CAC: Customer Acquisition Chaos - How to Use Twitter for Thought Leadership


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 26, 2023

4 min read


CAC: Customer Acquisition Chaos - How to Use Twitter for Thought Leadership

In the ever-evolving world of commerce, customer acquisition has become a chaotic and challenging endeavor. From the early days of cattle trade to the modern digital landscape, the methods of acquiring customers have drastically changed. Today, the global market is valued at a staggering $26 trillion, with e-commerce contributing around $10 trillion to that figure. The primary types of shopping can be categorized as search-driven shopping and discovery-driven shopping.

When it comes to search-driven shopping, Amazon reigns supreme. In the United States, a staggering 74% of online shopping searches originate from This dominance has allowed Amazon to build a massive advertising business, making it one of the top global players in the advertising industry. On the other hand, discovery-driven shopping is akin to wandering around a mall, browsing and stumbling upon items of interest. This type of shopping is all about serendipity and the joy of discovery.

While social commerce hasn't taken off to the same extent in the United States as it has in China, companies have found ways to blend social and commerce on platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook Marketplace. These platforms have become spaces where commerce is layered on top of existing social interactions, creating a seamless integration between social media and shopping experiences.

When it comes to advertising, there are two primary types worth knowing: direct response advertising and brand advertising. Direct response advertising aims to prompt immediate transactions, while brand advertising focuses on building brand equity. A classic example of brand advertising is Coca-Cola, which aims to create a lasting impression and influence consumer choices in the long run. However, direct response advertising dominates the digital advertising space, accounting for approximately 80% of all digital ad dollars spent online.

In the face of rising customer acquisition costs (CAC), some direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have opted for traditional brick-and-mortar retail locations to supplement their online sales. Brands like Warby Parker and Jessica Alba's Honest Company now generate 50% or more of their revenue from physical retail locations, showcasing the importance of a multi-channel approach.

Influencer marketing has also gained traction as a means of customer acquisition. The industry has experienced exponential growth, with its value increasing from $1.7 billion in 2016 to a staggering $16.4 billion in 2022. Influencers play a crucial role in discovery-driven commerce, but the current influencer marketing landscape is far from perfect. Many influencer campaigns rely on upfront lump-sum payments and struggle with measuring ROI effectively. Brands are in need of new channels to optimize their customer acquisition efforts.

This is where Twitter comes into play. Twitter provides a unique opportunity for thought leadership, allowing companies to share their ideas and beliefs in a way that influences real people's thoughts and buying behaviors. Building equity in personal brands is a crucial aspect of leveraging Twitter for customer acquisition purposes. By shining a light on company operations and showcasing the people behind the brand, companies can create a halo effect that instills trust and humanizes their brand.

When using Twitter for thought leadership, it's essential to focus on distributing ideas rather than solely relying on blog posts. Effective social media marketing requires creating platform-native content that is tailored to the specific channel it is shared on. The ultimate goal is to build trust, persuade, and help people understand and believe in the ideas being shared.

Playing to the algorithm can also be a strategic move on Twitter. While nuanced ideas may not always perform well, dumb roundups of "free tools" or "Google Docs tips" tend to garner more attention. Leveraging "dumb" tweetstorms can improve the performance of better content, as Twitter makes it easy to identify top-performing topics and trends. By tapping into proven tweet formats and content types, companies can optimize their Twitter strategy.

Social dynamics and incentivizing engagement and amplification are also crucial on Twitter. Mentioning and quote-retweeting influential individuals create powerful social incentives. As the tweet gains traction, the people featured have an incentive to keep the momentum going. Companies often focus heavily on the media aspect of Twitter, pumping out content without prioritizing the social and networking elements. However, personal connections and enjoying oneself within the app are what Twitter users value most.

In conclusion, customer acquisition in the modern era is a chaotic process that requires a multi-channel approach and strategic thinking. While Amazon dominates search-driven shopping, discovery-driven shopping is where social platforms have found success in blending commerce and social interactions. Direct response advertising and brand advertising play crucial roles in the advertising landscape, with influencer marketing emerging as a valuable channel. Twitter offers unique opportunities for thought leadership and customer acquisition, allowing companies to build equity in personal brands, distribute ideas, and leverage the platform's algorithm and social dynamics. By implementing these strategies, companies can navigate the customer acquisition chaos and drive meaningful results.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Build equity in your personal brand on Twitter by showcasing the people behind your company and shining a light on company operations.
  • 2. Create platform-native content on Twitter, tailoring your ideas and messages specifically for the channel. Focus on distributing ideas rather than solely relying on blog posts.
  • 3. Play to the algorithm on Twitter by identifying top-performing topics and content types. Leverage proven tweet formats and content strategies to optimize your Twitter presence.

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