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breaking news How can brands lead the conversation on Twitter?

As things start to open up and the online space becomes cluttered with brand messages and new campaign launches, it has become crucial for brands to stay one step ahead. How can brands do this effectively on Twitter? Storyboard18 special ‘The Conversation: Twitter for Brands’ with Kanika Mittal, Head, Large Clients Solutions, Twitter India, Damyant Singh Khanoria, CMO, Oppo India and Disney+ Hotstar’s Sidharth Shakdher share some thoughts.

-Shibani Gharat

After a roller coaster start, the year 2022 has finally started and things are looking positive. Countries around the world are slowly opening their borders and we have all slowly started to return to normal with public places, schools, colleges and offices reopening. In this changing environment, it is imperative for brands to stay front and center and relevant to their consumers. Twitter in one of those places where lots of conversations take place and Twitterati has a lot to say about events of cultural significance, be it Diwali, Holi or Women’s Day. How can brands participate in these conversations and stay culturally relevant?

In a Storyboard18 special titled “The Conversation: Twitter for Brands,” Kanika Mittal, Head of Large Client Solutions, Twitter India, says Twitter’s biggest superpower is its audience. “The public is very influential and receptive. When they come out on the platform, they come with the intention of participating, reacting or having a discussion or inspiring a debate. They’re not just there to scroll or listen passively. The fact that this audience is so receptive means they can drive results for brands,” says Mittal.

Especially during times like the past couple of years, when multiple tech-to-car launches, big-ticket movies, and campaign launches have taken place on Twitter, Mittal suggests that launch KPIs are better met on Twitter. “Leveraging the power of our influential audience to launch and break through the clutter is what brands need to do.”

Besides the launch, another pillar that works well on Twitter is the connection where brands can participate in culturally significant events that are great conversation starters on the platform.

“In cricket alone, there are 96 million conversations and a 30% year-on-year growth. We’re also preparing a narrative for the Women’s World Cup coming up next month and then building it up throughout the summer of cricket. Mittal tells us that the other exciting element is online shopping. “We’ve seen how people come in and talk about what they like to shop or buy. Before people make a decision to buy, they come to the platform and talk about it. The other thing that is recent and interesting is Valentine’s Day. Recently we launched a campaign called #WeMetOnTwitter which saw an increase of over 300% in terms of conversations around it. It wasn’t just about meeting people on Twitter and falling in love, but also co-founders, colleagues, or anyone who had a story to tell about how they met on Twitter,” says she, adding that it has become so important to be culturally relevant.

With the platform buzzing at the moment with several points of passion from Indian consumers, how effectively are brands participating in the narrative?

Disney+ Hotstar’s Sidharth Shakdher thinks stories have great power. “Stories have the power to uplift you, stories have the power to make you feel better, more energized, more optimistic about the future. To get our stories to the widest audience possible, to the most influential audience possible, Twitter has been instrumental in achieving this. He adds how Twitter has enabled two-way conversations. “It’s increasingly important in these difficult times to be very intentional, not just to bombard the consumer, to be guided by his intention rather than having a one-sided conversation with him. Twitter through various tools, platform features allow you to respond to signals and intent given by the consumer. And Disney+ Hotstar is effectively using Twitter for some of its key property launches and big releases, whether sports or entertainment.

Damyant Singh Khanoria, CMO, Oppo India says for any smartphone gamer to have a successful launch, it is important to have an authentic voice on Twitter. Oppo India has indeed had several successful and innovative launches on the platform. “A few launches ago, we had something called ’emoji’ for unboxing a phone. The whole unboxing experience is the one that you do in person, that you kind of live in a store. But given the pandemic , we had to rely on the innovation of Twitter to create a new way to drive purchase intent using emojis in a very unique and creative way to help people learn more about our product Oppo India also held a live e-commerce sale on the platform where celebrities talked about product features, what the products allow them to do, etc. and the conversation was reflected live on Twitter.” These are examples of how we broke the mold in how Twitter is used.”

Mittal concludes by saying that for all sorts of innovations, Twitter proves solutions through the funnel. “Whether it’s top of the funnel through Twitter Spotlight, video promotions, Twitter Amplify, etc., brands can just choose and have a very strategic plan. But also, we’re very well positioned and available for brands to benefit for those at the bottom of the funnel.Whether it’s carousel ads or campaigns optimized for website cards that actually deliver your performance matrix, Twitter has something for everyone.

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