’s a potential downside. Twitter use isn’t what it once was. With stiff competition from other social apps and a seemingly endless stream of PR disasters connected with the 140 character missives, Twitter use is in decline.
Worse, Twitter has no solid, definitive profit model. Facebook and others bank on both ad revenue and information selling. The company has experimented with different approaches in the past, hoping to gain some traction, but some of these fell flat and others diluted the Twitter brand, making it too much like other platforms and leaving users to say, “what’s the difference, why switch?”
The sales rumors have helped the stock price, but the flagging identity and increased competition have hurt Twitter. One of the biggest issues is branding. Who, exactly, is Twitter for?
Some are suggesting Twitter is after the wrong users. The brand should focus on being The Place on social media for nonprofits and causes. It’s an interesting idea. Twitter, more than anything else, is a great venue for distilling and transmitting complex ideas in simple, relatable ways. Think about how many causes have started as hashtags. Now think about the impact of those movements, specifically in relation to how Twitter has made them possible.
Twitter, more than any other platform, can be the great equalizer. Retweets matter more than money invested. Users can directly communicate with power brokers, and deep pockets can stumble across causes they would love to support … if they only knew about them.
Those relationship connections, and the necessary extended and expanding conversations, are easier on Twitter than on any other social platform. Sure, there are dangers to avoid, and campaigns can backfire, but Twitter could be your nonprofit’s best option for connection and recruitment.
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W PR in NYC.