By Alex Benton
On game day last year, the most noise didn’t come from the roar of the crowd in New Orleans–it came from Twitter. Users posted 24.1 million tweets about both the game and the halftime show, including 231,500 tweets per minute during the now infamous “blackout.” In fact, everybody seemed to have a 140-character opinion on that power outage. Celebrities, including Jay-Z, made obvious waves with their tweets, but it was brands like Oreo, Tide, and Audi that really benefited from thinking on their feet.
With 30-second spots during this year’s Super Bowl being sold for $4.5 million, brands that aren’t shelling out the big bucks will be looking to get an edge over competitors via social media. To set your brand up for success during the big game, here are three things to consider before kick-off:
1. Have a plan.
Not every brand can afford to have a room full of people in “mission control” ready to publish the next great social media success story. But a plan must be in place to ensure that content can be developed and approved within a short space of time. Brands should trust and empower their media partners to create and execute real-time content, ensuring that the approval process is as seamless as possible.
2. Think before you post.
“Moment marketing,” as it has been coined, can gain brands mass awareness when they are adaptable and opportunistic during real-time events–but it can also have its pitfalls if brands act prematurely during situations that may not yet be fully developed. David Berkowitz, former VP of Emerging Media at 360i (the agency behind Oreo’s “Dunk In The Dark” tweet), explained that the team actually held off sending the tweet for several minutes after it had been created and approved, to ensure that the power outage wasn’t a larger, more dangerous issue. Other brands looking to take advantage of real-time social conversations have faced heavy backlash when publishing ill-conceived content, like the insensitive tweet from Epicurious during the Boston Marathon bombing. While a quick reaction is essential, brands must be sure that the situation they’re commenting on is appropriate to joke about.
3. Be genuine.
Ultimately, consumers respond to authenticity. Brands should refrain from shoehorning promotional messages into content, and instead think about how to appeal to an audience’s desire to connect with others. For example, when Twitter was buzzing about Pharrell Williams’s hat selection for this year’s Grammy Awards, Arby’s seamlessly joined the conversation with a well-timed and relevant tweet:
— Arby’s (@Arbys) January 27, 2014
The more a post is part of an organic conversation, the more consumers will be inclined to share it across social networks.
What are some of your tips for creating real-time social content? Share your thoughts in the comments below!