I wrote last week that real time social marketing was having a moment. It’s having another moment right now in the Oscars aftermath. Unlike the Super Bowl, there was no “:Oreo moment.” Many brand tweets fell flat, as Ad Age pointed out — and they also ran a piece on why not every cultural moment deserves a brand response. I don’t disagree with either article, but I thought Seth’s post was a timely reminder of what the stakes are. Thinking and being able to react in real time is risky — but it’s also energizing and invigorating. Not every moment is right for every brand, but when it is, the opportunity is huge. (And it almost goes without saying that day-to-day engagement adds up to huge opportunity over time, too.) On the flip side, sometimes there is a desperate need for restraint: you don’t want your pre-scheduled content or ads blasting out into the world, oblivious, while an unthinkable tragedy unfolds and the social web becomes a forum for shock and grief.
The point is, in today’s world, you have to be there — already living an “entirely different way of being in the world.” That is the essential piece. Make the moves you need to now so you’re ready later (which, of course, will soon be the now).
Real Time is Right Now
It’s something I’ve been interested in for years, and it’s really having its moment in the sun — real time reaching its real potential in social media. From Oreo, Tide, and others killing it during the Superbowl, to Twitter’s acquisition of social TV company Bluefin Labs to — a favorite example — The Onion hitting new heights thanks to its new focus on real-time/daily publishing, real time is truly having its moment.
For brands, this means being present and participating in real-time digital culture is becoming less of a luxury, and more of a must-have — a standard, like having a Facebook page and Twitter account. But here’s the thing: It’s not just about being there and saying something — anything. You have to see the opportunities that are right for your brand, and respond in a way that makes sense for you, your users, and what you want to achieve.
That’s strategy. And a smart social strategy needs to be absolutely ingrained in your team’s thinking if you want to play the real-time game (and spoiler alert: you should). It’s hard work to craft a social strategy that pays off where it needs to, harder still to ensure real-time responses adhere to it. But it’s work that’s worth doing for brands that want to keep up.
Plympton and DailyLit
Today Susan and I are excited to announce that DailyLit has become a part of Plympton. We are big fans of Jenny, Yael and Jacky, the co-founders of Plympton, and love their commitment to serial fiction. DailyLit provides a great delivery mechanism for serial fiction and thus fits very well with Plympton. You can read more about the combination on the DailyLit and Plympton blogs.
Thrilled about this. DailyLit was my first real job and was (and is!) amazing. Jenny couldn’t be more awesome — can’t wait to see what’s next!
Brilliant — and exactly the questions brands need to ask themselves about their digital marketing.
The Social Marketers’ Super Bowl
Every year there are lots of of stats that come out of the Superbowl — both about the athletes and the marketers, especially those of us working in social. Digital Trends has a good run-down, and here are some highlights:
- 24.1 million total tweets during the game
- 5.5 million tweets during Beyonce’s halftime show — more than during the entire game in 2012
- 235,000 tweets per minute during the power outage
- 3 million Instagram posts mentioning Super Bowl-related words
These are mind-blowing numbers, but they prove out something most of us already know: the second screen is hugely important, and nowhere more so than during sporting events, where watching live truly matters.
The more interesting stats to me are these: Twitter was mentioned in 50% of commercials, Facebook in 8%. Last year Twitter received far fewer mentions, while Facebook was mentioned in twice as many ads. The total number of social media mentions increased from 2012 to 2013. I think these data reflect a growing sophistication among digital marketers about social — not only that they’re doing more with it, but they’re being smarter about it. Twitter has always been the more powerful platform for engaging with users in real-time, but because Facebook has dominated marketers’ thinking (and spend) for years, Twitter hasn’t always been embraced as fully as you might expect. Marketers today — the good ones, anyway — are getting more sophisticated about the multi-platform approach that effective social marketing demands, enabling them to be participatory and “native” in a way that isn’t possible when you’re super focused on one platform. It’s exciting.
And, just for good measure, I think Ram’s “God Made a Farmer” ad was my favorite of the night. There were other commercials that grabbed my attention (hello, Calvin Klein) or made me laugh (M&Ms) or disgusted me (not even going to link to it because we ALL know which one I’m talking about, and I don’t want to encourage them by contributing to their video views), but none were as arresting as Ram’s. It wasn’t perfect — notably, there is not much of a Hispanic presence in the ad, which is a huge oversight — but it was such a powerful concept and great execution that it still gets my vote.