It’s not enough for brands to follow trends reactively. In today’s fast-paced, hyper-connected media-saturated world it’s not the first horse out of the gate who wins, but the thoroughbred already in mid-stride. What galloping steps can brands take to edge out the competition and maintain their lead?
First, let’s look at a general objective of any brand’s real-time social media campaign:
Instantaneously drive social engagements when unexpected events spontaneously trend online.
Looking at Oreo’s popular “Dunk in the Dark” campaign during the 2013 Super Bowl, you can see social activation in action:
- First, an unpredicted event occurs – in this case the stadium blackout.
- Immediately, Oreo’s social agency 360i is activated to create a response to the event – social feed on Twitter/Facebook, custom creative, hashtag
- Then, the agency posts their response onto Oreo’s social networks – Facebook & Twitter
- Once launched, posts, comments, retweets, and shares are collected.
By reacting within 8 minutes of the event, Oreo was able to collect 15,000 retweets and more than 20,000 likes on Facebook within 24hrs.
Seems easy enough, but there are inherent challenges to this process:
- REACH: Consumers only discover a brand’s viral social trend if they’re connected on Facebook or Twitter within the trending window.
- VIEWABILITY: Only 35% of friend posts on Facebook get seen (New York Times – Bits, March 2013) and only 16% of brand posts become impressions by fans (Mashable - March 2012)
- ACTIVATION: Lag time between creative build, social posting, and upload to ad networks/portals/blogs prevents instant surfacing across the internet
How can brands maximize their social reach? The answer lies not within social networks, but outside. By marketing only to fans and friends on Facebook/Twitter, reach is inherently limited. Surfacing social-activated ads across the internet delivers their unique, custom messaging to any consumer, anywhere. Only then, can people out-of-network engage with the social conversation at the moment of the unpredicted event.
Real-Time means capturing consumers at the moment, wherever they are, and delivering them branding that is relevant, useful, or entertaining to inform and engage. Imagine the power Oreo’s Super Bowl creative would have had if it had seamlessly been integrated into articles about the blackout as fans were discovering what happened. Or, visualize socially-powered television spots or lower thirds airing during the confusion.
Christoph Babka is Manager, Strategic Accounts at Vibrant Media, a leader of in-content contextual technology.