2013 has passed and will never return again. Perhaps it was a successful year for your brand’s real time marketing efforts, or perhaps it was a less-than-stellar year for said efforts. Regardless, it is a new year, and 2014 will present you with new opportunities to excel in your real time marketing efforts.
1. Make Sure you Know Who You Want to Talk To
When it comes to real time marketing, before you even figure out what your message is you need to know who your audience is. Are you trying to talk to existing customers? Or do you want to use real-time marketing as a means to reach out to new followers? Determine who you want to hear your message then find where they live online. If you have a product that parents might love, head to Pinterest. If you want to reach out to teens, try Instagram, or tumblr.
Now that you know who you want to hear your message and you have staked out some real estate where your target audience lives online, listen to them. Read their tweets, blogs, and other conversations. Find out what they care about it. What drives your potential fans and followers to action?
3. Pick an Objective
You have listened to your audience and you think you have a fairly good feel for what they care about as it pertains to products like yours. Pick a purpose for your real time marketing efforts — what action do you want your followers to take? Do you want them to learn more about your brand? Do you want them to purchase a new product? Create an objective that keeps your fans or potential fans in mind
4. Plan ahead for the unplannable
Real time marketing may seem to be the one aspect of your marketing strategy that is unplannable. Responding to events as they happen in real-time is the ultimate test, in many ways, of an organizations ability to improvise. However, you can drastically improve your real time marketing efforts by planning out work flows, policies, and communication channels that will allow your teams to know exactly how to respond to real time opportunities as they present themselves.
5. Be a person
It is important as you engage with your followers in real time that your interactions with them be genuine. It is not enough to simply “be a part of the conversation.” You need to contribute to the conversation in an honest, and helpful way. Your followers do not want your rote, legal approved replies to their discussions. They want you to behave the way a person would. Be helpful, be nice, and always provide your followers with real time content that is of actual value to them.
6. Don’t use a real time tragedy as a marketing opportunity.
From SpaghettiO’s tweeting on Pearl Harbor Day to American Apparel’s Hurricane Sandy Sale, real time marketing history is littered with the bad attempts to tie marketing into tragic events. Unless your brand has a very close tie to a particular tragedy, do not use a painful event as a marketing opportunity. Remember — be a person.
Speaking of real time marketing, learn the right and wrong way to newsjack with our helpful guide here.