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Assessing the Options for Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover Push

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What to Make of Elon Musk's Buy-Up of Twitter Shares

So what are the chances that Elon Musk actually ends up owning Twitter, and taking the platform private?

Well, it’s not looking great for Tesla Social supporters, at least in this form.

Following Musk’s $54.20 per share buyout offer, and his various and ongoing criticisms of Twitter management, analysts have been trying to gauge the potential of a Twitter sale, with some private equity firms now looking to get in on the action, and either support rival bids for the company, or to partner with Musk in his buyout plans.

The basic premise is that Twitter is underachieving – while Meta has gone on to become a global behemoth, raking in hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue, Twitter, once considered a rival for Facebook, has failed to capitalize on its potential.

That may or may not be true, though there is some fairly strong evidence to support the suggestion that Twitter’s mismanagement, and lack of clear direction, has impeded its progress. From a business perspective, that spells opportunity – so while Elon is aiming to convert Twitter into the platform of free speech, by taking it private, and reducing its reliance on ads (thus enabling it to detach itself from censorship concerns), private equity firms smell cash, and the opportunity to make money on the back of Musk’s takeover push.

Indeed, according to reports, several PE firms, including Thoma Bravo and Morgan Stanley, have contacted Twitter’s board about possible alternative avenues to sale.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal:

Apollo, one of the world’s largest buyout firms, has held discussions about backing a possible deal for Twitter and could provide Mr. Musk or another bidder like private-equity firm Thoma Bravo LP with equity or debt to support an offer, the people said.

So while Twitter is expected to reject Musk’s takeover offer within days (speculation is that Twitter could announce its decision as part of its Q1 earnings report on April 28th), Musk’s takeover bid has opened the door for others, which could see an alternative, and more attractive bid arise, which may still see Twitter sold into new ownership.

At the same time, Musk has continued to criticize Twitter management, and the process which enables Twitter’s board to assess and decide on his bid, not Twitter shareholders, who Musk clearly suspects may be more enticed by his offer.

One way around this could be a tender offer, which Musk seemingly alluded to in a recent tweet:

In that process, Twitter shareholders would have the option to tender their shares at his offer price, which would enable Musk to theoretically win the platform via shareholder approval, side-stepping the board.

It’s a more complex route, and would require majority shareholder support for Musk’s offer (which is also, seemingly, not going happen). But it could provide another way for Musk to take over the platform, and convert into his vision for a free speech haven, however that might look.

But on balance, the odds would be against that actually happening, and with Twitter seemingly set to also rebuff Musk’s offer, the most likely outcome, at least at this stage, is that Twitter will shrug off Musk’s takeover attempt, then try to move on in the wake of its latest controversy.

What Musk does then is unclear.

Will he try to start his own social media platform anyway (ala Trump)? Will he look to partner with somebody else to put together a bigger offer? Will he just shut his Twitter account down, and move over to BeReal instead?

I do suspect that Musk overrates his popularity and magnetism, and as such, I could see him jumping to another platform, and expecting his 84 million+ followers to come along for the next chapter in his social media journey.

I doubt, however, that many would actually bother.

But there is another option which would definitely spark interest, even if it might be entirely unfeasible.

In recent days, Twitter’s former CEO Jack Dorsey has been actively criticising his former company, and its board, in a series of tweet replies.

Dorsey has as much experience in the social media space as anyone, and he has strong views on the good and bad decisions that Twitter has made over time, while he’s also been a vocal supporter of Elon Musk and his future vision.

Maybe Musk and Dorsey should partner up on an entirely new platform, similar to Twitter, but without the issues that have impeded the app’s progress?

To be clear, neither Dorsey nor Musk have suggested anything along these lines, but it could be another avenue to consider, with the experience and backing to potentially give it a fighting chance.

But right now, as everything stands, it doesn’t look like we’re going to see Musk taking over Twitter – though as the past few weeks have shown, anything is still possible in this space.




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7 tips for creating great digital presence

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7 tips for creating great digital presence

DEAR READERS: Companies of all kinds are finding it imperative to build a digital strategy to compete in a world where almost everyone is shopping and doing business online. How can small companies, including startups and those with just a few employees, get the kind of following on their websites and social media platforms that they’ll need to succeed?






There are several steps to take to build your business online.




It is a problem many companies are trying to get their arms around, according to everyone I reached out to. Here are a few tips to get started on the road to social media success:

Develop clearly defined goals. “Determine your objectives, whether they are enhancing brand awareness, generating leads or driving sales growth, as they will serve as guiding principles for developing your strategy,” suggests Dmitriy Shelepin CEO and head of SEO at Miromind.

Identify your ideal followers. That means going beyond demographics like gender and age, according to brand consultant Faith James, CEO of The Personal Branding Consultancy. “It’s important to go deeper into their psychographics — how they think, what motivates them, what their core desires are,” James says. “By focusing on the psychographics, you focus on the emotional connectors that build a stronger connection which goes beyond just the transactional ‘buy my stuff.’ ”

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Choose and prioritize platforms. Shelepin says it is crucial to choose platforms “that resonate with your desired audience and align with your business objectives,” and suggests focusing on one or two of those platforms “to deliver quality over quantity.”

Provide value. James says value can come in various forms, but stresses that it boils down to “helping your audience get a small win in the areas that are meaningful to them.

“If a hair salon is looking to grow their following, they might offer tips on their website and social media platforms such as ‘How to Have Your Hair Color Last Longer,’ ‘3 Tips on How to Beat the Humidity Frizz,’ or ‘How to Avoid Chlorine Damage While Swimming at the Pool,’ ” James says.

Value also can come by educating and informing your audience with things like educational blog posts that establish industry expertise, Shelepin adds.

Invite engagement. This is an essential step, James stresses. “In all instances, the business would invite the audience to share their own hair drama stories, share their own tricks they are using to make their hair color last longer, and invite the audience to submit their own questions about hair care,” James explains.

Build relationships. “Use social media to connect with customers, respond promptly, and share relevant content,” Shelepin says.

Don’t forget about email. It is a great way to maintain customer relationships and to deliver exclusive content and special offers like discounts, Shelepin explains.

Shelepin acknowledges that businesses won’t realize success in the digital realm overnight, but stresses that success is possible to achieve.

“It’s important to maintain consistency, in creating content and engaging on media platforms, as building an online presence takes time,” Shelepin concludes. “By adhering to these strategies, small businesses can cultivate a strong digital presence, enabling them to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.”

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LinkedIn Expands ID Verification to More Regions

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LinkedIn Expands ID Verification to More Regions

LinkedIn continues to expand its own identity verification offering, via a new partnership with Persona which will enable users in more regions to confirm their ID in the app.

As you can see in this sequence, with LinkedIn’s new ID verification process, users in certain regions now able to confirm their ID documents with Persona, in order get a verification badge added to your LinkedIn profile, which confirms that you’ve uploaded and verified your government ID with one of LinkedIn’s partner providers.

LinkedIn Persona ID confirmation

You can see the verified icon next to my profile name in the second image, which adds another level of assurance that I am, in fact, a real human being, with a government ID linked to my identity.

LinkedIn initially launched ID verification for users in the U.S. back in April, via a partnership with identity platform CLEAR, which is best known for providing faster check-in at airports. LinkedIn then expanded its CLEAR partnership to enable users in Canada and Mexico to also confirm their documents, with this new partnership providing the ID confirmation option to a lot more users.

As per LinkedIn:

In Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, the identity verification is performed by Persona, a third-party identity verification service. It’s available in each country for those with a valid NFC-enable passport.”

(Note: It may not be available to all users in all of these regions as yet)

So, the requirement is that you need a government-issued passport, with an NFC chip, and a means to scan that chip in as part of the process, though Persona notes that “if you’ve ever used your phone to tap for payment, then it is NFC-enabled”.

So now, a lot more LinkedIn users will be able to confirm their identity, and add an extra layer of assurance to their profile, helping to let people know that they are dealing with an actual person, and that your information is more likely to be legit.

And given the latest advances in generative AI, and LinkedIn’s rising push to add generative AI tools into every aspect of its platform, it does seem like this could become an essential step, as more bot profiles and personas get added to social apps.

That’s been part of the justification for X’s broader push on ID verification, which has now stretched to charging new users in some regions a small fee to interact in the app.

X owner Elon Musk has repeatedly noted the rising risk of AI-enabled bots taking over social apps, with user payments, in his view, being the only way to stop them. But LinkedIn’s trying another approach, and it does seem like providing free ID confirmation will be more widely adopted, which could make it more effective in this respect.

And by outsourcing the actual verification element to a third party, it’s also less labor intensive, though it does also mean that another group is involved, which can make some feel a little uneasy about sharing their documentation and selfies.

Still, it’s a pretty simple process, and it’s free, and if LinkedIn starts putting more emphasis on verified accounts, by say, ranking them higher in search results, that could get a lot more people taking it up, and adding a gray tick.

The other question then is what do CLEAR and Persona get out of this deal?

In both cases these ID platforms get more data, with users also required to open a CLEAR account when confirming their info via its system. Persona will also take in some user data, which will expand its database, though you can opt out of letting either company keep your info in perpetuity.

Persona also notes that it will generate “facial geometries for both the image obtained from your government ID and the user submitted selfie”, which it will then use in its analysis with your ID to confirm your info, though Persona won’t keep your geometric data on file.

Essentially, you’re going to have to trust your ID data with another company, which not everyone will be comfortable with. But if you’re okay with it, again, the process is easy, and it could add some extra assurance to your LinkedIn presence.

You can learn more about LinkedIn’s ID confirmation options here.

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Ad Spend Wasted On Invalid Traffic Could Reach $72B In 2024 11/28/2023

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Ad Spend Wasted On Invalid Traffic Could Reach $72B In 2024 11/28/2023

The latest analysis of the effects of
invalid traffic/IVT estimates that the problem will result in $72.37 billion in wasted ad spend in 2024 — up 33% from an estimated $54.63 billion wasted in 2022.

The report, from marketing efficiency platform Lunio, was based on an analysis of 2.6 …



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