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Moment to Movement: Twitter’s #SpeedofCulture creates impact for brands

In a study titled “The Impact of Culture” conducted by research team MAGNA for social media platform Twitter, it found out that “Twitter users are especially receptive towards brands becoming more culturally relevant.”

Starting a conversation is easy but maintaining momentum and getting traction can be quite an uphill climb what with the platform averaging 330 million monthly active users (MAU) as of the first quarter of 2019, according to the figures from Statista. (Recently, Twitter shifted its metrics to monetizable daily active users (mDAU) with 139 million worldwide as of the second quarter of 2019. This data was published in July 2019.)

In Southeast Asia, the Philippines is one of Twitter’s fastest-growing audience markets with 57% of Filipinos using the platform daily. The demographics are evenly divided at 50-50 male and female Twitter users.

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Preceding his presentation at the recently concluded Media Specialists Association of The Philippines Media Congress, Arvinder Gujral, managing director, Twitter Southeast Asia, held a media briefing on #SpeedofCulture explaining how brands are able to join in the — or create their own — conversations, make the most of moment marketing, and make relevant choices that could pique the interest of Twitter users who hold the power of turning a moment to movement.

Nike’s campaign featuring NFL star Colin Kaepernick is perhaps the most relevant example of a brand creating a moment that has morphed itself into a movement setting the Twitterverse on fire with both positive and negative responses. Kaepernick represents a divisive social issue and Nike decided to make a choice by launching the advertisement as part of the brand’s “Dream Crazy” series of campaigns, which later on won creative awards.

“You saw the positive campaign which resulted in a 31% jump in sales and a $6 billion jump in market cap in 30 days of the capital market,” Gujral explained.

Nike launched the campaign on Twitter.

Engaging users and making them part of the whole decision-making process is what food processing company Heinz did in launching its “Mayochup,” a combination of the condiments mayonnaise and ketchup. What started as a Twitter conversation had spread into the mainstream media until the company released the new product. Such is the impact of Twitter conversations.

Social consciousness

The trend shows that young consumers are leaning toward brands that are socially conscious and support causes in various spaces such as climate change, equality, human rights, LGBTQ, among others.

In the study “The Impact of Culture,” it says that “brand involvement in culture is especially important among consumers between the ages of 18 and 35, and those on Twitter versus the general population are more passionate, informed, and feel more strongly about brands aligning with culture.”

The study also found out that “a brand’s cultural involvement makes up a full 25% of a consumer’s purchase decision.” Twitter’s data, on the other hand, shows that 78% of Filipino users “like to pursue a life of novelty, change and challenge.”

“What we see more and more in 2019 is brands trying to connect to their purpose,” Gujral said.

In the Philippines, toothpaste brand Close-up picked a specific community in launching its #FreeToLove campaign which encompasses all types of love and that includes Filipino couples of any gender or sexual preference. It stirred a conversation by featuring real-life love stories. While it may seem, and it is a paid execution, the public picked it up as it promotes a positive perspective on a universal feeling of love.

“I’ve seen this on the commercial side (where) brands are really trying to differentiate themselves,” Gujral said.

What brands need to do is create something that would make people stop scrolling or skipping their campaigns, Gujral added.

Doing this entails three steps which include understanding the audience, presenting something new (or if it’s not new, look for a different perspective), and create a campaign that is worth debating.

The last one is where the movement begins. Brands can create a moment and it’s up to Twitter users to make it a movement. If the conversation experiences three spikes in Twitter’s algorithms, then the brand has successfully fulfilled its purpose.

Ultimately, Gujral said most people come to Twitter to participate in meaningful conversations, which basically is how #SpeedofCulture works and brings impact to brands.

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