Last week Elon Musk bought Twitter.
This week brands will be weighing their options as Musk makes initial layoffs and plans.
Obviously there has been much hand-wringing among those who use Twitter the most the last week–media, politicos and everyday people who use it as a newsfeed (Musk is already offering $20 to users to keep the blue check mark). And it will be interesting to see who stays and who goes on the platform.
However, on the brand side, this could be the perfect time for many to quit Twitter once and for all.
Let’s face it, Twitter isn’t the powerhouse brand channel it once was. It hasn’t been for quite a while. We all know this, even though many brands still have active Twitter feeds.
This might just be the opportunity to change that.
Because let’s be honest, for most brands, Twitter just isn’t worth the time anymore. I’ve done enough social media audits over the last few years to know this. Twitter is almost always at the bottom when it comes to channel effectiveness. And often it isn’t close. I’ve had some brands where tweets are seeing 2 or fewer engagements per post on average with many tweets seeing ZERO engagements. In 2022 this is not uncommon.
So yeah, now’s the time for brands to abandon Twitter.
Sure, the Wendy’s, Moon Pies and NASAs of the world may be a little concerned or upset. But it’s a very small subset of brands who are deriving true value from Twitter in 2022.
And yes, some brands are using Twitter’s ad platform to reach audiences. In some cases, this is effective. However, brands have other social platforms to reach these same audiences–LinkedIn comes to mind. Maybe even Instagram or TikTok.
So yeah, now’s the time to say “see ya later, blue bird!”
And sure, Twitter has always been a customer service channel–especially for industries like airlines, banking and retail. But, you could still keep those handles in tact while sunsetting your brand handle. That seems like a perfectly acceptable approach in 2022 given what just happened.
For the few brands that I believe are using Twitter effectively–John Deere comes to mind–to drive brand affinity and love, those companies could also do that in other places as the environment shifts in wake of the Musk purchase. Deere could easily execute it’s brand love strategy on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, too.
Finally, brand safety is a big issue, too. We’re already seeing signs that things could go off the rails pretty quickly on Twitter. According to reports, usage of racial slurs is already way up. And, the owner of Twitter himself has already been promoting tweets that include disinformation (although he has since deleted this tweet re: the Nancy Pelosi attack). At the very best, Twitter is most likely going to be less “safe” from a brand perspective than it was a week ago.
So, given all this, I keep coming back to this: Now is the time for brands to abandon Twitter.
And this week, I’m betting many brands will be saying the same thing.