Whether you call it real-time marketing, newsjacking or joining the conversation surrounding a news event, marketers are looking for opportunities to insert their brands into online banter about current events.
Typically, the successful examples, like Oreo’s tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout or Arby’s shout out to Pharrell Williams and his hat during the 2014 Grammy’s, can be traced back to smart advance planning.
To help with that task, Twitter recommends creating a detailed editorial calendar, and its United Kingdom and Ireland small and medium business team has created an interactive calendar tool, the #OwnTheMoment Planner.
As you would expect, the calendar is Euro-focused with reminders for the World Snooker Championships (this Saturday!) and the Eurovision Song Contest Final (May 10). We weren’t able to find a U.S. version — and Twitter’s PR department declined to comment – but it’s likely only a matter of time before Twitter pulls together a version for businesses on this side of the pond.
The European version is quite basic with filters for seasonal, television, sporting, cultural, business and Twitter events (including Twitter for business seminars). And some of the suggestions are very simplistic. For instance, for April 1 it recommended: “Include the #AprilFools in your Tweets sharing funny and engaging content to drive engagement.”
Even so, it’s a handy illustration of the need to prepare ahead of time if you want to be ready to react to real-time marketing opportunities.
However, one London-based marketing professional warns that focusing on the calendar can be counter-productive. In reaction to Twitter’s #OwnTheMoment tool, Stephen Tive Pirrie, director of social strategy at AnalogFolk, wrote that savvy marketers are wise to avoid popular events because of the competition — competition that will grow even stronger if Twitter’s tool is used widely.
Pirrie wrote that he encourages his team to focus on trending topics, and prepare to move quickly when opportunities arise for relevant insertions. So when a solar flare gave the UK a Northern Light show in February, it took the AnalogFolk team only 25 minutes to conceive and send this for UK paint company Dulux:
Colours worth waiting for. #NorthernLights #aurora #colour pic.twitter.com/fPwXRCHdPi
— Dulux (@duluxuk) February 28, 2014
Dulux, Pirrie said, was the only brand in the #northernlights conversation — “Brands hadn’t already saturated the hashtag with irrelevant content desensitizing consumers to relevant content” — and the tweet became its most popular of the year.
“So don’t plan for the moment,” Pirrie wrote. “Plan for the process so that when you spot something that others aren’t seeing you can move quickly. Ignore the moments others are championing and own your own conversation.”