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October 31, 2022 // Brent Diggins // Opinion  //       //  Opinion

How Elon’s Twitter Takeover Will Change Digital Analytics

The ink is dry. In one of the most impactful events in the history of human communication, Elon Musk is the new owner of Twitter.

When the news broke, the Twitterverse exploded into a two-day electric gumbo filled with speculation, elation and anxiety. In the marketing communications scape, Twitter serves as the most robust social media feed due to its offering of a full “firehose” flow of user-generated information (aka Tweet data). The Twitter organic data provision contrasts with other top social platforms, including the META universe, LinkedIn and TikTok. Because of this, Twitter data holds a crucial spot in marketing, communications and issues management.

So how will and could Elon’s takeover impact digital analytics?

  • Data Will Change: One thing absolutely clear in the current fog of speculation is Musk did not buy Twitter to maintain platform status quo. Whether it’s altering algorithms, allowing a greater range of voices and content, or taking on bots, the Twitter platform and its data will change.
  • The Data Change Will Impact Certain Sectors More than Others: Political and issue data could see the biggest impact along with general population topics of interest. If you work in these arenas, a benchmark comparison should be on your radar and be a consistent exercise. On the other end of the spectrum, industries with a smaller, niche footprint should expect a lesser impact.
  • A Cleaner, Wider Spectrum of Data: If Musk achieves his goal of cleaning up the town square, we could have a cleaner and wider arrangement of data. An elimination of bots, whose origins are both well-speculated and studied, would have a major impact on positive data cleanliness. Additionally, changing algorithms or platform standards or rules could open a wider arrange of data in many ways.
  • Volume Data Goes Down: The elimination of bots will reduce overall volume. Twitter’s changes may also spur attrition to other social town square platforms that have to date stood in Twitter’s foreboding shadow. If your social data is Twitter centric or has a strong Twitter influence, prepare for volume changes.
  • Short, Medium and Long-term Analysis will be Needed to Provide Clarity: Social data is used in marketing to set strategy, understand audiences, uncover trends and opportunities, and execute across the marketing spectrum. A shake-up of this magnitude will require clear eyes and bright minds to understand the impact, particularly as it will change industry to industry and organization to organization. Benchmarks must be set ASAP and regular analysis should be conducted consistently over the next two to four quarters to assess impact.

Oct. 28, 2022 – the day Elon Musk bought Twitter – will be looked back upon with a strong judgmental light. Whether that is going to be in good light or bad light, biased light or fair light, remains to be seen. In the meantime, rely on data to help determine how Twitter takes shape and impacts your digital analytics.  

Brent is a Partner and the Managing Director of Allison+Partners’ Performance+Intelligence team, which includes the agency’s analytics, data science, insights and research functions. Performance+Intelligence is a dedicated team of experts that collects and deciphers data to help organizations spot strategic opportunities, take smart risks and show clear outcomes

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