September 30, 2023

Digital Marketing Education

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Twitter users don’t want to call it X—inside the platform’s marketing challenge

Brands and media partners need to adjust, too. Last month, X sent its new brand guidelines to ad agencies to explain how they should use the X logo and what new terms to use instead of “tweets” and retweets,” (now post and repost), among other instructions. In broadcast, for example, leagues such as the NFL and networks such as ESPN need to point fans to X, not Twitter, to converse about their programming.

“This document is the beginning of our brand journey as X,” read the brand report to advertisers. “We know many partners use our logos in a variety of places to help signpost where your audience can find you.”

For ESPN, some shows use an ‘X/Twitter’ logo to get audiences familiar with the change, according to Kaitee Daley, VP of social media, content optimization and ESPN Next. “The current guidance is to utilize ‘X/Twitter’ for audiences who are less likely to know about the rebrand at this stage,” Daley said by email, “and [we use] ‘X’ in spaces like other social platforms, where it’s fair to assume a greater level of awareness. We’re also encouraging usage of ‘posts’ and ‘reposts’ over tweets and retweets.” 

“Posting and reposting is more platform-agnostic terminology and since X is not our leading platform for fan engagement, I think the shift in verbiage helps to acknowledge that sports figures and brands are sharing information beyond X,” Daley said.

Aside from the actual brand image, Musk and his team are trying to get partners on board with a new way of thinking about X. Musk has started referring to new metrics that he is using to define success on the platform, such as “unregretted” time on the platform. It is possible that if X can show that more people are satisfied while using the site, that could counter claims that there has been more negativity on the site since Musk bought it. On that front, the Harris Poll/Ad Age survey has some insights, too: 59% of U.S. respondents who use X agreed that it was “time well spent.” Meanwhile, 49% of X users agreed that content on X is “generally more negative now than before Elon Musk’s acquisition.”


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