Elon Musk And His Rise As A 'FinTwit' Influencer

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When Tesla Inc (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk in 2018 famously tweeted “funding secured” and promised to take Tesla private at $420 a share, investors took notice. Although he never followed through, the tweet cost him and the company a combined $40 million to settle fraud charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

This hasn’t deterred him from tweeting, however. Musk has continued to influence share prices of not only Tesla but other companies as well through his platform on Twitter.

Early Influences

Although only added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2019, “influencer” is not a new idea. SocialMediaToday described an English potter named Wedgwood as an early form of influencer, for creating in 1760 a tea set for the Queen of England. In the 18th century, members of the monarchy were the most famous influencers in the West, and Wedgwood's marketing helped him win “royal-approved” brand recognition that still exists today.

Modern Influence

In modern times, social media platforms like Facebook, Inc.'s (FB) Instagram and Snap Inc's (SNAP) Snapchat have become the go-to venues for brands to advertise their products through the use of social media influencers.

Twitter Inc (TWTR) has lagged behind its competitors as an influencer space, however. But it does have sway in the area of finance, giving rise to influencers on "FinTwit," or Finance Twitter.

Musk is among the few CEOs of a major company to possibly hold this title. He is known to let loose on Twitter, often posting thoughts on companies, stocks and cryptocurrencies in a manner that can sometimes seem unhinged. With 48.4 million followers, however, there’s ample proof that his tweets influence share prices and his celebrity following can further intensify price action as well-known athletes and musicians echo his sentiments.

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© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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