On behalf of everyone at ListenFirst, our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine, and we hope the horrific and unnecessary conflict ends as soon as possible, with Ukrainians safe and the independence of the country intact.
While everything else involving the conflict is secondary to that, we did want to give a better picture of the social media conversation around the war in general, and how brands are discussing it.
The World Stands With Ukraine
There have been 61,881,105 Tweets mentioning Ukraine between February 24 – March 2, 2022. Additionally, there were 3,792,398 Tweets mentioning either the hashtag #StandWithUkraine or #IStandWithUkraine in the same time period. In comparison, there were only 61,827 Tweets mentioning Ukraine between February 24 – March 2 in 2021.
So the world is definitely focused on the conflict in Ukraine, but the volume of discussion on social media does appear to be decreasing over time. For example, there were 13,247,074 Tweets on February 24 mentioning Ukraine with that down to 5,440,689 Tweets mentioning Ukraine on March 2, 2022.
Unsurprisingly, Vladimir Putin is not a figure that’s very popular on social media right now. Overall, there have been 31,531,497 Tweets mentioning Putin between February 24 – March 2, 2022, with 44% of those Tweets being Negative, 9% Positive, and 31% of the Tweets expressing the emotion of Anger.
A good deal of the positive sentiment around Vladimir Putin can probably be attributed to disinformation campaigns. For example, there were 194,172 Tweets using the hashtag #IStandWithPutin or #StandWithPutin between February 24 – March 2, 2022 (39% of those Tweets were coming from either India or Nigeria). Additionally, there have been 67,503 Tweets in the same time period, discussing Bots in the context of Russia or Putin.
Brands Are Sharing Slightly Less Posts On Social Media Since Ukraine Was Invaded
The following chart shows the number of posts shared February 19-23, 2022 vs February 24-28, 2022.
|Vertial||# of Posts shared On
|# of Posts Shared On
|% of Change|
|CPG Food Brands||2,185||1,690||-22.65%|
|S&P 500 Brands||4,137||3,217||-22.24%|
|Major & Independent Films||2,053||1,916||-6.67%|
|Episodic TV Shows||21,868||21,206||-3.03%|
Depending on the vertical, brands have been moderately more hesitant to post on social media since Russia invaded Ukraine. Comparing February 24-28, 2022 to February 19-23, 2022, 464 Top Advertisers brands tracked by ListenFirst shared 8.88% fewer posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. In the same time period, 978 brands in the Beverage industry shared 26.13% fewer posts, with CPG Food brands sharing 22.65% fewer posts.
For entertainment brands, the war has had a smaller impact on the frequency of social media posts. Of 7,584 Major + Independent films ListenFirst was tracking, their amount of posts decreased by 6.67% and 7,377 Episodic TV brands decreased the amount of posts on social by 3.03%.
Meanwhile, 1,190 brands in the Beauty industry shared 9.62% fewer posts while 2,500 Fashion brands actually shared 0.11% more posts in the same time period.
If Brands Are Posting About Ukraine Also Varies By Vertical
Between February 24-28, 2022, CPG Food brands only shared 6 social media posts mentioning Ukraine, and the brands in the Beverage industry only mentioned Ukraine in 3 posts. Additionally, Majors + Independents Films only shared 8 posts mentioning Ukraine.
Meanwhile, S&P 500 brands posted 100 posts about Ukraine, Fashion brands posted 85 times about Ukraine, and Beauty brands shared 45 posts on social media about Ukraine.
Brand Posts About Ukraine Have Overwhelmingly Expressed Solidarity
The most popular brand post we found discussing the war in Ukraine between February 24-28, 2022 was by The Simpsons, with the family holding up Ukrainian flags, which is also the same color scheme as Marge’s head. That post got 410,678 engagements on Instagram and another 317,768 engagements on Twitter. Additionally, the “Prayer for Ukraine” performed by Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York cold open from Saturday Night Live received 164,104 engagements on Instagram and 148,161 engagements on Twitter.
Many brands talked about their personal ties to Ukraine. For example, Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Stand With Ukraine post on Instagram, which got 21,774 engagements, talked about how their founder grew up in a communist regime and understands the frightening implications of the invasion. Meanwhile, 1 Granary explained in an Instagram post that got 5,775 engagements that the brand was founded by a Ukrainian woman whose parents, siblings, nieces, and friends are right now fighting in Kyiv.
Often brands have been posting about how they’re changing their business practices or otherwise taking actions in support of the Ukrainian people. For example, the Walt Disney Company announced in a Tweet that they are pausing the release of theatrical films in Russia. Etsy announced on Facebook that they are canceling the current balances owed to Etsy by all sellers in Ukraine.
Other brands focused on addressing the food crisis that the war is creating. Goya shared on Facebook how they’re distributing hundreds of thousands of pounds of food to the people of Ukraine, while Tory Sport asked people to join them in supporting the World Central Kitchen, which is in Poland feeding hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.
Cryptocurrency Is Not Being Discussed More Because Of The War, But Disinformation Is A Significant Issue
Overall, the war is not increasing the volume of conversation around cryptocurrency. For example, there have been 133,455 posts in the CryptoCurrency subreddit between February 24 – March 2, 2022, which was a 27.31% decrease from the volume of posts in the subreddit from February 17-23, 2022. However, that doesn’t mean crypto isn’t being discussed within the context of the war and with a lot of disinformation.
On Reddit there is a lot of articles from sources of questionable reliability being used to promote Bitcoin as a wartime solution. For example, the top Reddit post mentioning Bitcoin between February 24 – March 2, 2022 received a post score of 11,688 (upvotes – downvotes) and talked about how Russia will seize 60 trillion rubles from their own citizens if they go broke from sanctions, but Bitcoin can not be seized. Another top performing Bitcoin related Reddit Post got a post score of 3,887 and linked to an article where an anonymous hacker was offering Russian soldiers over $50K worth of Bitcoin for each tank surrendered.
Additionally at least one brand is being accused of being opportunistic around crypto and the war. In a post that got 3,045 upvotes, it was pointed out that while FTX is giving $25 of ‘free’ crypto to Ukrainians on their platform, the minimum FTX withdrawal limit is $100, so it would cost Ukrainians $75 to withdraw that money.
On Twitter there were 197,650 Tweets that mentioned both cryptocurrency and either Russia and Putin, and 166,508 Tweets mentioning both Bitcoin and either Russia or Putin specifically. Much of the conversation was speculating about if Russia would use Bitcoin to evade sanctions or focused on defending Bitcoin, like the fate of the cryptocurrency as opposed to human lives are what’s at stake.
For example, a Bitcoin Magazine Tweet that Russia might start using Bitcoin to get around sanctions got 14,637 engagements. Meanwhile, a Tweet saying “If you hate #Bitcoin because Putin might use it, you should also hate the internet, GPS, cars, airplanes, and oxygen.” got 13,618 engagements. A Tweet by finance and business influencer Robert Kiyosaki claiming that “Bitcoin” defies Putin got 10,802 engagements.
For as long as the conflict is ongoing, ListenFirst will continue to monitor the situation and how brands are responding to it on social media. For now, our thoughts and wishes remain with the people of Ukraine.