Instagram recently announced that Thanksgiving 2013 was its busiest day ever, topping last year’s record-breaking Thanksgiving holiday. Twitter also saw massive increases in tweets this year, beginning the week of Thanksgiving and steadily increasing through the Black Friday weekend. We can expect the same spike to occur in the coming weeks around Christmas and the New Year. With holiday events, family gatherings, TV specials, blockbuster movies, and everything in-between, there is a lot for people to post about.
What does this mean for brands trying to better engage with consumers? With so many conversations happening, brands need to monitor social channels in real-time and be ready to respond in the moment. Nestle’s DiGiorno pizza is just the latest brand to show how successful a real-time strategy can be. DiGiorno gained online buzz, new Twitter followers, and mass engagements by live-tweeting during NBC’s The Sound of Music remake and using the shows hashtag to engage with the audience.
What do pizza and The Sound of Music have in common? Nothing, but DiGiorno saw an opportunity to engage with a captive audience, an audience that might also like pizza. Instead of paying for airtime on NBC, DiGiorno took to twitter - providing another example of how the platform can help brands increase brand awareness, gain new followers or driving actions in real-time.
Here are 5 tips from our team at SHIFT to help you prepare to be part of this year’s biggest conversations:
1) Set Clear Objectives
Objectives should be the underlying guide for all messaging posted on a brand’s social channels. For campaigns that are planned months in advance, this is easy to implement since it is the first step in the planning process. Despite less preparation involved, real-time messaging should be no different when it comes to underlying objectives. Setting clear performance goals will help guide the types of real-time conversations and messages that brands participate in. These goals will also provide a tool for measuring real-time performance and help as brands track and optimize their strategies for success.
2) Know Your Target
As with any brand message, planned or real-time, proper targeting is essential. Because real-time doesn’t allow for delay, however, setting up target groups in advance reduces the barrier for effective immediate response. For brands with multiple target groups, creating a process that identifies which target groups should be reached under what circumstances will reduce confusion when real-time opportunities arise.