What time is real time? Brands must LIVE in the moment
A quick scroll through my Facebook news feed brings me the typical snapshots from the lives of friends – running marathons, going on holiday, celebrating birthdays and rearing children. These personal updates are often criticised as “pointless” by anti-social media users: “Why do I need to see another photo of your baby / what you had for lunch?”.
Sharing is caring, but if one wishes to dial down the baby noise, or empty your timeline of Instagrammed food, then there are plenty of features provided by social networks, to fine tune your home feed. I always think of my choices to follow/unfollow/engage, as me placing a filter on the world – I only wish to hear, see and read the stories which are of most interest. The recent uproar caused by Facebook editors providing a bias view of the upcoming US Presidential election, revealed (again) the power of this network as a news channel. Although the interference of editors and algorithms makes me uncomfortable, I fear it is the lesser of the two evils: risk FOMO, or a timeline filled with irrelevant baby/food photos. The Facebook example highlights how important it is to users, that we can choose to hear the latest stories, and straight from the horse’s mouth. We want fair access to the real story, and we want it now.
My circle share happy news and special moments, alongside stories which mean something to them, videos they find amusing, and articles they find interesting. Last weekend, the Eurovision Song Contest filled my stream, as this epic, LIVE broadcast was watched across our continent, and to Australia (who came 2nd!), and to the US and China (for the first time ever). The online audience was huge: The Drum reported 7 million tweets were sent during the 3 hour show, while Brandwatch tracked the Twitter data and presented the analysis via this brilliant, interactive viz.
I have previously commented (and blogged) about the power of LIVE events for brands via social media – the concept of the dual screen audience, alongside such sport / music performances as the American Super Bowl Final and Eurovision last weekend, is well known to big brand marketers: Cadbury invited fans to “celebrate the joy of Eurovision”, as part of the “Taste Like This Feels” campaign, which recently featured a viral video style tv advert, of a big, black grizzly bear enjoying a scratch on a tree.
Taking part in a trending topic, is a now a well-oiled cog in a social media marketing plan. The people operating the backend of the big social media machines, are clamouring to keep the attention of users, in this increasingly crowded space. The online audience is accustomed to interacting with the hottest news via social media first – Twitter brought us Moments, delivers custom “top tweets” to our individual news feeds, and hosts LIVE videos via its sister app Periscope. The appetite for peeking behind the curtain, has evolved into a desire to connect, up-close-and-personal with the stories, personalities and brands we love.
Twitter chats are just the tip of the iceberg of opportunities for powerful, LIVE interactions with an audience. The emerging strength of Snapchat has seen marketing professionals running to catch up with real time content, and meanwhile, Facebook released LIVE video functionality. Real time, just got real.
The real time element of social media marketing, should not be overlooked by a business of any size, or marketing budget. Unless a brand wishes to be left behind, it must find the moments, personalities, value, and fun with which to engage the target audience. And soon.
Team Gertrude & Ivy always tweet LIVE from our training courses, and at our next event (Instagram training – Friday 3 June) at The Glebe House, we will share a video from inside this Grade II listed Georgian house in Clapham Old Town, via Facebook LIVE at 11am.
Is your business sharing in real time? Let me know over on Twitter @LadyofSocial.