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How can you keep your Brand Safe on Social Media?

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How can you keep your Brand Safe on Social Media?

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Brand Safety is getting harder and more complex in today’s times. As we emerge from the pandemic what are some key takeaways for brands and marketers that they should keep in mind especially when it comes to Brand Safety? - Shibani Gharat

How can you keep your Brand Safe on Social Media?
In today’s emerging media landscape, brands are concerned whether their investments on social media platforms are safe or not.  Whether their ad is adjacent to harmful content or not, does it support their brand value or brand thought or is in conflict with it, etc have been crucial to any brand’s presence online.
The issues may be different but brand safety concerns are universal across different parts of the world. As we emerge from the pandemic and begin to navigate the post-COVID world, what are some key takeaways for brands and marketers and what should they keep in mind especially when it comes to Brand Safety? Storyboard 18 in their special episode, ‘The Conversation: Brand Safety’ discussed this with Caitlin Rush, Global Lead, Brand Safety Specialists, Twitter, Preetha Athrey, Head - Marketing, Twitter India and Gopa Menon, Head of Digital - South Asia, Mindshare.
“Brand safety is definitely an area that we have seen evolving over time,” says Caitlin Rush, Global Lead, Brand Safety Specialists, Twitter. “At Twitter, brand safety is so much more than just brands. Ultimately, it comes down to being about people and protecting people, and keeping them safe. This is a conversation about social responsibility and leadership. And from the top down Twitter is committed to making the service a safe place for everyone,” says Rush, adding that Twitter's purpose is to serve the public conversation and that can only be done when an atmosphere is created where everyone feels comfortable to share their voice. “When everyone feels safe, is when we can see really great rich conversations happening,” she says, adding.
So is ‘Brand Safety’ getting harder and more complex in today’s times?
“Brand safety is a constant moving target, says Rush. As media landscape becomes increasingly fragmented it certainly creates new challenges. With every new platform, service or area it creates a vector of additional risk a brand needs to consider when they are thinking about or ensuring that they are showing up in places that are safe and appropriate for this. So at Twitter as our platform is evolving we are introducing new products like Spaces and Communities, we are ensuring that as we are designing these things that we are being thoughtful and intentional about how we create these products and we are thinking about what are the potential risks or threats that exist.
She says Twitter has invested in a suite of solutions aimed at ensuring a safe experience for everyone who uses the platform. Its approach to brand safety falls under three areas of focus: policies, products and partnerships. “Our policies are in place to inform the type of content that can be shared on Twitter that can be monetized and that can be promoted on the platform. And the actions that could be taken against them in order to enforce those policies. These are the policies that cover, abuse, harassment and misinformation. They are enforced globally,” says Rush. Speaking about products, Rush says “The products use number of technologies to keep people and brand safe, using tech like machine learning models to proactively detect content and flag it for human review to be reviewed.
When it comes to partnerships, Twitter collaborates with the experts-the publishers and the ad industry “It is done to gather diverse viewpoints to inform our policies and products and ensure we have a truly global perspective,” adds Rush.
Brand Safety conversation is becoming more important in India with each passing day. Preetha Athrey, Head - Marketing, Twitter India says when it comes to brand safety, Indian marketers are keen to know whether their brand connects with customers in the right manner, they also want to understand how can they get their message across in such a way that it is impactful, communicates with the audience and lands the right way. “Brands also want to be meaningful and ensure that they are relevant to their consumers at multiple levels and for this it is critical that they built trust and a relationship with their customer,” adds Athrey.
Gopa Menon, Head of Digital - South Asia, Mindshare feels that even before speaking about the ‘brand safe environment or platform’ there are some of the questions that brands need to be asking themselves. “The primary question should be where do I want my customers to see my brand? Does content adjacency impact my messaging and what does my brand stand for and how does that translate to media placement?’ Once we know what brand stands for clients, agencies and platforms can collaborate and arrive at some of the definitions like what content definitions are required for content that can be termed as harmful or standard and also arrive at third party tools which will help create that brand safe environment and also safe content policy.” He says this assessment has to be done individually with the brands because every brand has a unique definition of what’s appropriate for them and then they can arrive at a solution mutually between the client, agency and the platform.
Transparency by the platform also plays a crucial role when it comes to brand safety, “We strongly believe in empowering the advertisers in controlling where they want to place their ads on Twitter. We have a host of solutions to allow advertisers to do that. When it comes to Amplify where advertisers can choose and align their content with premium publishers from any of the standard IAB categories, 100% of the Twitter Amplify videos sampled meet the brand safety standards. That gives advertisers the power to place their ads in a brand safe environment.  When it comes to keyword targeting we allow advertiser to reach people basis their behavior including keywords used in their search results, their recent tweets or keywords used in the tweets that they recently engaged with. Advertisers can in fact exclude keywords from their campaigns.”
Menon says that some of things that they at an agency level at Mindshare do is to try and understand what is safe for their clients and what are client’s risk tolerance levels. “Then we move on to applying a third party verification vendor to apply a filter to block all the invalid inventories which can be termed as harmful and not brand safe. We also create a custom brand inclusion list or exclusion list which can include things like hate speech, obscenity, profanity, which can be excluded or included in your brand environment.”
While concluding Menon that brands to stay safe on social media platforms should prioritize authenticity. “Post pandemic everyone is looking for honest view from brands, authenticity has become vital. Values have become important. And owing to the pandemic there is a demand for faster product cycles/ the marketers need to be agile to transform their marketing journeys and also create the great customer experience.”
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