Linda Yaccarino Faces a Paradigm Shift as New Twitter CEO As a seasoned executive overseeing ad sales at the global television giant NBCUniversal, Linda Yaccarino has long been engaged in a battle against social media companies for a share of the billions of advertising dollars that advertisers allocate each year between traditional and digital media.
Previously, Yaccarino openly remarked that families don’t gather around a newsfeed like they do around a large screen for events like the Super Bowl and primetime shows. She criticized platforms like Facebook for “grading their own homework,” where ad buyers are compelled to trust a platform’s data on ad views instead of relying on independent auditors as available in the TV industry. Additionally, she highlighted the challenges faced by internet companies in matching the high-quality content produced by television networks.
However, as the new CEO of Twitter, Yaccarino must now leverage her understanding of social media’s vulnerabilities and embark on a journey to compete with the traditional media industry that she has championed long before the rise of online social networks. Elon Musk recently announced that Yaccarino will oversee business operations while he focuses on Twitter’s technology and design as the executive chair and CTO.
Together, Yaccarino and Musk will attempt to reverse the decline in users and advertisers that has plagued Twitter in recent months. They will also work towards realizing Musk’s vision of transforming Twitter into an “everything app” featuring digital payment tools and other yet-to-be-defined features. Yaccarino’s to-do list at Twitter is bound to be more diverse than anything she has encountered in the TV industry, and she must tackle it while the company is still recovering from Musk’s occasionally turbulent restructuring efforts, including significant layoffs. Here are five tasks that await her.
Establish Positive Relationships with Advertisers
Forge Relationships with Advertisers Amidst Unique Challenges Linda Yaccarino’s proficiency in persuading advertisers to invest in TV advertising secured her a prominent position at NBC. She successfully convinced them to continue allocating budgets to TV spots even as consumers increasingly turned to online services. Additionally, she encouraged them to explore new streaming options like NBC’s Peacock.
However, the situation at Twitter presents a different set of challenges. Most advertisers strive to avoid any association with questionable content, yet Elon Musk has shown a willingness to embrace controversy. This includes reducing content moderation teams, relaxing rules against hate speech targeting transgender users, censoring journalists and critics, and reinstating users who were previously banned for violating Twitter’s content guidelines, including former US president Donald Trump.
As a result, many advertisers have distanced themselves from Twitter due to concerns that Musk’s actions may increase the likelihood of their brand’s messages appearing alongside potentially offensive content. Insider Intelligence projected Twitter’s ad revenue for this year to be around $3 billion, a significant decrease from the previously estimated $4.7 billion prior to Musk’s arrival. In her new role, Yaccarino will need to address advertisers’ apprehensions about the quality of content on Twitter and emphasize that concerns about objectionable material are exaggerated.
Yaccarino’s task will involve establishing open lines of communication with advertisers, assuaging their concerns, and showcasing Twitter’s commitment to addressing content-related issues effectively. By fostering a collaborative environment and highlighting the platform’s positive aspects, she can work towards rebuilding trust and enticing advertisers back to the platform.
Regain the Trust of Corporations and Celebrities
With a decline in ad revenue, Elon Musk has pursued alternative strategies to boost sales on Twitter. One approach involves the introduction of Twitter Blue, a subscription-based tier offering enhanced features like the ability to post longer tweets, improved security measures, and a coveted blue check mark denoting identity verification. Additionally, Musk has increased fees for accessing Twitter’s APIs, which enable the automation of tweeting and data retrieval through software such as bots.
However, these endeavors have been accompanied by significant confusion. Prominent individuals, including basketball star LeBron James, have been granted verification check marks despite asserting that they have not subscribed to Twitter Blue. Mislabeling incidents have also occurred, with media outlets like NPR erroneously marked as “state-sponsored” on the platform. Moreover, researchers studying toxic online behavior have faced challenges due to the increased costs associated with accessing tweet data for analysis.
To win back the trust of corporations and celebrities, Linda Yaccarino will need to address these issues head-on. She must implement clear and accurate verification processes, ensuring that verified accounts reflect genuine subscriptions to Twitter Blue. Additionally, Yaccarino should work towards rectifying mislabeling errors to maintain the platform’s integrity. By prioritizing transparency, consistent policies, and open communication, she can rebuild relationships with corporations and celebrities, assuring them of Twitter’s commitment to providing a reliable and trustworthy environment for their engagement.
As a consequence of the recent changes on Twitter, certain airlines have discontinued their customer service support via the platform. Transit authorities and public health agencies have also temporarily halted their automated posting of safety alerts due to Twitter’s proposed increase in API fees. The situation has already led to considerable confusion. Furthermore, Elon Musk’s announcement of purging inactive accounts raises the possibility of user names belonging to deceased celebrities being claimed by others.
To address these concerns and mitigate any potential complications, Linda Yaccarino must take immediate action. She needs to engage in discussions with airlines to understand their specific needs and find ways to reinstate effective customer service support on Twitter. By collaborating closely with transit authorities and public health agencies, Yaccarino can work towards a resolution that ensures the uninterrupted dissemination of important safety information.
Moreover, Yaccarino should closely examine and revise Twitter’s plans regarding the purging of inactive accounts. This should include implementing appropriate measures to prevent the unauthorized takeover of usernames associated with deceased celebrities, ensuring that their digital legacies are respected.
By actively responding to the concerns of airlines, transit authorities, public health agencies, and the general Twitter user base, Yaccarino can restore confidence in the platform’s customer service capabilities and safety alert mechanisms.