Twitter Needs Advertisers, But Advertisers Don’t Need Twitter
The advertising community has given Twitter more oxygen than it deserves since Elon Musk took over. The reality is that Twitter has never been a critical media channel in the overall media mix, comprising just 1.3% of 2022 digital ad spend based on Forrester’s 2022 Advertising Forecast, US. Why? The ad experience on Twitter has never quite caught up with other “legacy” social media platforms such as Meta’s family of apps. According to media buyers and social media strategists who spoke with Forrester, Twitter doesn’t quite deliver on lower-funnel performance.
Consumers Leave Twitter Because Of Disinformation And Divisiveness
Data from Forrester’s November 2022 Consumer Energy Index And Retail Pulse Survey shows that nearly half of US online adults have never used Twitter and only a third of those who use (or plan to use) Twitter consider it an important part of their life. For those who have recently left the platform, they say that Twitter’s experience has declined (see Figure 1).
Figure 1 — Consumers’ Reasons For Leaving Twitter
If You Don’t Deem Twitter Appropriate For Your Money, Consider Whether It’s Worthy Of Your Time
Advertisers — such as Chevrolet and Chipotle — paused their Twitter spend for fear of appearing beside extremist, racist, and inflammatory content. The Washington Post found ads for over 40 advertisers on white nationalist Twitter pages recently reinstated by Musk. At the same time, not every major advertiser has decided that Twitter is unsafe; Amazon continues to run paid media on the platform. Musk also introduced a “flash sale” in an attempt to lure lost advertisers back. If Twitter doesn’t currently align to your brand safety guidelines, however, then you should:
- Refrain from posting any brand content to Twitter. Direct the efforts of your social media content teams to other channels that meet brand safety requirements.
- Monitor and respond to customer service-related questions. If customers are reaching out to you for help or have questions about your products, continue responding to ensure a positive customer experience.
- Listen for relevant cultural trends or product feedback. As usage continues on the platform, use social listening tools to find out what trends are popping and how consumers are talking about your company’s category to inform your marketing strategy.
- Test other social media channels. Twitter has downshifted into a social media startup rather than an established platform. Roll your previously dedicated Twitter dollars into a pool of test dollars for channels including TikTok, Reddit, and Snapchat (see Figure 2).
Figure 2 — Social Media Channel Maturity Spectrum
Check out our full report, Twitter Isn’t Canceled; It’s Downgraded, to learn more about Forrester’s Twitter advertising decision model: a five-dimensional framework to help you navigate your 2023 Twitter strategy. Forrester clients should also schedule a guidance session to discuss this in the context of your overall social media strategy.