Price of a Tweet by Elon Musk = $20M + Chairman Seat

If you don’t believe in the power of influencer marketing — it’s real. A single individual can create or destroy perceived or actual monetary or brand value in a company in seconds with a single post.

Let’s look at the series of events:

  • Elon Musk sends a tweet.

  • 144 characters about taking his company private at a valuation higher than its current valuation.

  • The market responds and Tesla stock jumps 6%.

  • SEC files suit to remove Musk saying he misled investors as he had not actually secured funding nor knew the actual valuation.

  • Claims that he acted recklessly in the market, knowing his statements can manipulate market movements, especially as the largest shareholder in Tesla.

  • Musk settles with SEC, removing himself as chairman and owes a payout of $20 million.

Elon Musk as an influencer.

If you don’t believe in the power of influencer marketing — it’s real. A single individual can create or destroy perceived or actual monetary or brand value in a company in seconds with a single post.

Just like a Kardashian (taking value out of Snapchat) or Trump (guiding public reaction), Musk holds massive influence over his audience…and the market.

Elon Musk as a business leader.

Musk, as an influencer, knows the power of social media and has always treated his personal channels as his business channels. He just proved you need a corporate social media policy. Musk will now have all his communications, including social media, reviewed by two independent reviewers.

He just proved you need a corporate social media policy.

Without a proper social media corporate policy, his personal statements serve as public corporate statements, subject to the same visibility, impact, and oversight as corporate statements.

Social media corporate polices are critical to protect corporations, their business leaders, as well as investors and the market, from reckless behavior.

If you are curious about getting a social media policy — check out this episode of Social Currency where we cover the full topic and what you need to include. Side note: Social Currency is a marketing podcast that my friend, Jess Jensen and I share about digital marketing and social media strategy.

As an influencer, Musk is powerful and maybe dangerous without oversight. As a visionary leader, he also owns the mindshare of his audience. Influencer marketing is real and relevant.

Want to learn more about influencer marketing? Check out this episode and this episode where we cover influencer marketing with an interview with one of the biggest tech influencers in the space.

If you are wondering about the role of executives and business leaders for businesses of any size, get more info in our most downloaded episode about the Social Executive here to learn more about the power, impact and responsibilities of a leader in social.

The price of an influencer tweet.

To sum it up, Elon Musk’s tweet cost him $20 million and his chairman seat, and the stock dropped over 15% on the news. After his quick settlement, the stock rebounded 15% in a single day.

Elon Musk’s story illustrates why social media is powerful and contains high potential. If you need more, let us catch you up and build your social currency with the Social Currency marketing podcast.

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Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter at @tuckross