Social Media, Musk and Marketing: 6 Takes on what the Tesla founder’s Twitter takeover means for online advertising trends

Will Elon Musk really make Twitter better? We’re optimistic about what it means for digital marketing

Damiel Forman
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A change is coming to Twitter. Tesla founder Elon Musk’s 44 billion dollar bid to purchase the social media company is all over the news and is likely to stay at the forefront of the conversation in the tech world in weeks and months to come
What does Musk’s Twitter takeover mean to the immediate future of the embattled social media company?
And more importantly from Empower’s perspective – what will it mean to digital marketing?
Here are a few thoughts.

Democratized Moderation

Musk’s Twitter gambit is driven by his own interest in what “free speech” means. And that’s an important issue, but I’m really only interested in what Musk’s Twitter could change for digital marketing on the platform. If Musk moves to allow individual users more content moderation capabilities, effectively shifting that responsibility from in-house moderators to account owners, it could create a more brand-friendly environment. One huge benefit would be that if content in the form of comments and replies was considered the responsibility of the Twitter account manager, options and tools for review and comment moderation and management would make Twitter interactions more productive to promote brand awareness and customer care for small business owners.

Improved Tech

It’s likely that Musk will move to improve Twitter’s functionality, thereby making it potentially more lucrative for advertisers. Among potential changes he could implement, Musk has often said that Twitter users should have the choice to edit their texts after publication. He also has made vague references to algorithmic changes but has not given a clear indication of what that would mean. However, Musk does seem interested in creating a more balanced Twitter user experience. The social media platform has a reputation for being fairly toxic, which makes advertisers wary. Under Musk’s management, this is likely to change.

Bots, Be Gone!

Musk has pledged to rid Twitter of the slew of bot accounts that plague its servers and its newsfeed with bogus content. If his purchase is successful, and he is able to make this work, the improvement and reliability of Twitter user data would become much more reliable and bankable for marketing content creators. Targeting an audience of actual people with ad messaging would be a huge plus, and segmenting Twitter users would give advertisers data they can rely on.

Shopping options

In-post shopping is commonplace on competing platforms. Twitter knows it needs to ramp up in this regard, and if Musk drivesTwitter’s tech toward a more democratic user experience, marketers will jump on new opportunities to create content that sells. Musk has an opportunity to make Twitter more attractive and interesting to a wider audience, which would also help increase profits (presumably one of the main reasons the richest man in the world wants to buy it, despite the criticism that this is simply a vanity project of a privileged multi-billionaire.) Whatever else people use it for, Twitter is still the platform most used by big corporations to communicate directly with their customers. And that reality can be extracted from and built upon, which would benefit smaller competitors.

Transparency = Trust

Back to the question of algorithmic improvements, Musk wants Twitter’s algorithm to become much more transparent. Twitter users, he believes, should have an understanding of what content is being filtered in and out on the platform’s end. This is important for organic advertising and boosted advertising alike. Boosted advertising will be more apparent, and it can be speculated that a business person like Musk, who champions innovation, would democratize the landscape for brands that can’t pay big bucks for huge boosts don’t get drowned out by the noise. Small brands that grow organically through reply engagement and retweets will be more obvious to identify and give the potential client the trust and confidence that they are not simply being “marketed at” by yet another big tech player. This would make Twitter an all-around more trusted and therefore viable option for small brands and the marketers who support them to turn their content into a product in itself, and be received by Twitter users as valuable content and not just another mandatory, paint-by-numbers advertisement existing only for the sake of itself.

Twitter: New Blood

It’s not illogical to assume that Musk’s personal brand as a tech guru, social influencer and media personality in and of himself will attract a new type of Twitter user. A younger demographic, interested in new ideas and now graduating from their childhood social media platforms of choice to a savvier and more sophisticated version of Twitter, is likely to emerge. And they’re going to respond in kind to new marketing content and approaches that respect their tastes and values accordingly. Plus, they just like Elon Musk’s memes and irreverent, almost absurdist philosophies on what success truly means. If Musk’s ownership comes to be, and my predictions are accurate, the implications for marketing across all social media platforms will have a ripple effect felt everywhere. As an innovative tech developer and marketing leader in our right, Empower will be keeping a close eye on what happens next with a Tesla-fied, Musk-managed Twitter 2.0.

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