In late October Elon Musk officially closed a deal to acquire Twitter and has swiftly taken over leadership. The monthslong saga, however, is not yet over, as the media and public have shifted their interest to what the billionaire will do next with the platform.
While we normally try to limit coverage of Musk in these blogs to avoid repeating ourselves, it’s impossible to ignore his impact on the public interest in October’s brand coverage.
This interest comes after some major moves that have already been made, such as Musk firing Twitter’s top executives and having Tesla engineers review the software code. It was decisions like these that caught the media’s eye, resulting in 22 of the 23 articles about Twitter in October also mentioning Elon Musk.
Twitter was the top brand in terms of engagement, earning 545k (18%) overall. While it was just shy of being the most mentioned brand last month, it easily won for the most dominant narrative. The only article about Twitter that didn’t mention Musk was about Twitter users fact-checking President Biden’s comments on gas prices in California.
Coverage of Elon Musk’s impact on Twitter goes far beyond the top 250 brand stories in October. During the entire month period there have been over 86k articles written about the pairing, which have generated nearly 9 million engagements online. Public interest clearly peaked when news of Musk acquiring the platform began to circulate, but there were still tens of thousands of engagements to articles about him every day leading up to the announcement.
Staying true to form, Musk has found himself in the midst of brand coverage in October, but there were other major themes and stories to emerge as well.
Other key takeaways from October
1. More retailers commit to closing on Thanksgiving
Last year Target announced it would not be opening its stores on Thanksgiving, which ended up being one of the top stories surrounding Black Friday news last year. This year the popular retailer is closing once again, this time joined by several other major players.
Retailers such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Kohl’s all made headlines in October for choosing to close, with Walmart’s addition being the newest of the mix. Walmart had the top story out of all 18 about the closures, with the Washington Examiner’s article earning 23k engagements.
2. Tyson Foods joins list of companies leaving Chicago
In early October Tyson Foods announced it would be relocating all of its employees in the Chicago area, joining others such as Boeing and Citadel who announced their move in recent months.
Daily Wire’s article about the food company was the most engaged article in our October rankings (123k) and stated that Tyson was moving to “enhance worker creativity and collaboration.” There were eight total articles written about Tyson leaving Chicago, most of which came from conservative outlets and framed it as Chicago’s fault.
3. Conservatives condemn Pfizer director
Pfizer also found itself among the most mentioned brands after its president of international developed markets said that the vaccine was never tested on preventing transmission, only on making covid less deadly if contracted.
The statement was made to a European lawmaker who shared the response on Twitter where it gained notable attention. Conservative publishers such as Daily Wire and Gateway Pundit were quick to cover the news, labeling it as “scandalous.”
October proved to be a bit more thematic than previous months when it comes to brand stories, with stronger narratives developing across the web. Elon Musk is still showing that he has the power to capture attention — or at the very least entertain —but there was still plenty of other brand representation in the mix, although not always mentioned in a positive light.
To stay updated with the top brand stories of each month, read September’s blog here.