Scale, incremental reach and frequency are common touch points for marketers. But these days brands have just a small window to make a big impact.
So what’s the recipe for success right now? Reach and relevance. That’s because 25 percent of a consumer's purchase decision is driven by cultural relevance.1 According to a recent MAGNA survey done in conjunction with Twitter, consumers today expect brand involvement with culture—their definition of culture, which expands beyond the traditional to include pop culture as well as sports, current events and politics. With that in mind, brands that connect to what's happening on Twitter, for example, are 41 percent more likely to be seen as culturally relevant by their audience.2
As people flock to popular social media platforms to achieve some normalcy in unprecedented times, we’re seeing opportunities for brands to build cultural relevance through connection and conversation take new shape—and in today’s environment, these opportunities start at home.
The impact of co-viewing on culture
So much of culture lately has been shaped by co-viewing—fans consuming content while sharing the experience with others on social media—but social distancing has made this practice much more common as people strive to form and maintain connections with others while physically separated due to COVID-19.
According to Nielsen, co-viewing grew during the early months of the pandemic in the U.S., and hasn’t tapered off much after that initial spike. Social media also saw an increase, with 44 percent of people using leading social media platforms saying their usage of Twitter while watching TV has increased since March.3 Whether it’s on TV or online, we’re watching—and tweeting about it—together.
Combining co-viewing and new culture
The impact of co-viewing has shown up in different ways as consumers try to maintain some sense of normalcy amid the pandemic. When “The Last Dance” premiered on April 20, Twitter was the No. 1 platform for content about the sports documentary miniseries with 11.3 million video views, 1.2 million more than the second place platform.4 Whether people were reliving the Chicago Bulls’ victories of the ’90s or witnessing these highlights for the first time, the conversation on Twitter was nothing short of nostalgic, and the conversation brought together a large community of sports-starved fans.
Unsurprisingly, the NFL Draft went virtual this year. And while the usual venues were empty, the roar of the crowd was alive and well—and louder than ever—on Twitter. This year, Twitter was the No. 1 platform for the NFL Draft, generating over 171 million views on draft-related content in April, more than any other leading platform.5 Since then, the conversation continues to soar with a 62 percent increase in the average number of daily NFL-related tweets from May to June.6
No better feeling then having sports back on tv!— ☾ D e t r o i t N i g h t m a r e ☾ (@DetNightmare) August 2, 2020
I can’t wait for the #NFL to come back in a month!
Social issues are also a good way for consumers (and brands) to connect, according to the MAGNA study. Not long after stay-at-home orders went into place, Global Citizen’s #TogetherAtHome digital special was created in support of frontline healthcare workers and the World Health Organization. So many people gathered on Twitter to watch that #TogetherAtHome became the No. 1 trend during the event, garnering over 10.3 million views of the live stream.7
Is anyone else watching the Global Citizen, W.H.O. #TogetherAtHome concert? It’s a must-see/hear/dance to.— Jane Peterson (@waitingishard) April 19, 2020
It is critical for marketers to take note and engage in the co-viewing trends to drive culture relevance for their brands. While the traditional, longer-form tools still have a place in the marketing toolbox, it’s essential for brands to adapt to what’s happening now—and that means being where the actual conversations are now taking place on Twitter.
Marketers need to keep one fact top of mind: Marketers need to keep one fact top of mind: If it’s happening in culture, it’s happening on Twitter. This is where the world’s biggest cultural moments play out live. People are watching (and tweeting), ready to take part in the culture. Your brand should be there too.
The article “Something to talk about” first appeared on Marketing.Twitter.com
1 MAGNA & Twitter, “The Impact of Culture,” U.S., 2019.
2 Kantar & Twitter cultural relevance research, total population,100 U.S. brands tested, Dec. 2019.
3 Twitter Insiders, Twitter TV usage, U.S., July 2020,
4 Tubular Labs, Video views from #thelastdance or “The Last Dance" content, U.S. creators, videos uploaded in 2020, data as of 7/14/2020.
5 Tubular Labs, video views from NFL Draft content, April 2020, data retrieved July 7, 2020, U.S.
6 Twitter internal data, U.S. only, time period: June 2020 avg. vs. May 2020 avg., data retrieved June 22, 2020.
7 Twitter internal data, April 2020.