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Twitter Adds 9 Million Users, Posts Lower Revenue Result Amid Musk Takeover Fiasco



Elon Musk Launches Hostile Takeover Bid for Twitter

Amid ongoing uncertainty around the Elon Musk acquisition, Twitter has shared its latest performance update, posting an increase in active users, but a year-on-year decrease in revenue, which it’s attributed to challenging market conditions.

Though it’s also made it very clear that Musk himself is to blame for many of its current challenges and concerns.

First off, on users, Twitter added 9 million new daily active users in the quarter, taking it to 238 million total mDAU.

As you can see here, most of the new growth has come from international markets, with Twitter only adding 2 million new users in the US. But even so, Twitter’s added 5 million more US users over the past three quarters, after growth amongst American users stagnated, and even declined at one stage, for almost two years.

What’s particularly surprising here is that Twitter didn’t see any significant boost in US user numbers during the Trump administration, when former President Trump used the platform as a key policy announcement vehicle. You would think that Twitter would have seen a lot more US users jumping in to catch Trump’s tweets – but actually, since Twitter banned Trump in January 2021, its US user counts have increased.

Make of that what you will.

In terms of its ‘rest of the World’ stats, Twitter hasn’t provided a breakdown of where its newest 7 million users have come from, but Japan and India remain its second and third largest user bases, after the US.

A concern on this front is that Twitter continues to butt heads with the Indian Government over the Government’s push to censor certain discussions and people based on politically sensitive topics. Twitter has complied with some of these orders, and resisted others.

The company’s ongoing pushback could still see Twitter face a potential ban in the Indian market – and if Twitter were to lose India, as TikTok did, that could be a major blow to its overall expansion.  

Twitter attributes its overall mDAU growth to ‘ongoing product improvements and global conversation around current events’. Of course, there’s no way of knowing for sure which elements have had the most impact in this respect, but Twitter has continued to add new conversation controls, subscription offerings, Communities, Spaces, etc.

In combination, all of these elements do appear to be drawing more users to the platform. Not in a big way, but Twitter is still growing, which is an important consideration.

In terms of revenue, Twitter brought in $1.18 billion in Q2, a decrease of 1% year-over-year.

Twitter Q2 2022

Twitter says that the decline reflects ‘advertising industry headwinds associated with the macroenvironment’, which is all businesses are feeling right now, and you can expect to see every social platform to report similar impacts over the rest of the year.

But as noted, Twitter also attributes its issues to Musk himself, citing ‘uncertainty related to the pending acquisition of Twitter by an affiliate of Elon Musk’ as another factor in its reduced revenue performance.

It’s impossible to measure the impact here, but definitely, the constant disparagement by Musk, and the questioning of its metrics, would have had some impact on its market perception.

In its recent overview of its newly launched legal action to force Musk to uphold his end of the deal, Twitter’s legal team noted that:

“Monetary damages [in the event of Musk exiting the deal], even if available, would not be an adequate remedy in the event that the parties do not perform the provisions of this Agreement.”

In other words, Musk’s public criticisms of the company have caused damage beyond what Twitter thinks can be fixed with a payout or financial settlement. Twitter is worse off because of the Musk fiasco, which has largely centered around Musk’s repeated claim that Twitter is lying about the amount of bots and spam accounts that are active within its network.

Which, even in today’s announcement, Twitter still pegs at 5% of its active user account.

Now a court will have to decide whether Twitter’s disclosures on this element are correct – or indeed, if it’s even relevant in the legal case that Musk’s team is presenting to exit the deal.

Twitter also notes that its costs and expenses in Q2 were $1.52 billion, an increase of 31% year-over-year, with costs related to the pending acquisition of Twitter reaching $33 million in the period.

Severance-related costs were approximately $19 million – while Twitter also recently noted that employee attrition has ‘been on the upswing since the signing of the merger agreement’.

It’s a fairly sombre announcement from Twitter, with the Musk deal effectively halting the company’s growth plans and projections, because no one has any idea who’s going to be in charge at this time next year. Twitter is still rolling out updates and changes, it’s still moving ahead with its existing plans. But it feels like it’s, more broadly, in a state of limbo till the Musk issue gets sorted.

Which could go any way. As of right now, it seems like Twitter has a stronger legal case to hold Musk to the original deal, but Musk has virtually unlimited resources, and a huge public profile, which will no doubt help him put together the best legal case to capitalize on any loophole or issue.

That could still see Musk wriggle out of the deal. And if that happens, Twitter could be in a very difficult spot moving forward.

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Effective Ways To Personalize Your Customer Touch Points Even More In 2023



Effective Ways To Personalize Your Customer Touch Points Even More In 2023

Will 2023 be the year of personalization? Consumers hope so. For the past two years, shoppers have been craving the personal touch: In 2021, McKinsey & Company noted that 71% of customers expected companies to deliver personalization. In 2022, a Salesforce survey found that 73% of people expected brands to understand their needs and expectations. So, this year is looking like one where personalization can no longer be seen as a “nice to have.”

The problem, of course, is how to get more personalized. Many companies have already started to dabble in this. They greet shoppers by name on landing pages. They rely on CRMs and other tools to use historical information to send shoppers customized recommendations. They offer personalized, real-time discounts to help buyers convert their abandoned shopping cart items to actual purchases.

These are all great ideas. The only problem is that they’ve become widespread. They don’t move the needle on the customer experience anymore. Instead, they’re standard, expected, and kind of forgettable. That doesn’t mean you can afford to stop doing them. It just means you must devise other ways to pepper personalization throughout your consumer interactions.

If you are scratching your head on how to outdo 2022’s personalization in 2023, try implementing the following strategies:

1. Go for full-blown engagement on social media.

One easy way to give the personal touch is through your social media business pages. Social media use just keeps growing. In 2022, there were about 266 million monthly active users (or MUAs) on Facebook, one billion on Instagram, and 755 million on TikTok. Not all these active users will fall into your target audiences, but plenty of them will.

Make engaging with your social followers one of this year’s goals. People spend a lot of time on social media. It’s where many of them “live,” so it only makes sense that it should be a place to drive personalization.

One quick way to ratchet up your company’s personal touch on social media is to personalize all your retargeted ads. Quizzes can also offer a chance for personalization. Simply set up an engaging quiz and allow people to share their results. It’s a fun way to build brand recognition and bond with consumers. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with going very personal and answering all comments. Depending on your team’s size and the number of comments you receive, this might be a viable option.

2. Leverage AI to go beyond basic demographics.

Most companies rely on customer demographic information to bolster personalization efforts. The only trouble with this tactic is that demographics can’t tell the whole story. It’s impossible to get a lot of context about individual users (such as their lifestyles, personal preferences, and motivators) just from knowing their age, gender, or location. Though demographic data is beneficial, it can cause some significant misses.

Michael Scharff, CEO and cofounder of Evolv AI, explains the workaround for this problem: “The most natural, and therefore productive, personalization efforts use demographics as a foundation and then layer in user likes, dislikes, behaviors, and values.”

You can leverage AI’s predictive and insightful capabilities to uncover real-time user insights. Scharff recommends this technique because it allows you to stay in sync with the fast-moving pace of consumer behavior changes. He adds that AI can be particularly beneficial with the coming limits to third-party cookie access because it can be a first-party data source, allowing you to maintain customer knowledge and connection.

To flesh out your organization’s strategy, look to other companies that have gone beyond demographics. Take Netflix, for example, which constantly tweaks its AI algorithm to help improve personalized content recommendations. Bottom line? Going deeper than surface information makes all the sense in the world if you want to show customers you know them well.

3. Keep your data spotless.

The better your data, the better your personalization efforts. Period. Unfortunately, you are probably sitting on a lot of unstructured or otherwise tricky-to-use (or impossible-to-use) data. One recent Great Expectations survey revealed that 77% of data practitioners have data quality problems, and 91% say that this is wreaking havoc on their companies’ performance.

You can’t personalize anything with corrupt or questionable data. So, do your best to find ways to clean your data promptly and routinely. For example, you might want to invest in a more centralized data system, particularly if the personalization data you rely on is scattered in various places. Having one repository of data truth makes it easier to know if the information on hand is ready to use.

Another way to tame your data is to automate as many data processes as possible. Reducing manual manipulation of data lessens the chance of human error. And you’ll feel more confident with all your personalization efforts if you can trust the reliability and health of your data.

4. Go for nontechnical personalization.

It’s the digital age, but that doesn’t mean every touchpoint has to be digitized. Consumers often react with delight and positivity when they receive personalization in decidedly nontech forms. (Yes, you can use tech to keep track of everything. Just don’t make it part of the actual personalized exchange!)

Consider writing handwritten thank-you notes to customers after they’ve called in for support or emailed your team, for instance. Or send an extra personalized gift to buyers who make a specific number of purchases. These interactions aren’t technical but can differentiate your customer experience from your competitors’ experiences.

A groundbreaking Deloitte snapshot taken right before the pandemic showed that people were hungry for connection. By folding nondigital experiences into your personalization with customers, you’re showing them that you see them first as valued humans. That’s compelling and appealing, making them more apt to give you their loyalty in return.

Putting a personal spin on all your consumer interactions takes a little time. It’s worth your energy, though. You’ll wind up with stronger brand-buyer connections, helping you edge ahead of your competitors even more.

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Planning for 2023: What Social Media Marketers Need to Win in 2023



Planning for 2023: What Social Media Marketers Need to Win in 2023

January is, for many, a month of reflection, goal-setting, strategizing and planning for the year ahead. 

In line with this, we’ve kicked off the new year with a series of articles covering the latest stats, tips and strategies to help social media marketers build an effective game plan for 2023.

Below, you’ll find links to our 2023 social media planning series, which includes:

  • Content strategy guidelines to help you define your brand’s content mission and set SMART goals
  • Organic posting tips for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest 
  • Explainers on how to research key topics of interest in your niche, understand the competitive landscape, and help you find your audience and connect with them where they’re active
  • A holiday calendar and notes on the best days and times to post to each of the major platforms


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Meta says Trump to be allowed back on Facebook, Instagram



Meta wants the UK to keep some EU e-commerce rules instead of scrapping them in its planned bonfire of Brussels legislation



Social networking giant Meta announced Tuesday it would soon reinstate former president Donald Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram with “new guardrails,” two years after he was banned over the 2021 US Capitol insurrection.

“We will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, said in a statement, adding that the move would come with “new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”

Going forward, the Republican leader — who has already declared himself a 2024 presidential candidate — could be suspended for up to two years for each violation of platform policies, Clegg said.

It was not clear when or if Trump will return to the platforms, and his representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But the 76-year-old tycoon reacted in typically bullish fashion, crowing that Facebook had lost “billions of dollars in value” in his absence.

“Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!” he said on his Truth Social platform.

Facebook banned Trump a day after the January 6, 2021 uprising, when a mob of his supporters seeking to halt the certification of his election defeat to Joe Biden stormed the US Capitol in Washington.

The former reality TV star had spent weeks falsely claiming that the presidential election was stolen from him and he was subsequently impeached for inciting the riot.

In a letter asking for the ban to be overturned, Trump’s lawyer Scott Gast said last week that Meta had “dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse.”

He asked for a meeting to discuss Trump’s “prompt reinstatement to the platform” of Facebook, where he had 34 million followers, arguing that his status as the leading contender for the Republican nomination in 2024 justified ending the ban.

American Civil Liberties Union executive director Anthony Romero said Meta was making “the right call” by allowing Trump back onto the social network.

“Like it or not, President Trump is one of the country’s leading political figures and the public has a strong interest in hearing his speech,” Romero said in a release.

“Indeed, some of Trump’s most offensive social media posts ended up being critical evidence in lawsuits filed against him and his administration.”

The ACLU has filed more than 400 legal actions against Trump, according to Romero.

– Extremism engine? –

Advocacy groups such as Media Matters for America, however, vehemently oppose allowing Trump to exploit Facebook’s social networking reach.

“Make no mistake — by allowing Donald Trump back on its platforms, Meta is refueling Trump’s misinformation and extremism engine,” said Media Matters president Angelo Carusone.

“This not only will have an impact on Instagram and Facebook users, but it also presents intensified threats to civil society and an existential threat to United States democracy as a whole.”

A US congressional committee recommended in December that Trump be prosecuted for his role in the US Capitol assault.

His Twitter account, which has 88 million followers, was also blocked after the riot, leaving him to communicate through Truth Social, where he has fewer than five million followers.

Trump’s shock victory in 2016 was credited in part to his leverage of social media and his enormous digital reach.

New Twitter owner Elon Musk reinstated Trump’s account last November, days after the brash billionaire announced a fresh White House run. He has yet to post.

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