Move to Mastodon or trust Twitter? How to set a sustainable social strategy

Ben Matthews

By Ben Matthews

In Digital Strategy

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Turbulent times at Twitter

We are in odd and unpredictable times with Twitter.

Since Elon Musk bought Twitter, the social media platform has seen a lot of turbulence that has led to thousands of users migrating to other platforms.

Why? As the Tech Sensemaker newsletter described, “If episode one of Twitter’s transformation under Elon Musk was about the structure of the business, episode two is about its identity.”

Musk is now an outspoken and unpredictable activist CEO, making statements like: “The woke mind virus is either defeated or nothing else matters.”

Brands and many other stakeholders will be nervous about this volatility, and while not immediately altogether leave, they may well withdraw their advertising. Here one advertiser explains why they’re pausing their Twitter ads campaigns:

“Performance fell significantly. CPMs didn’t drop but our engagement way down. Maybe it’s a shift in users on the platform, maybe it’s ad serving related.”

>> See our latest post Twitter adds public view counts: 6 responses to consider <<

How to mitigate against Twitter’s changes

We recommend using this time to plan ahead and be ready should Twitter deteriorate quickly, but be mindful that at the moment many of our clients key audiences – civil society, media and policymakers, as well as corporates, remain as active users.

Short-term actions we’re taking for client accounts on Twitter:

  1. Downloading account data 
  2. Securing account passwords and 2-factor authentication
  3. Manage account responses: Use Twitter’s tools to control who can reply, block, mute and as a last resort make accounts private
  4. Remaining cautious on verification: Musk’s checkmark chaos continues, at time of writing with the arrival of grey, and gold. The system is currently widely discredited (see below), so not one to invest client reputation in, until some credibility emerges

What platforms are people migrating to from Twitter?

Tim Chambers posted at about a report his team published that looks at where people have migrated to from Twitter:

  • Mastodon has been the biggest recipient of the migration, but not the only one
  • Hive has done well in recent weeks, at least until it had to shut down due to critical security vulnerabilities and lack of moderation from its team of three recent graduate employees.
  • Post has attracted interest, but has some strange restrictions, privacy concerns and concerning investors.
  • Tumblr has picked up interest and users, who have also promise to be interoperable with Mastodon as part of the ActivityPub “Fediverse”; where Tumblr users will be able to chat with, follow, react and share with Mastodon users and their posts as if they were on the same platform. 
  • Discord has seen many people set up private Discords for their communities

To be on the safe side, we recommend you secure your organisation’s Mastodon handles – the largest alternative platform emerging, and explore some of the many other alternatives that are emerging as contenders.

(Side note: this isn’t the first time that Twitter changes have caused a mass exodus of users to Mastodon. In fact, Mastodon ad was born out of frustration with changes being made on Twitter, according to an interview with founder Eugen Rochko in The Verge.)

How to migrate from Twitter to Mastodon

Why move to Mastodon?

  • Your audience is in the early adopters—tech and tech policy, academics, etc
  • Most organisations are not there yet, so there is less competition for attention
  • The early adopters are enthusiastic and spending time on the platform

If you are thinking of moving to Mastodon, make sure to have a plan to migrate your Twitter audience and develop an organic and paid programme to migrate your followers over should that become necessary.

To help make that easier, is an excellent new tool to match and follow Twitter followers on Mastodon / Fediverse, to help rebuild your audience there – it fully automates the process for you.

It’s worth bearing in mind that there will be some particular differences on Mastodon versus Twitter

  • Twitter probably tests content on users before pushing it out
  • Mastodon relies on users to boost manually
  • The manual boost system gives posts a greater lifespan, sometimes of days

How to set a sustainable digital comms strategy 

On the upside, these changes offer an opportunity to reset your digital comms strategy and refocus your digital comms approach. 

Here are the steps we recommend you work through.

1. Focus on your owned channels

Your website and email lists are yours to control and are less affected by the algorithms. Focus on developing these and you’ll be in a stronger position to communicate with your audiences over the long term.

2. Explore other platforms

Continue building out our presence on other social platforms and use this as an opportunity to refine the objectives and strategy for each. Also watch key users, such as journalists, influencers and policymakers. When you see them start to migrate from a platform, you’ll know it’s time to look at where they go and follow along.

3. Develop a content repurposing process

Content repurposing is where you develop your content once and reuse it across multiple platforms. What works for Twitter often works for Mastodon, LinkedIn, Facebook and more. A video can be transcribed, with the transcript being used for a blog post, which can then be used as content for social media.

4. Build in resource for engagement

It’s no good migrating across to other platforms and just posting the same content. Social media has social in the name, so set aside time to engage with the communities. Encourage interaction and acutely start conversations to draw followers to your profile.

5. Measure real impact

Social media needs to have an objective for organisations. Whether that’s driving website traffic, or acquiring new donors, make sure to measure the actual  impact of each social media platform where it really matters and not just through vanity metrics.

Empower’s Social Media Managers are monitoring these turbulent Twitter times and we’ll share updated insights as the situation progresses. Follow us at @empowerdigi on Twitter or on Mastodon to keep updated. Or drop us a message at if you’d like to discuss your social media strategy.

>> See our latest post Twitter adds public view counts: 6 responses to consider <<

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