Real time content has been a hot topic of many discussions since that infamous tweet by a delicious cookie during the Super Bowl XLVII blackout. (You know exactly what I’m talking about.) Brands appear to jump into any and all trending topics lately, both with successes and failures. There are necessary steps that you need to take in order to ensure the piece of real time content is a success. We created a nifty printout if you want to learn more. However, before you even get to this checklist, there are a few questions you should be asking yourself.
1. Is this trending topic relevant to my brand?
Please, take some time to think about whether or not the trending topic or event has anything to do with your brand. Most brand fails seem to revolve around a brand that jumps into a conversation and hi-jacks a hashtag that has nothing to do with its industry in order to push product or to be relevant. Why would you devote so much time and assets to create content marketing calendars, but jump into something that does not relate to you? If you have to think about this for more than 20 minutes, you should reconsider creating anything for the topic/event at hand.
2. How will my audience react?
This is a crucial question to ask yourself and one that may not be easily answered. Take a step back and think about your piece of content as if you were not a part of the team that developed it. Need more guidance? Request the assistance of a co-worker that is not a direct member of your team. You may be pleasantly surprised by just how helpful this could be. Lastly, ask the one person/group of people that knows the social communities and their tendencies more than any other person in the world, your Community Managers. Of course, thinking about what your non-fans and non-followers will think about the content is just as important, which brings us to our next question.
3. What negative impact could a failed attempt have on my brand?
This is the last and quite possibly the most important question to ask before posting any piece of real time content. Proactively thinking about the negative impact your failed attempt could have could enable you to tweak your concept or slash the idea altogether to be on the safe side. Clorox is a brand that recently had to learn this the hard way. Even if Clorox’s tweet had the best intentions, it appears the brand did not take the time to think about the negative effects its real time piece of content could have, even if the audience is making some assumptions.
As real time content marketing has become a focal point for all brands on social media, brands need to be more diligent in their approach. At the end of the day, would your brand suffer if you passed on a trending topic that wasn't the perfect fit? Probably not.