How Stephen King may have helped Twitter get out of “Misery” and bring back its “Shining”.

Elon Musk, the entrepreneur who just bought Twitter, is The King of earned media (a.k.a free press). Earned media are news outlets which cascade your company message without you having to pay for it as an advertorial. The reason: they find it newsworthy. Last week another King, Stephen King, helped Elon get even more free press about Twitter.

“Only on Twitter you can see a-man-worth-500-million-dollars (King) negotiate with a-man worth-300-billion-dollars (Musk) how to save 12 dollars”. This statement refers to the following chain of events: First, Twitter, announced plans to start charging 20$ a month for everyone who wants to have their Twitter account verified with a blue badge, along with some other services. Right after this announcement the famous writer Stephen King, a notable Twitter influencer himself with 6.9 million followers, responded that Twitter should pay him the 20$ for being on the platform. And then… with another infamous move of his, Musk earned a new round of free press. “How about 8$?” he responded to King’s tweet.



And this is how you get on CNN, Reuters, BBC…


You may have your opinion about Elon and his ideas how to make Twitter profitable, but this is not the point of this text. It is to learn the marketing lesson.

And here it is:

  1. The Anchor Effect: No matter the final decision of Twitter about whether to charge 8 dollars or less, the first message of Musk that he is contemplating charging 20 dollars for the blue badge created what is known as “The Anchor Effect”. The first quoted price is so high that everything after, seems more as a bargain. In this case a 12 dollars bargain.

  2. A global focus group: many marketers use focus groups to decide whether an advertising campaign would work, to test new features, new products, etc. Sparking a global conversation about the 20/8 dollars charge, now Musk needs just a good social listening tool to analyse the internet conversation and predict that should be his best next step.

  3. The benefits of the blue badge: everything is oversimplified on social media, since people prefer short formats and could care less about the details. But big reputable media cannot just say that one will get a blue badge for 8 dollars and that is it. For the purposes of being true to the story all of them had to explain that you also receive other benefits like getting your content more visible for instance, which is similar to LinkedIn premium for instance. People who read CNN, BBC and the likes now know more about the possible benefits of the new subscription plan that will be offered.


TechCrunch commented: “Musk has a tendency of changing his mind quickly, so we should take this announcement with a grain of salt. These might not be the final set of features when Twitter rolls out its new subscription plan.” Yes, these are not the final set of features, but Musk, with the (possibly unconscious) help of King , already made you interested…



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Source of the picture of King and Musk shaking hands: my imagination with the help of an AI image generator.