Could Elon Musk's Twitter stake drive Tesla's brand perceptions up?
April 15th, 2022, Stephan Shakespeare

Could Elon Musk's Twitter stake drive Tesla's brand perceptions up?

After acquiring a 9.2% stake in Twitter on Monday, Elon Musk became the social media platform’s biggest shareholder. It’s news that won’t be a surprise to anyone who follows the idiosyncratic CEO on the site – where he’s an active and often controversial participant – but data from YouGov BrandIndex UK shows that it may be a savvy commercial move as well.


Comparing Tesla’s scores among the general public to its scores among Twitter users shows that the latter have more favourable perceptions of the automaker than the wider nation. Firstly, they’re more likely to hear about Tesla in general: Word of Mouth exposure, a metric that tracks whether consumers have talked about a brand with friends and family in the past two weeks, is higher among people who use the social media platform (14.5 vs. 11.7). With Musk being as active on Twitter as he is, that’s not too surprising.

But as derided as his presence on the platform occasionally is, it is doing more than just getting attention for Tesla. The automaker scores better on the Quality metric among those who use Twitter (23.5) compared to the general public (19.2), and at 20.3 vs. 23.3, it has a better Reputation score (a measure of whether consumers would be proud or embarrassed to work for a brand). Twitter users are more likely to recommend Tesla (6.4 vs. 4.2 for the general public) and, crucially from a commercial perspective, more likely to contemplate buying one: scores across this metric are 12.6 compared to 8.5 for the broader audience of UK consumers.

In becoming Twitter’s biggest shareholder, Musk is buying into a platform whose audience is pre-disposed to his brand. As a man who has made his fortune backing the right horses, it will be interesting to see what he has in mind for the social media platform’s future.

This article originally appeared in City AM