Brands should not revert to pre-Covid messaging, Twitter study finds

Survey of 1,000 UK users found just 7% want brands to return to their normal tone of voice.

Black Lives Matter: another finding is that brands shouldn't 'sidestep difficult conversations'
Black Lives Matter: another finding is that brands shouldn't 'sidestep difficult conversations'

Brands should adapt their messaging to consumers' heightened and changing emotions instead of reverting back to their pre-Covid-19 ways of communicating, research by Twitter has found.

The survey of 1,000 UK Twitter users found that just 7% want brands to return to their normal tone of voice.

"There is a need to read the room and adapt," Sara Picazo, head of UK ad research at Twitter, said. "In March, when we asked Twitter users what tone of voice they wanted from brands, they valued a very informative tone over anything else. They wanted brands to give them accurate information because they were so lost.

"In June, when we asked them the same question, they said they wanted a more caring, supportive tone. So it feels like brands need to be ready to adapt to people changing emotions and adapt how they communicate and read the room."

Through the research, which also analysed of billions of tweets, Twitter identified a series of behaviours that it said captures the current moods in society. These include an increased willingness to talk about mental health, supporting communities and embracing a slower pace of life.

Picazo said: "Through the experience of physical isolation, we’ve learned how important it really is to come together and support each other, and this has been seen in communities on a broader collective scale. We’ve also seen a growing conversation around helping vulnerable people and helping neighbours – that conversation grew by over 400%."

She added that the key to emerging from this situation successfully is knowing where consumers’ "heads are at" and being able to tap into their mindset, while paying extra care to remain accountable.

The ‎Black Lives Matter discussion isn’t new to the platform, but it has seen a significant rise in conversations sparked by the killing of George Floyd on 25 May. This has led to many brands declaring their support for the movement and making commitments towards contributing to change.

Picazo said: "Brands will be held accountable by their consumers and so they should hold themselves accountable. Consumers prefer progress over perfection as long as you are seen to be honest and intending to move in the right direction.

"So don’t, as a brand, sidestep difficult conversations because of an imperfect past. Honest progress is appreciated over perfection – this seems to be what consumers really value this year and moving forward."

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