In this time of upheaval, many brands are asking themselves the hard questions: Is now a good time to launch a new product? Can we use messaging that’s lighthearted and playful at a time when people are neither? What’s the best way to stay agile in the face of uncertainty?
At Twitter, we’ve seen how conversations can make a difference. We’ve been humbled and inspired by the brands that have stepped up over the past few months to lead the way for others. We’ve also seen that conversations can drive business results for your brand. According to a recent Twitter study, a 10 percent increase in brand conversation could increase brand sales revenue by up to 3 percent.
For brands that are considering how to take action during this time, we’ve got you.
Here are seven strategies and insights that draw on the best practices from the most effective brand activations on Twitter so far this year. These seven strategies draw from the recent success of leading brands that understood the customers’ mindset and today’s new landscape before taking action.
So, how did these brands succeed?
1. Lead by listening.
The brands that have thrived have understood that people want brands to be communicative, supportive and people-first—82 percent of people want to know how brands are supporting frontline staff, their own employees, vulnerable individuals and local business. Leading brands take the time to understand their customers’ mindset before jumping in to help.
2. Lead with purpose.
Now, more than ever, brands need to show their ideals—82 percent of those surveyed say brands should use their position to affect positive change in society. You can identify your brand’s place in this moment by clarifying your three Ps: purpose (what guides your brand), people (how you are supporting those most impacted by a crisis) and pledge (how you plan on giving back).
Right now, small businesses need us more than ever. #PayItForwardLIVE by pledging how you will support small businesses during this crisis. We’ll donate another $10 to small businesses every time you use the hashtag to show your love! pic.twitter.com/EsYOWwkjYc— Verizon (@Verizon) March 27, 2020
3. Lead by example.
Sixty-seven percent of people on Twitter want to know about how brands are supporting those in need, including their own employees. Conversation leaders also tend to follow a common set of rules:
- Provide useful information to help people navigate uncertainty and remain calm.
- Broadcast any initiatives you’ve launched that address issues customers have raised.
- Make promises you can’t keep.
- View misfortune as a marketing opportunity.
- Shun interactions with frustrated customers.
We want to help make things better right now. So, we’re offering 0% financing to well-qualified buyers and deferred payments for 4 months on select models. Plus Hyundai Assurance will cover your payments for up to 6 months if you lose your job due to recent world events.— Hyundai USA (@Hyundai) March 27, 2020
4. Lead with something new.
Brands that launch (or relaunch) in a downturn experienced 15 to 25 percent greater excessive share of voice growth than the general average growth.
In March, Airbnb Experiences hosts all over the world had to stop doing what they love most. So they tried something new.— Airbnb (@Airbnb) April 9, 2020
Thanks to the creativity and passion of our hosts, Airbnb Experiences are now online. https://t.co/oHRXmeUI2s pic.twitter.com/mLpiY0lhuF
5. Lead by connecting.
Brands lead by connecting and maintaining relevance by turning live events into virtual ones, connecting to virtual celebrations of occasions and leaning into what people care about.
Happening now: #ShowMeYourWalk HBCU Edition, a livestream event celebrating the HBCU Class of 2020. Join the celebration to hear from an all-star— Chase (@Chase) May 16, 2020
lineup of speakers and musical guests: https://t.co/4t2YRggs2s pic.twitter.com/lcm7JpDN9D
6. Lead with agility.
Brands lead with agility and use creative ideas to solve existing limitations. They evolve their content strategy by transforming old assets into new ones, creating new content with creators and influencers, and rethinking their live events.
Whasssuppppppppppp?— Budweiser (@budweiserusa) April 23, 2020
That’s all it takes to check in. Staying connected matters now more than ever. #Whassup ☎️😝🍻
Need someone to talk to? @salvationarmyus counselors are always on the line at 1-844-458-HOPE pic.twitter.com/4NSeCMRmXg
7. Lead with positivity.
At a time when people are hungry for lighthearted content—70 percent of people on Twitter think it’s important for brands to help boost positivity and promote positive stories. They do this by sharing moments of humanity and levity with their followers, creating unique experiences and engaging people around their interests.
The article “Leading the way” first appeared on Marketing.Twitter.com
Sources: Twitter Insiders, U.S. only, March 25-30, 2020, n=826; Twitter Meta Analysis: Measuring the impact of Earned Conversation, Neustar MMM (2019) Note: This represents max value per 10 percent increase = 2.6 percent; min value = 0.02 percent; Nielsen. Global. Budgeting for the upturn — Does share of voice matter; Firefish, The Numbers Lab & Twitter, Brand purpose, US Q: Thinking about brand purpose campaigns overall, how much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Twitter users n=742; Twitter Insiders, US Only, April 17-20, 2020, n=662