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Why brands shouldn’t totally give up on Musk’s Twitter

According to a new report from Forrester, 22% of online adults in the U.S. used Twitter weekly in 2022, well behind Facebook (63%) and Instagram (40%) – an unexpected statistic from my personal estimations. 

The report also noted that while “Twitter ranks highly on the cultural relevance scale, it ranks low on the advertiser priority list.

It’s where news breaks, politicians debate, activists organise and niche communities meet. And despite Twitter users threatening to leave the platform, application downloads are up since Elon Musk took over. No other social media platform—not even Reddit, Mastodon or Hive—can replace Twitter for consumers.”

Principal analyst Kelsey Chickering has even suggested that marketers perhaps overestimate the power of the platform;

“The advertising community has given Twitter more oxygen than it deserves since Elon Musk took over. The reality is that Twitter has never been a critical media channel in the overall media mix, comprising just 1.3% of 2022 digital ad spend based on Forrester’s 2022 Advertising Forecast, U.S. Why? The ad experience on Twitter has never quite caught up with other ‘legacy’ social media platforms such as Meta’s family of apps. According to media buyers and social media strategists who spoke with Forrester, Twitter doesn’t quite deliver on lower-funnel performance.”

The report supported Chickering’s statement in saying that “Twitter’s direct-response ad products pale in comparison to those from Meta when it comes to meeting lower-funnel media goals, and they only rely on Twitter for mid- to upper-funnel media goals like awareness and consideration. 

Arguably most interestingly, the report pointed out that Twitter’s targeting and personalization capabilities are less mature than those of other social media platforms. For that reason, Forrester suggested that marketers treat Twitter as an emerging channel within the advertising maturity spectrum. 

Chickering also notes that under Musk’s direction, many brands are uncomfortable with Twitter. “ “Advertisers such as Chevrolet and Chipotle paused their Twitter spend for fear of appearing beside extremist, racist and inflammatory content. The Washington Post found ads for over 40 advertisers on white nationalist Twitter pages recently reinstated by Musk. At the same time, not every major advertiser has decided that Twitter is unsafe. Amazon continues to run paid media on the platform. Musk also introduced a ‘flash sale’ in an attempt to lure lost advertisers back.”

For this reason, it is recommended that brands refrain from heavy posting brand content to Twitter, however, if customers are reaching out for help or have questions about products, continue responding in order to ensure a positive customer experience.

Overall, the report estimates Twitter as a platform with unevolved ad experience and growing brand safety concerns but one that still offers a unique experience for live updates and news. 

Part of being in the creative industry is being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Every day is different, and there is nothing monotonous about our jobs…even when we’re doing admin. Instead of resisting the changes that are coming, let’s embrace being uncomfortable. This is much easier said than done and diversifying income can prove a real challenge. Utilising your freelance network and creating a plan ahead of time can require patience and dedication but may be the only tried and tested way to guarantee work.

This approach may come at the expense of overworking in certain periods but those eras will create a cushioning for tougher times as the year goes by. 

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