When Elon Musk purchased Twitter and began implementing his structural changes, we did not recommend that clients stop posting and pause paid spend. Our point of view was that a change in ownership does not immediately warrant that brands leave the platform. Other social networks certainly have had their share of changes, and we opted to monitor the platform and its changes carefully instead.
Then came Twitter Blue, and immediately imposter handles emerged for two of our clients. Luckily our Twitter rep was still employed there and helped us shut them down. However, we began to see misinformation infiltrate the platform, with the Eli Lilly crisis emerging as a poster child for the mess.
This less-than-smooth rollout undermined one of Twitter’s critical uses as a public safety tool, and the emergence of fake accounts led to rampant misinformation. It caused us to question the stability of the infrastructure at the company.
Last Thursday, Musk issued an ultimatum to the rest of his staff: Be prepared to work hard or take a severance package. Twitter hasn’t been forthcoming with actual numbers, but some are estimating that it now has less than 33% of its workforce pre-Musk, and reports are surfacing that he will make more cuts this week. This reduction in staff on top of the issues with Twitter Blue have led us to recommend that the majority of our clients pause their organic and paid activities on the platform indefinitely – until we have more clarity and confidence.
That said, some of our clients have a marketing strategy focused on Twitter – i.e. in the B2B technology space. For these clients, it will make sense to continue being present on the platform. We’re shifting our monitoring accordingly and watching online conversation more carefully than ever.
Brand safety is our first priority. Right now, Twitter is not stable enough to be safe for the majority of brands.
We hope to be back tweeting when the dust settles and a clear vision for the platform emerges.
Updated POV (Feb. 2023)
As many of our clients are restarting programs or revisiting strategy this month, we’re providing an update around our latest recommendation for Twitter usage. We’re currently advising that it is safe for brands to resume activity (paid and organic) on Twitter. While Elon will likely continue making headlines for a while, our counsel is based around brand safety and platform stability. The Twitter Safety team has updated policies around the review and approval of content to protect people on Twitter and has seen a decrease in the reach of hateful speech. And past advertisers and media who had abandoned the platform are also returning since things have stabilized (over 30% who paused are back according to our sources at Twitter).
As we start to pick up activity, clients should remain vigilant with their community management and be prepared to change strategy as needed.
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