Leading the way

Seven strategies from brands leading the conversation on Twitter.

In a 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 who 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% increase in brand conversation could increase brand sales revenue by up to 3%.1

For brands 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 strategies draw from the recent success of leading brands who understood the customers’ mindset and today’s new landscape before taking action. 

So, how did these brands succeed? 

They Lead by Listening. The brands that have thrived understood that people want brands to be communicative, supportive, and people-first — 82% of people want to know how brands are supporting frontline staff. People also care about how businesses care for their own employees, vulnerable individuals, and local business.2 Leading brands take the time to understand their customers’ mindset first, before jumping in to help.

Successful brands Lead with Purpose. Because now, more than ever, brands need to show their ideals —82% say brands should use their position to affect positive change in society.3 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).

Brands Lead by Example — 67% of people on Twitter want to know about how brands are supporting those in need, including their own employees.4 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. 


Don’t make promises you can’t keep. 
Don’t view misfortune as a marketing opportunity. 
Don’t shun interactions with frustrated customers.

They Lead with Something New and introduce new messaging during a downturn. In fact, brands that launch (or relaunch) in a downturn experienced 15-25% greater excessive share of voice growth than the general average growth.5

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.

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.

And brands Lead with Positivity at a time when people are hungry for lighthearted content — 70% of people on Twitter think it’s important for brands to help boost positivity and promote positive stories.2 They do this by sharing moments of humanity and levity with their followers, creating unique experiences, and engaging people around their interests.

Get more Twitter marketing insights and inspiration during this challenging time.

Sammy Ahmed (‎‎@SA) is the Global Marketing Manager on the Business Brand Marketing team at Twitter.

1. Source - Twitter Meta Analysis: Measuring the impact of Earned Conversation, Neustar MMM (2019) Note: This represents Max value per 10% increase = 2.6%; Min value = 0.02%
2. Source: Twitter Insiders, US Only, March 25-30, 2020, n=826
3. Source: 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
4.  Source: Twitter Insiders, US Only, April 17-20, 2020, n=662
5.  Nielsen. Global. Budgeting for the upturn — Does share of voice matter.

July 01, 2020
  • Perspective
  • Covid19
  • North America

Related content