The largest conventional warfare operation in Europe since World War II will be uniquely shaped by cyberattacks, social virality, misinformation and other dynamics.
FGH’s Digital team offers some preliminary observations on this moment (read the full analysis here):
- Beware of bots. FGH’s bot detection algorithm found 60% of Twitter accounts engaging on Ukraine have medium to high probability of being bots— a strong indicator of intentional spread of misinformation.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gives a master class in the power of social media. Zelenskyy has been lionized for his defiant on-the-ground reporting, which has “been a major force in galvanizing the Ukrainian defense efforts” and gained Zelenskyy 630% more Twitter followers and Ukraine 238% more Twitter followers since February 24.
Here’s what we recommend brands should be thinking about when it comes to their own social media:
- Do no harm. Consider your rationale for posting on the conflict. Is it relevant and appropriate to comment or better to stand down?
- Police tone. If you do decide to post on social media, ensure posts treat the conflict in Ukraine with the reverence and urgency it deserves.
- Share with care. Vet sources and know that getting it right is crucial. Rely on verified (blue check) sources, verified journalists on the ground and U.S. government accounts for developing events.
- Consider monitoring comments across platforms closely to understand community sentiment or if your followers are demanding action.
- Take the domestic political temperature. In this dynamic environment, commentary, especially on social media, may be more susceptible to ongoing polarized “culture wars”.
- Plan ahead and be nimble. Have early conversations with vendors to help ensure a smoother process if changes are required.
- Reconsider your inventory. Smart advertisers following the news will adapt the inventory they’re buying to make sure their message is not out of place. Shifting from news to more local, sports and lifestyle content may be necessary in the short term. Advertisers can also add certain hot button topics to their keyword blocklists to avoid appearing in the wrong place at an inopportune time.
- Press pause if needed. While needing to pause a campaign is never ideal, some situations may require it, even if only for a short time to fine tune the creative messaging to be more appropriate for the given moment.
If you have questions about your media buy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.