Only a few weeks after Elon Musk took over at Twitter, after a long and contentious buying process he tried to avert, the platform is in chaos. Rampant impersonation and brand safety issues, disastrous and inconsistent feature rollouts, mass layoffs, internal revolts and plummeting revenues have turned Twitter into a veritable circus.
Now, the advertisers that do use the platform are fleeing. Balenciaga is the first major fashion brand to delete its Twitter account, on Monday morning. Big names in fashion, including Gigi Hadid, have done so as well.
In a vacuum, Twitter may seem like an appealing place to advertise. While its roughly 300 million users pale in comparison to the billion users on Instagram, influencer post pricing is favorable. The average post from an influencer with 1 million followers on Twitter costs brands $2,000, according to data from Business Insider. The same data suggests a post from an equivalent 1-million-follower influencer on Instagram would cost $5,000-$10,000, on average. But experts in social marketing say the impact of those posts on Twitter, especially for fashion brands, are not worth it.
“While Twitter does offer unique tools like ‘communities’ and advanced targeting, such as the ability to target users who follow specific fashion accounts, we’ve seen fashion brands drive more incremental revenue on visual-first channels like TikTok and Meta,” said Samantha Shainess, group director of the growth marketing firm Power Digital. “Twitter’s text-first nature isn’t as conducive to fashion creative, as shoppers tend to gravitate and convert better with visual or video storytelling.”
Some of the biggest media buyers are advising the brands they work with to steer clear. For example, Glossy sister site Digiday reported on Monday that media buying agency GroupM has advised all clients that Twitter is a “high-risk” option for advertisers.
Twitter has never been a powerhouse platform for fashion brands, but it has had some appeal. Last year, when Rothy’s was launching its first menswear collection, company svp Chris Hull told Glossy that the brand would advertise men’s footwear through Twitter more heavily than women’s footwear since the platform has more men. According to data from last year, nearly 70% of Twitter users are men, while only 44% of Instagram users are men.
Twitter also has value as a driver of the news. It’s the No. 1 social media platform for news consumption, which can play into brands’ media and PR strategies, according to Hootsuite.
Despite the rampant brand safety issues, some brands have stated that they won’t necessarily be pulling back or increasing ad spend on the platform. When reached by Glossy, a representative from L’Oréal said, “L’Oréal did not make any decision to suspend advertising spending on Twitter,” despite the Financial Times reporting that it had.
Still, experts like Shainess suggest fashion brands look elsewhere, for the time being.
“To drive revenue growth and brand recognition, fashion brands should invest in building cohesive TikTok strategies — organic content, paid advertising, creators and community — as well as getting smart about their Meta strategies by testing newer features like Advantage+ Shopping which was built to answer the post-iOS14 woes,” she said.