Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Casey Mills, Social Media Manager

This is part two of our series about brand safety on social media.

Brand safety on social media is a topic with wide ranging scope, but there are three areas where we typically see brands lose their footing on social media.

  1. Being unprepared for user engagement
  2. Lack of awareness regarding where your ads are showing
  3. Not connecting with the audience in a relevant way

In part one of this series we talked about being prepared for engagement. In this piece, we’ll focus on being aware of where your digital advertisements are showing.

Retargeting and programmatic digital ad placement are great technologies but what happens when your ads follow a user somewhere online that your brand would rather not be – say next to a sensational or obscene headline?

It’s common for brands to get caught in the crossfire of online content debates that turn nasty quickly. Activists who want to deny advertising dollars to certain publications have realized the opportunity in taking screenshots of embarrassing ad placements and publicly leveraging them. Being cognizant of ad placement and timing both inside social media and in the larger digital universe is important. 

So what steps can you take to be more aware of where your ads appear?

  • Consult your media buyers to ask about what content restrictions are currently in place on programmatic ad placements and if there are any they would recommend.
  • Consider whether your digital ads could do brand damage if they appear during a time where starting that conversation could be distasteful to the audience i.e. selling tropical vacation packages through ads that appear next to a news article about the most recent tsunami.
  • Gut check just how tough your brand is. What criticism will you tolerate and where is the line that you would succumb to pressure to pull your ads from a specific site or platform? Consider if the people complaining about your ad placement actually represent your target audience.

Thinking through these topics will help you ask the right questions about your media placements and get you prepared for the day when you have to make a tough call about digital ads.

To get more in-depth information about brand safety on social media, check out our webinar from earlier this year.