Elon Musk has famously said he hates advertising and the good news is he won’t have much to cut from Twitter’s meager marketing budget, which wouldn’t even rank among the top tier of peer media companies, much less big consumer brands.

Twitter spent less than $3 million on media buys in 2021, and is on track to spend about half that amount this year, based on a Kantar Media analysis of its media buys through the first 10 months of this year.

There have also been marked shifts in its media-buying strategy in the past year. Television, which accounted for 45% of its mix last year, is completely missing from its media buys this year, while out-of-home represents nearly two-thirds of its 2022 mix to date.

Of course, Twitter’s brand-name recognition remains disproportionately high following Musk’s acquisition of the social media platform, which continues to dominate headlines and social media memes due to some quick, questionable and newsworthy moves — including the fact that some of the world’s biggest brands and agencies have effectively paused advertising on it.

For perspective, Kantar Senior Vice President-Media Domain Leader Jed Meyer compared Twitter’s advertising trends with that of TikTok and found the newcomer is dramatically outspending it in consumer media.
We see Twitter spending down by 33%, while TikTok spending is up in excess of 50% and TikTok is employing more media channels to reach consumers,” Meyer notes, adding: “TikTok is not just relying on its users to grow organically, [it has] a clear strategy to promote the platform to expand their user base.”