How Elon Musk’s Acquisition of Twitter Might Affect Your Marketing Plans
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you likely know tech billionaire Elon Musk recently acquired Twitter. Since Musk entered the picture, the platform has undergone some major growing pains. The changes to Twitter’s management and policies may have you thinking about changing your brand’s social media strategy. We’re here to give you the TL;DR on what you need to know about Twitter as you plan for 2023.
Know the facts
In marketing as elsewhere, knowledge is power. Because rumors are often rampant in the business world, having the facts matters. So, take the time to not only keep up with Twitter news updates, but also to understand them. Here are some facts (true as of this writing) to help you start.
- Twitter has allegedly lost more than a million users since Musk took over.
- Musk has fired half of Twitter’s 7,500 employees, which one current engineer reports is not enough to sustain the platform without service and functionality interruptions.
- Twitter receives nearly 90% of its revenue from advertising, but after Musk’s takeover, several large corporations — including General Motors, Apple, United Airlines and General Mills — pulled their ads from the platform.
- Perhaps most notably, since Musk’s acquisition, Twitter has shifted to the right politically, leading to an immediate and significant spike in hate speech. Despite this, Musk recently announced he will reinstate Twitter accounts previously suspended for violating policies on violent threats, harassment, and misinformation.
Though the facts will change rapidly, make a plan to stay on top of the news.
Establish a plan
Even in the best of times, it’s hard to predict the future in the world of social media. The changes currently swirling around Twitter make this difficult task even harder. While Twitter remains in flux, the best thing to do is to prepare a strategic plan. Look at other social media platforms to understand your options and what it would take to implement them. As for Twitter, establish criteria for when various steps (suspending ads, suspending content, etc.) should be taken. Consider how any changes will affect your budget. Having a plan will make things easier when a change is needed.
Mind your budget
With budgeting season coming to a close, you’ll want to think about how Twitter’s changes might affect your paid media budget. One proposed (but currently delayed) change to the platform would charge $8 per month for verified accounts — a previously free feature. If this will not work for your business, consider redistributing your Twitter budget to other platforms. If you plan to stick to your original budget for Twitter Ads, have a contingency plan in place in case prices change.
Know your audience
If your company values multicultural marketing — as it should — careful thought should be given to how remaining on Twitter might affect your brand. How will core members of your audience respond if you maintain a presence on Twitter given its new reputation and policies?
Many of Twitter’s changes are already causing concern among communities of color. Several notable Black celebrities, including Shonda Rhimes and Whoopi Goldberg, have already left the platform. How can your brand prepare for what might happen next?
Social listening will be key here. Be prepared for influencers to not only reject Twitter, but also call for their followers to leave the platform. Relevant social justice organizations and activists may also leave Twitter or call for a boycott. If these events happen, remaining on Twitter could lead to negative social mentions for your brand. Consider these possibilities as you craft your strategic plan.
With all the rapid changes happening in the social media world, the stakes seem higher than ever. To survive, brands must be willing to examine the existing environment, identify potential areas of concern, and prepare for every conceivable eventuality. This might sound like a lot of work, but partnering with an experienced social media marketing agency can help. Your agency can monitor the developments and provide recommendations that fit your brand’s unique needs.
Do you plan to change your approach to Twitter from now on?