If you’ve been skeptical of Twitter, here’s a new research study that might put your money where your doubt is. Well, not exactly, but let’s get to the data.
When watching real-time sporting or media events, the average consumer WILL feel more positive about a brand after social marketing touches. Look at the love OREO generated by tweeting the now famous “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet during the power outage at the Super Bowl this year.
Maybe you missed it. Maybe you weren’t ON social media during the Super Bowl. But a lot of people were. And they were participating in this ever more popular phenomenon of live-tweeting during an event. There’s even an app for it. (GetGlue) So let’s see what the recent data indicates for this type of real-time media.
It seems that sporting events offer the simplest tie-ins, if those are even required. The idea is, that while an event is going on, primarily on television, the audience will be participating in conversations and opinions about the event (or episode in the case of a hit show like Mad Men) and even if a brand isn’t a paid sponsor of the show, they can get into the action at the very low-cost of tweeting or posting on Facebook during the event. Certainly, Twitter has the most immediacy with its highly evolved use of #hashtags. Smart marketers are including the desired hashtag (example: #madmen) in your tweets. Then, even if you didn’t pay a cent to be an advertiser on AMC’s networks, you can connect with others who are watching and commenting on the show.
It’s a kind of guerrilla marketing tactic that is perfect for online/tv media. Let’s look at the effectiveness of this type of advertising.
Those are pretty strong numbers. I suppose the negative messaging might have a similar damaging effect on the perception. As when one of the American car makers has an add for some huge, gas-guzzling muscle truck and the #hashtags turn nasty. So a brand, if they are considering getting involved in real-time marketing, need to have a contingency plan should the sentiment head in the negative direction. And of course, occasionally the viral aspect of social media will take control, even if the brand has a plan in place and tries to sway the conversation back to the positive. There is a double edge sword when getting involved in public sentiment and marketing with real-time social media. The examples for McDonalds and Chevy Tahoe show just how far the virus can go, especially when the news is bad. It seems, social media is primed for the sensational. And the takedown trend is towards BAD. Oreo bucked the trend in a HUGE positive hit. But the proving grounds are littered with more examples of what went wrong, rather than what went right.
Yes, get involved if you are clear what your goals are. Have a plan if things go awry. And then see where it takes you. Marketers cannot afford to ignore the real-time trend that is happening with mass media. The ignorance could just be what turns a random comment into PR nightmare.
So, when you’re playing with real-time marketing and the volatile temper of the American public, you’d better have your social plan well mapped out and your social SWAT team in place should things not go as planned.
On the other hand, if you’re a little business selling pizzas locally, tweeting #madmen during Sunday’s airing of the new Mad Men might not be such a bad risk. What’s the worst that could happen? Oh wait, don’t answer that question.