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Musk Looks to Reassure Advertisers Ahead of Twitter Takeover, Outlines Elements of His Plan

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Musk Looks to Reassure Advertisers Ahead of Twitter Takeover, Outlines Elements of His Plan

As he prepares for the next stage of his Twitter takeover, which looks set to be finalized this week, Elon Musk has released a new statement on his intentions for the platform, and the impact that it will have on advertisers, who’ve been justifiably concerned about Musk’s vision for the app.

Because as Musk has said directly:

Musk has said, straight up, that he will look to remove ads from the platform entirely, which would re-shape a lot of marketing approaches at many brands.

But now, after visiting Twitter HQ, and with $44 billion about to be debited from his account, Musk has changed his mind on this.

As per Musk:

“There’s been much speculation about why I bought Twitter, and what I think about advertising. Most of it has been wrong.”

Which, from, the first line, feels a bit revisionist. Musk has also said that he hates advertising, in addition to the above tweet about removing ads from Twitter.

But again, with the clarity of debt, Musk has now switched up, and says that he actually wants to make Twitter ‘the most respected advertising platform in the world’.

“I also very much believe that advertising, when done right, can delight, entertain and inform you; it can show you a service or product or medical treatment that you never knew existed, but is right for you. For this to be true, it’s essential to show Twitter users advertising that is as relevant as possible to their needs. Low relevancy are spam, but high relevancy ads are content.”

Ah, so advertising is okay so long as it’s good. Keep that in mind marketers.

How Musk plans to enforce this, and ensure that Twitter only publishes good, relevant ads is not clear. But rest assured ad partners, Musk’s not going to cut you off from the app – despite his previous and repeated statements that that’s exactly what he would do. That was just speculation, according to Musk. Didn’t come from him.

So goes the usual Elon Musk approach – saying one thing, then completely denying it, and blaming outside forces for misinterpreting his statements.

The same also relates to his recent statement that he’ll look to cut 75% of Twitter staff as soon as he takes over as ‘Chief Twit’ (as per his new Twitter bio).

Yet, after he visited Twitter HQ yesterday, he posted that he’d met ‘a lot of cool people’ at the app.

Yes, he bought a sink with him, for a random and unfunny sight gag. Wacky.

Of course, saying that he met a lot of cool folk doesn’t mean that he won’t sack them. But it does suggest that Musk’s not going to be as militant in his approach as he’s suggested in his previous statements.

So what are his plans then?

To unite the world, apparently:

“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it’s important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence. There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.”

Musk also notes that he ‘didn’t do it to make money’. Which is pretty obvious, since he spent months trying to renege on the deal, and also recently noted that he’s ‘obviously overpaying’ for the app.

That’s another element that Musk is now trying to play down – Musk has spent months criticizing Twitter, its board, its staff, poking holes in its business model, and generally, highlighting why it’s a disastrous investment.

But now? All smiles.

‘In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.”

Warm and welcoming. That’s definitely not the Twitter vision that Musk has been painting.

But again, the clarity of debt.

The latter reference here relates to Elon’s vision of creating variable algorithms, which users could then choose to apply to their Twitter feed. The concept is interesting, but whether users will actually want to go to the effort of curating their own experience, as opposed to just checking out what the app has on offer, remains to be seen.

And that’s the real rub here. Musk says that he has a plan, and he’s now making statements like these about the future of the app, and how it can be a transformative, uniting experience.

But making that a reality seems like a truly impossible task. And while Musk prides himself on taking on the impossible, this one feels like it could be beyond even his reach.

It feels like, in many ways, Musk will be relying on his public persona to win over users. But do people really like his wacky rich guy shtick?

I don’t know, it’s a massive, and very public task, which could hurt Musk’s reputation, along with his net worth. The general concepts that Musk’s been touting do make sense – user-defined experience, freedom of speech versus freedom of reach, improved algorithmic targeting (ala TikTok), and payments, shopping and more, like WeChat in China.

Musk has pointed to all of these apps and options as reference points for his Twitter vision. But so has every social media app. Meta’s been trying for years to replicate the utility of Chinese messaging apps, every platform’s trying to work out TikTok’s secret sauce, and users already do have a lot of choice regarding what they see in-stream.

The problem is in the application. Western users haven’t warmed to app functionalities in the same way as Chinese consumers have, TikTok’s winning because its algorithms are better and no one can match it, and while users are able to change their feed experience, in various ways, most can’t be bothered, and even if they do, engagement declines as a result

So while Musk is keen to explore these things, each is, indeed, easier said than done.

But it’s Elon Musk, if anyone can do it, he can. Right?

The Musk era is about to begin, and it’ll be fascinating to see how, exactly, he looks to enact any of this.



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

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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

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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

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

Meta image: — © AFP INDRANIL MUKHERJEE

Glenn CHAPMAN

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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