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Brands can avoid trolls with a strong strategy and right content: Kanika Mittal of Twitter

Mittal, Business Head, Twitter India, talks about Twitter's commitment to brand safety and discusses the platform’s suite of products to help brands reap maximum results across funnels

Brands are often subjected to mindless trolling on Twitter to the extent that they are often forced to pull down their campaigns and posts to avoid abuse.

While the platform does help brands to leverage multiple benefits, including interactive communication with consumers, it also exposes brands to harsh scrutiny and hateful comments.

Twitter, which has long been criticised for not cracking down effectively on trolling and hate speech on the platform, recently announced the testing of a new ‘Safety Mode’ as a beta feature for select users to reduce disruptive interactions.

Addressing safety concerns of brands, Kanika Mittal, Business Head, Twitter India, told BestMediaInfo during the platform’s Durability Meet, “Twitter’s commitment to brand safety is huge and we have been very vocal about this. Every brand ideally needs to follow a strong strategy for Twitter, the right set of strategies, which capitalises on moments. So if you have a strong strategy in place on the platform and if your content is right, trolls can be managed as long as you are committed to your strategy and there is immense consistency in the work you are putting out on the platform.”

She spoke how Twitter can help brands to create a full-funnel impact and drive conversions via conversations.

Recently, Twitter revamped its advertising products suite to simplify formats for brands and advertisers. From 22+ ad formats, its team present at the Durability Meet narrowed down to five broader categories: Promoted Ads, Followers Ads, Twitter Takeover, Twitter Amplify and Twitter Live.

“With the right combination of products, brands can drive awareness and interest, inspire consideration and intent, as well as lead to conversions,” she said.

Performance has been the major focus for Twitter in 2021, and the team has been working to strengthen performance by building new formats and improving existing ones. Recent improvements to Twitter’s Mobile App Promotion (MAP) tools have delivered a 24% average increase in installs per impression. Click-to-land rates have also improved with its Click-ID delivering 10x more site visits.

Preetha Athrey, Head of Marketing, Twitter India, spoke about the recent Twitter Trends Report India, which outlines six key conversation trends shaping culture in India — wellbeing, creator culture, everyday wonder, one planet, tech life and my identity. These insights into what people are talking about let brands stay ahead of what’s happening and stay connected with the people on Twitter.

Other than discussing how Twitter is the conversational layer of the internet, the team dwelled into how its audience is its superpower. 

People on Twitter are receptive, participative and their conversations influence culture. They are the first to try, buy and talk about new products, and don't just passively scroll through their timelines. Instead, they are open, ready to discover and engage.

Krishna Iyer, Head of Agency, Twitter India, explained that Twitter’s audiences are especially passionate about video. These audiences are capable of driving results for brands: showing 17% growth in brand awareness life for video viewers, 35% year-on-year growth in global ad engagements and 40% growth in delivering higher ROI as compared to other social channels.

In addition to being receptive and participative, the platform’s audiences carry a range of interests such as tech (65%), music (60%), sports (59%), food and drinks (56%), science (54%) and travel (53%). Passionate, interest-based communities are, in a way, the heartbeat of Twitter in India. 

So how brands can leverage engagement and Twitter tools for its own growth?

Iyer went on to say that 71% people rate Twitter as a good/great platform for engagement as compared to other social media channels, making it the number one platform for brand interaction.  Owing to that, several new-age ‘disruptor’ brands have been using its ecosystem to establish audience connect. Its ad products suite package, plus its audiences, creates the perfect launch pad for new and upcoming brands. 

Some of these include fintech brands such as Teji Mandi, consumer wearables such as boAt, regional OTTs such as Aha video and more.

Twitter also supports brands with creative services from Arthouse, which helps brands elevate content when launching something new or connecting with what’s happening in culture. Arthouse’s three key offerings are influencer campaigns, artist collaborations and editing and optimisation of existing brand assets.

Also, Twitter Next, the in-house brand strategy team, works with brands to create human-centric ideas worth talking about.

Rishabh Sharma, Head of Twitter Next, India, explained that while Twitter helps brands achieve a wide range of goals, these can be broadly classified into launching something new and connecting with what’s happening.

“Launch is defined as building awareness and interest for something new. Brand launches are capable of driving 83% higher brand recall and 18% higher brand awareness. Brands come to the platform to introduce offerings catering to regional communities and audiences,” he said.

Recently, Spotify India leveraged it to reach out to audiences in South India to create awareness and engagement around their new offering — #TheRJBalajiPodcast.

‘Connect’ is defined as building relevance by being part of real-time conversations on the service. During major live events, audiences spend 22% more time on Twitter than other social media platforms. In fact, spending on the platform’s ads makes a brand 88% more likely to be perceived as culturally relevant.

Netflix India’s #NetflixMatchmaker campaign, which offered customised content suggestions to audiences in response to an emoji, stands out as an example of an insight-based connect campaign — letting the OTT giant participate in the audience’s search for their next big binge.

Another major consumption content format is video.

Amrita Tripathi, Head of Content Partnerships at Twitter India, explained how brands can leverage the power of video through Twitter’s Amplify Sponsorships.

This lets brands align with premium video content from the top and most relevant publishers that the brand’s target audience is already engaging with. This content is brand-safe, and also lets brands borrow the publisher’s equity along with an extended audience.

Amplify Sponsorships help brands drive 68% higher campaign awareness and 24% higher message association, and can be leveraged in multiple formats — Pre-roll, Promoted Ads, Twitter Live, and several other ad products.

For instance, Intel India has leveraged Amplify Sponsorships via co-branded content on Twitter. Microsoft India too optimised Sponsorships to boost its Share of Voice on data security and AI. 

Apart from that, there has been quite a boom in live audio platforms in the recent past.

Asked how brands leverage Spaces to build engagement, Athrey, said, “Audio is the new edge for bunch of the platforms and Twitter has taken the lead with Spaces. We are innovating it constantly. We have seen multiple communities across categories having conversations there. People either talk about their passion points or fans come together and celebrate moments. There are intimate conversations that people are having here. Brands in India and globally use Spaces to answer questions that consumers may have about launched products or post sale, or what is coming new. It is important for brands to lean into audio conversations to interact with their consumers and understand their queries. It is a direct communication and it helps build the brand loyalty in a great way. They need to remember to have a voice that adds the layer of authenticity.”

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