What does this shift in leadership mean for Twitter and its place in the advertising ecosystem?
- Adam: “Twitter will need to lead with their actions and implement meaningful change and then give it time for users to see and feel the impact. That is when the narrative will start to change and when they can start to have productive conversations with advertisers.
- If and when budgets begin to return to Twitter, those initial dollars will likely flow from platforms that play in the mid-funnel, like Meta, Snapchat, and Reddit. If Twitter decides to focus on video, long-form or short-form, as their path back to advertisers’ hearts, then we could see a shift from TikTok and CTV dollars - but that will only come once they prove they have captured meaningful time spent with video.”
- Anna: “Musk recently said that once the new CEO is in place, he will be “overseeing product, software & sysops.” The question is, will Musk step back and let Yaccarino cook? The direction that Twitter takes under Yaccarino’s leadership largely depends on Musk’s ability to let go of his 2022 plans for Twitter ... fully let go.
- This is a new Twitter and that means trusting the advertising and product expertise of Yaccarino and team; and reinstating some of the indispensable councils and teams that were abruptly dismantled. End of year results will show if Twitter will sink or swim.
- This shift in leadership opens the door for advertisers and users alike to return to Twitter. Change, however, will take time because Twitter needs to prove that its truly changing its approach and allowing Yaccarino and team to implement the strategies they were hired to design.
- Who’s going to jump in first? Likely smaller advertisers with a need for exposure and expansion. The last several months have proven that some advertisers don’t necessarily need Twitter (in its current form) to succeed. Twitter’s win-back strategy will need to seriously consider user safety, brand reputation and overall platform culture.”
Should I consider advertising on Twitter now that Yaccarino has come on board?
- Adam: “This will certainly be an uphill battle but it's one she is capable of tackling. Twitter will need to spend significant time and energy meeting with agencies and brands to prove it’s a new day on their platform. They’ll also need to be investing in media credits, added value, and meaningful measurement solutions to woo dollars away from their competitors. Depending on the path they choose to go, and if Linda truly has full control over the reins, it will be a long road to return to previous revenue levels, if at all.”
- Anna: “How important is brand reputation and user values? At the end of the day, it’s about ad dollars but long term gains include a bigger picture. Big tech like Amazon and Apple still advertise on Twitter - even in the midst of Musk’s controversial “free speech zone.” They can afford to, given their massive customer base and reach. Other brands may not fair as well, which means that the decision to advertise on Twitter will take some time to see notable changes.
- For brands, brand safety is the priority that Twitter will have to address through strong content management, transparent algorithms and non-paid account verifications. If these areas turn around, it will be a safer platform for advertisers to explore.”
What are we recommending to clients who are operating on Twitter or otherwise considering an investment in the platform?
Adam: “Our general advice is that there are likely better places for clients to invest their dollars based on Twitter‘s current capabilities, performance and various issues that the company is facing. There may be a handful of specific reasons to run on Twitter, like if they wanted to target people who are discussing or engaging with a particular topic in real time, or get really dialed into followers of specific handles.
Twitter could be a place to try and connect brands to certain events and moments, or a good platform to invest in if they are maxed out on other consideration-oriented platforms. Although this scenario doesn’t apply to most of our clients, we believe it’s important that they stay up to date on the cultural temperature and rhetoric taking place on Twitter at a given moment. Aside from that, the risks associated with Twitter continue to outweigh the benefits for many New Engen clients.“