Marketing Briefing: Twitter brand impersonations cause some marketers to seek crisis response plans


The sands continue to shift at Twitter. 

Under Elon Musk’s leadership, the future of the platform and advertisers’ role there remains uncertain.

Last week, new questions about brand safety surfaced as paid verification allowed users to pay the $8 to be verified with some posing as brands like Eli Lilly and Nintendo, among others, posting statements said brands would likely never post.

For Eli Lilly, in particular, the results of dealing with an impersonation were costly. While paid verification has been put on pause, the feature has marketers even more skittish about the platform with some marketers not only pausing spending on the platform but posting on it altogether while others like Balenciaga and Playbill have pulled their accounts.

“It’s really hard to keep up; everything is changing so fast,” said Nick Meyer, director of social media strategy at Campbell Ewald, adding that the “unpredictability” of the platform puts marketers in a difficult spot. “The number one thing we’re counseling people about is having a crisis response plan in place. The fact is if you’re in the cross-hairs you’re going to be in the cross-hairs.”

Marketers and agency execs say they are continuing to monitor Twitter to make sure their brands are not suddenly dealing with impersonation or an issue akin to that of Eli Lilly as it feels like the guardrails are gone. Aside from monitoring the platform, pausing paid advertising and posting, marketers and agency execs say that it’s hard to know what to do in the long-term without guidance from the company.

“Twitter’s reputation is marred,” said Brendan Gahan, partner and chief social officer at Mekanism. “Advertisers are scrutinizing their role on the platform more than ever. Many are pulling or pausing ad spends and posting. The actions of the last few weeks have made it difficult for brands to continue to trust that Musk has their interests in mind. The chaos is a distraction. One that marketers have limited patience for.” 

The turmoil at Twitter comes ahead of the World Cup, which will kick off later this month, one of the few global sporting events that get people talking, often on Twitter. With the current uncertainty at Twitter, brands that may have used the platform to generate buzz and social commentary around the World Cup may be hesitant to do so, according to marketers and agency execs. That said, agency execs noted that Brand Twitter hasn’t been as active in recent years.

“For brands with big presences on Twitter, it’s been a couple of years since Twitter was the focal point of a campaign,” said Meyer. “We’re past days of brands going back and forth during the Super Bowl. That’s dried up a bit. We’ve seen a shift from clients to go from focusing on multiple platforms to focus on a few. This may accelerate that shift.”

3 Questions with Chris Savage, CEO and co-founder of Wistia video marketing platform

Obviously digital video is booming. With that growth, how does that impact Wistia’s marketing strategy?

The big thing is all the channels have gone video first. A modern content marketing strategy requires treating the channels very differently. The algorithms work differently. All of the platforms have become video-first. You have to figure out how to put things differently on these different platforms.

How so?

The smartest strategists are learning from some platforms to then bring to other ones. Ultimately, you create an engine, which is then building your brand and then you’re following on each individual platform. It adds up to something that hopefully is driving traffic direct at the end of the day.

How does Wistia use its marketing strategy to stand out in a digitally crowded environment?

You can’t stand out without having strong values and being able to share real opinions. We are competing in a world of effective, unlimited content. I always go back to: The audience is in control. We have to make sure that we’re putting content out in these different mediums and we need to make sure the content we’re putting out is educational and inspiring. You’re basically competing at any moment, someone’s one swipe away on TikTok with something funny or engaging. It ups the ante for everyone. — Kimeko McCoy

By the numbers

Amazon’s same day delivery upped the ante for many businesses, setting a new precedent for customer expectations when it comes to online shopping. This holiday season, retailers may find themselves fighting an uphill battle, pushing to meet customer demand, work through supply chain issues and more, according to a new study from the CMO Council and Business Performance Innovation (BPI) NetworkFind key details from the report below:

  • 84% of respondents say they are experiencing increased financial and resource pressures due to consumer demand for fast home delivery.
  • More than three-quarters of all respondents (77%) point to Amazon as a major competitive threat to their business due chiefly to Amazon’s massive ecommerce infrastructure and wide selection of available products.
  • A third of respondents believe they could increase revenues by more than 20% by instituting same day delivery; another 51% estimate same day delivery would increase revenue by 10-20%.Kimeko McCoy

Quote of the week

“If Netflix and Disney+ are launching ads, we can rest assured BeReal can’t avoid it forever either.”

— Jess Phillips, founder and CEO of influencer marketing agency The Social Standard, when asked about BeReal’s advertising future.

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