12 Feb On Twitter, Elon Musk is “Much Wow”
After changing his Twitter bio to “Bitcoin” (causing a 15% rise in valuation) and tweeting out “Gamestonk!!” (causing GameStop shares to rise an estimated 56%), it’s safe to say that Elon Musk’s social media presence has had a strong impact on the market.
However, in early February, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO abruptly announced that he would be staying off Twitter for a while:
Off Twitter for a while
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 2, 2021
Of course, if you’re one of Musk’s 45.3 million followers, chances are you’ve seen his more recent Tweets, signaling his return to a platform where we have seen him use his online presence to inspire business developments and make an occasional costly mishap.
In this article, we look at Musk’s original Tweet announcing his departure, his content since his return, and why Twitter has been such an integral part of his online identity.
Why Leaving Twitter Was Such a Big Deal
With over 35K comments, 39K retweets, and over 548K likes, the incredible amount of engagement Musk’s post received highlights how integral Twitter is to his online persona.
While many executives use social media as a way to reach out to their consumer base, establish their thought leadership, and achieve business objectives, fewer executives ever reach the level of recognition and following that Musk has. There are many reasons for this.
First, he is exceptionally active on Twitter. On the first day of his return, he tweeted over 10 times. Because Twitter content functions more like a news feed compared to other social media sites, posting multiple times a day can keep your content and brand top of mind among your audience. Many social media algorithms reward active users, often displaying their content more often on other people’s news feeds.
Next, for better or worse, Musk’s personality and personal opinions take center stage on Twitter. This gives him a much more relatable and authentic persona and is more effective in humanizing his companies. The drawback is that not having a social media strategy means executives may inadvertently share restricted information or make comments that may lead to backlash (or in Musk’s case, million-dollar fines).
Because Musk made such strong use of Twitter as his primary online platform, Twitter became a part of his identity as a CEO. When he tweeted that he would be taking a break, that naturally caused a stir among his followers since Twitter has been a direct gateway in communicating with Musk.
Returning to Twitter with Satellites and Memes
While Musk announced he would be taking a break from Twitter on February 4th, it didn’t last long; he would return to the platform just two days later. For most executives, two days without posting on social media may seem normal, but for Musk who typically Tweets multiple times a day, it was considered a break.
His first Tweet back was a retweet from SpaceX showcasing the launch of 60 satellites. For CEOs on social media, occasionally retweeting content from their company’s account is an effective way to draw attention to it. One action we recommend executives take is to add their own comments to the content they’re retweeting. This makes the content more original and distinguishes the executive’s content from the brand’s social media content.
Musk’s recent Tweets about dogecoin, another type of cryptocurrency, have also dominated the news cycle. BBC News reports that the value of dogecoin increased by 50% after Musk tweeted that it’s “the people’s crypto.” He went on to post several more memes about dogecoin, whose name was inspired by doge, an internet meme.
Dogecoin is the people’s crypto
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2021
For readers unfamiliar with doge, the memes feature a Shiba Inu surrounded by captions featuring misused adjectives and adverbs. Referencing the meme during his posts about dogecoin, Musk tweeted out “Much wow!”
His first Tweets upon his return are very on-brand and consistent with what he typically posts. Musk has used his social media presence to showcase how passionate he is about his companies and innovation within his industry, but also his more humorous side that makes him more relatable to the younger audience.
ur welcome pic.twitter.com/e2KF57KLxb
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2021
Market Volatility, Meet Elon Musk
Even with his past Tweets drawing attention from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, chances are Elon Musk will continue to use his Twitter profile to share his thoughts, whether it’s his opinion on cryptocurrencies, his music preferences, or his latest purchase on Etsy.
For CEOs who have elevated their online persona to become more like a celebrity than a C-suite executive, the content they post on their social media can have both positive and negative real-world impacts. It’s important to focus on creating social media content that leads to positive outcomes, and one way to do that is by implementing a content strategy.
If your brand’s CEO or other members of the leadership team aren’t on social media yet, remember that the benefits of creating a social media profile and posting content online far outweigh the risks. Executives on social media can represent one of the first lines of communication for a brand’s audience, help accomplish your business objectives, and more.
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