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Twitter Lessons for Tesla’s Musk and President Trump

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Yesterday, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he’s going offline on Twitter. Also, earlier this year Musk tweeted that he’s deleting his Twitter account only to delete that tweet later on. Some of Musk’s tweets have run him in trouble with authorities.

However, it’s also a major marketing tool for Tesla. Apparently, Tesla does not spend on marketing but relies on word-of-mouth marketing mostly from existing owners. Also, Elon Musk’s charm acts as a marketing campaign for Tesla.

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Elon Musk’s Twitter

Yesterday, Tesla’s (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk tweeted, “Not sure about good of Twitter” and added “Going offline.” The tweet puzzled many of Musk’s 29 million Twitter followers. To be sure, this isn’t the first time Musk has contemplated leaving Twitter. Earlier this year, he said that he’s deleting his Twitter account. Later, he deleted that tweet only.

Notably, some of his tweets have been quite controversial. Amongst the most prominent ones is last year’s tweet where Musk talked about taking Tesla private. Also, Musk invited the SEC’s ire over his production claims earlier this year. Eventually, he had to step down as Tesla’s chairman though he continued as the CEO. Additionally, Musk is facing a lawsuit over his tweets on Vernon Unsworth.

Tesla and Twitter marketing

Apparently, Tesla does not spend a dime on marketing. Instead, the company relies on word-of-mouth marketing. Musk’s personal charm and connection with potential buyers also help Tesla. Notably, a large number of Musk’s more than 29 million Twitter followers could be potential Tesla buyers.

As we noted previously, other automakers’ electric vehicle launches act as free marketing for Tesla. By comparing every new electric car to a Tesla model, analysts inadvertently act as Tesla marketers.

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Should Musk go offline on Twitter?

Musk has used his Twitter account to rigorously promote electric vehicles. Incidentally, mocking gasoline cars on Twitter has been amongst the favorite pastime for Tesla and Elon Musk. However, at the same time, some of Musk’s controversial tweets have meant that markets’ attention shifted from Tesla’s fundamentals to Twitter controversies. That said, Musk’s Twitter activity has been quite sober this year compared to his otherwise flamboyant personality.

In my view, going offline on Twitter would not be the best approach for Musk. He just needs to avoid unnecessary controversies. Incidentally, Tesla critics sham Musk for missing deadlines and commitments. In this case, Tesla fans would hope that he does not keep his “commitment” about going offline on Twitter.

President Trump’s tweets

In a related note, it’s not just Musk who might need to sober up some of his tweets. Even President Trump might need to act with caution on Twitter. Some of Trump’s tweets have been quite mistimed. Others have triggered havoc in equity markets. Incidentally, Trump has been somewhat circumspect with his tweets after his last year’s “Tariff Man” tweet led to a sharp fall in equity markets.

Trump frequently tweets about market performance, especially when the Dow Jones Index (DIA) and S&P 500 (SPY) hit a milestone. Read Should President Trump Tone Down His Tweets Like Musk? for more analysis.

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