Twitter’s Head of Content on Leaning Into Levity Right Now

Headshot of Julian Gamboa

With millions of conversations and thousands of communities starting at Twitter, the app might mean different things for various people. That’s where Ryan Brown, Twitter’s Head of Content Strategy and Creative Innovation, comes in. Throughout his 8 years at Twitter, Ryan has been part of the team tasked with using content to bring Twitter’s narrative to life. Here, Ryan delves into what the democratization of content means for Twitter and sheds light on some of Twitter’s marketing approach.

How did you get to where you are today?

I got to where I am today through hard work and a little luck, but mostly hard work. I juggled about three tech internships at the same time during my college years… Funny enough, Twitter was one of my dream companies to work for dating back to 2010, but I just couldn’t land an internship there, despite my best efforts! I decided to join the great team behind a startup called Posterous… As fate would have it, Twitter acquired us in 2012.

I’ve been at Twitter for more than 8 years and I’ve been lucky enough to have a unique and rewarding journey. As a young fledgling “Tweep,” I helped shape our business marketing initiatives, which helped set the tone of my career trajectory in leading content initiatives across events, social and consumer campaigns.

Joining the executive team in leading the design and strategy of our IPO narrative in 2013 was one of my favorite memories. It would lead me to be involved in many of the company’s top initiatives over the years.

With the Pandemic, how are you adapting your content strategies?

For a moment, brands of all kinds have paused and reflected on what to do. They listened to what people were saying and got really thoughtful and creative about how to get their messages out there. That’s a trend I’ve been really loving, watching as marketers navigate the new constraints and uncertainties of the pandemic to uncover more human-centric strategies. It’s a true reset to what we expect from brands and I think it’ll really elevate the work we’re all doing.

We recently launched two activations that helped offer some levity and entertainment to people on Twitter. First, our amazing partnerships team coordinated an #NBATwitter Watch Party for the basketball lovers to come together and enjoy the long-anticipated premiere of the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance.”

And then our social team noticed conversation around people needing haircuts. So, our @Twitter account decided to play barber and hairstylist for the day, generating a ton of engagement and positive sentiment.

What’s been your role in how Twitter’s marketing strategy has evolved over the years?

Under the leadership of our CMO Leslie Berland, we’ve hit our stride in highlighting the unique aspects of Twitter. Twitter is the best service to find out what’s happening, and what’s happening are so many pockets of conversations and communities that are weird, silly, and real.

My role has always been to be a creative and strategic resource to help bring to life what Twitter means in really compelling ways through content. My work over the years, particularly the projects that were nimble experiments, have helped shape and evolve where the brand is today.

With the democratization of content creation on the rise, how are you thinking about that at Twitter? 

We’ve seen success in boiling recent campaigns down to two simple elements: Tweets and voices from the platform. We’ve become more self-aware through campaigns like Me on Twitter vs Me on Instagram by bringing those Tweets to IRL. We’ve also dubbed super user Chrissy Teigen as the unofficial official Mayor of Twitter and made Lil Nas X Twitter CEO for a day. These videos were successful in capturing the essence of what makes Twitter so great for our biggest voices…

@juliangumbo julian.gamboa@adweek.com Julian Gamboa is a social media and marketing manager at Adweek.
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