Digiday+ Research: Are brands and retailers giving up on Twitter – sorry – X?
This research is based on unique data collected from our proprietary audience of publisher, agency, brand and tech insiders. It’s available to Digiday+ members. More from the series →
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The social platform formerly known as Twitter is in flux. And brands and retailers might be shifting away from including it (now X) in their marketing strategies.
This is according to Digiday+ Research surveys of more than 100 brand and retailer professionals conducted annually in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
Digiday’s surveys found a big drop among brands and retailers who actively use X between last year and this year. In 2023, barely more than a third of brand and retailer pros (35%) told Digiday their brands posted content to X in the past month. In 2022, that percentage was just shy of three-quarters (73%).
Not only is this drop a much bigger one than Digiday’s survey found among publishers using X (73% of publisher pros said they still use X), but it puts brands’ and retailers’ use of X far behind their use of Meta platforms Facebook and Instagram (84% told Digiday this year they’re using Facebook and 88% said the same of Instagram).
In addition to their general use of X, Digiday’s surveys found that brands and retailers are posting on X far less frequently this year than they have in the past. For instance, the percentage of brand and retailer pros who said they post content on the platform every day has been trending downward since 2021. This year, 22% of respondents told Digiday they post on X every day, down slightly from 24% last year and 29% the year before.
Meanwhile, far fewer brands and retailers are posting on X weekly this year than they have in the past. Last year, more than half (52%) said they posted content on the platform at least once a week. This year, that percentage fell to one-third (33%).
At the same time, far more brands and retailers are posting on X on just a monthly basis this year compared with last year. Nearly half of brand and retailer pros (44%) told Digiday this year that they post content on X at least once a month, compared with just under a quarter (24%) last year.
Digiday’s surveys found that brands’ and retailers’ use of X (or lack thereof) is reflected in their investment in the platform. Specifically, Digiday found a big jump this year in the percentage of brands and retailers who aren’t investing at all in creating original content for X. Nearly three-quarters of brand and retailer pros (71%) said this year that they’re investing nothing at all in original content for X — up very significantly from the roughly one-quarter (24%) who said the same last year.
On the flip side of that, the percentage of brands and retailers who said they invest at least a little in creating original content for X has taken a nose dive. Seventy-six percent of brand and retailer pros told Digiday last year that they spent at least a little on original content for X. This year, that percentage stood at just 29%.
It’s worth noting that, as of last year, most brands and retailers were only investing a little in creating original content for X (52% said they spent a little on this last year, compared with 19% who spent a moderate amount and just 5% who spent a lot). But this year, far more brands and retailers have determined that creating content for X isn’t worth any investment at all.
What all of this likely comes down to is that, this year, following its change in leadership and its change in identity, brands and retailers no longer see X as a platform that is as appropriate for their brands as it once was. In fact, Digiday’s surveys found that nearly half of brand and retailer pros (44%) said this year that X is not brand-appropriate at all or it’s not very brand-appropriate. Last year, just 10% of brands and retailers said the same.
Meanwhile, 56% of brand and retailer pros said this year that X is at least somewhat appropriate for their brands. At more than half, that still accounts for a significant chunk of respondents. But it’s much less impressive when we consider that’s down from about 90% last year and 94% the year before.
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