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How to keep your brand safe when advertising on social media

by Sandeep Benny

January 26, 2023

How frequently do you turn to Twitter or Instagram for breaking news and hot gossip? Today, social media dominates news cycles; celebrities, politicians, and companies make headline-grabbing statements first on their personal social accounts.

While social media has worked its way into becoming a basic necessity along with food, water and shelter in this day and age, there are still advantages and disadvantages to advertising on these platforms. It may be a great place for brands to connect with customers and raise awareness, but (unfortunately) not all of the content on these platforms is harmless cat videos and memes. All social media sites have trouble with user-generated content (UGC) that most brands would consider unsafe. The sad truth is that in the US, according to a recent survey, 52% of teens often encounter hate speech (racism, homophobia, sexism) while perusing social media.

Considering Twitter's uncertain future and the general mistrust of platforms like Facebook, is it time to move your hard-earned advertising dollars elsewhere? Is there a real risk for businesses when using social media?

The ever-evolving social world

Social media has changed rapidly in the short period it has been in our lives. Once upon a time, you needed a college email account to make a Facebook profile. Back then, Facebook was just a place for college students to connect, make new friends, and more.

Facebook is not the only one in its race to the bottom. Most users under the age of 50 have left Facebook, which once catered to the youth culture. Twitter, which was already full of its own controversies recently, has quickly turned into a very dangerous place for brands. Concerned about privacy policies, compliance, and the platform's future, some brands have chosen (or have been advised) to stop their advertising, while others may abandon the platform entirely. Although these channels include some brand safety features, they are not foolproof in protecting your promoted tweets or posts from being associated with inappropriate content.

The rise of the social embed

With the safety and reliability of numerous social media sites declining, how can brands safely promote themselves on these sites? Brands that work with publishers with real organic traffic, high-quality editorial content, and no fraud cases can help keep their brands from being "cancelled." These trusted editorial environments use a safe way to get buzz-worthy social content: the social embed, a small piece of content from a social media platform that can be put into articles.

Over 30% of publishers are embedding trending topics from top social media platforms into their editorial coverage – driving new value for readers and creating a massive opportunity for advertisers. It has been proven that embedding social content (like Spotify playlists, tweets, and videos) keeps users engaged. According to our platform's analytics, social embeds have a 16% greater viewability and a 25% higher time in-view than other content that appears in the in-article feed.

Entertainment and pop culture moments also reign supreme in embedded social content; in fact, all of the top embeds in the last year are related to the Kardashians. According to our internal web scraper, the most embedded content comes from Instagram (61%), YouTube (21%), and Twitter (11%). However, TikTok, today's social media darling, is ramping up the embed game, with 4% of content coming from the platform. Compared to Twitter, would TikTok embeds become more popular the following year? Time will tell, but it's not shocking to think that Twitter will soon drop from its current third-place ranking, given the lack of trust from advertisers and users.

A portrait of success: introducing social canvas

Kargo is the only company that provides marketers and publishers with social embed data. Kargo's exclusive Social Canvas unit allows brands to surround contextually relevant social posts with their messaging. By combining the best of social and editorial, advertisers can now be a part of the conversation while avoiding the endless unmonitored scrolls and swipes of User Generated Content platforms to increase relevancy, awareness, recall, and favorability.

Stop catching heat for a promoted tweet by keeping your brand safe in a premium editorial space curated by editors and journalists. Our technology doesn't need to use cookies, so it can target keywords, hashtags, accounts, interests, and more for guaranteed contextual relevance.

Are you ready to make Social Canvas a part of your next campaign? Let's get started.


Digital Advertising
brand safety
mobile advertising
Social Media Marketing