Reactive marketing or real-time marketing, call it what you want – brands are increasingly trying to spot opportunities to seize upon an event or piece of news to get themselves noticed; to cut through the clutter in marketing jargon. Not only can a winning piece of content gain a lot of traction on social media – it can also be picked up by media and news sites, thus adding a wider PR aspect to it as well.
The trouble is it’s not easy. Marketing managers like to see what’s trending on Twitter and see how they can get their brand involved. Certain days and events are easy to take advantage of, such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day. This piece of content from Papa John’s Pizza is a perfect example.
This works well as it shows creativity, fans and followers will like it and it ties the product back to the event. However, something like this isn’t going to go ‘viral’.
On the other hand there are other big events that occur as well as daily trending topics that marketing managers look at and wonder how they can be part of the “conversation”. Events and topics that mightn’t easily lend themselves to their product or service. The word contrived springs to mind. If your company can’t naturally or cleverly add something to tweets around a hashtag then leave well alone. It will come across as salesy, at the very worst open to ridicule and most likely get lost in all the other (more relevant) tweets around the event.
Rather than focusing on these daily trending topics the focus should be on regular, popular, non-trending hashtags relevant to your topic, brand or industry. Are you involved in the food industry? Then use hashtags such as #food #foodporn and not what is related to Madonna falling off a stage. This is adding your relevant tweets to a regular and relevant topic.
It is the bigger brands who can more easily get noticed as they have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of fans and followers they can leverage which is more likely to get picked up by media and marketing professionals on a global basis. Also they invest heavily in agencies which have a dedicated team of account managers and creative directors ready to produce a clever image to push to aforementioned millions of fans and followers. The famous Oreo Super Bowl tweet didn’t happen without serious investment.
So how do you give yourself the best chance of getting noticed? If you are going to try here are a few tips.
1. Have a sense of humour
People want to be entertained and will applaud a clever post or tweet. Some brand managers may be reluctant to show any kind of edginess and instead fall back on
bland safe copy. For SMEs the tone of the company will very often reflect that of the owner as it will be he or she who manages their social.
2. Have a lot of followers
OK so this is easy to say but harder in practice. A small business might struggle to get tens of thousands of followers but the higher the number of fans and followers the greater chance it has of being shared to wider audience.
3. Tweet and Tweet again
If your reactive piece of marketing was popular the first time then tweet it again, as at best about 25% of your followers saw the tweet. This will increase it’s chances of being noticed and shared. Reword it and go again later in the day or at a different time the next day. E-mail or CC content aggregating sites in your tweet if you think your idea is really clever – the feedback from your first posts will give you some indication.
4. Be tuned in
Always be aware of what is going on in the world especially when it comes to pop culture and entertainment news. Twitter is a great source of information to find out what is going on and for spotting opportunities.
5. Get a second opinion
Check with somebody who isn’t afraid to offer constructive criticism. What you think is hilarious but be quite the opposite.
Here are six of my favourite examples of reactive marketing to inspire you.