“Mobile and social are disrupting everything, redrawing the consumer journey in ways that force marketers to adapt and innovate in real time” – Brian Solis, analyst at Altimer Group, helping leaders thrive with disruptive technologies through research and advisory work.
When mobile meet social media
We are doing more with our smartphones than ever. According to the annual study of Wave 9, we use our smartphone most of all to use instant messaging, watch videos, share photos and share our location. In other words, people live in the moment. And what is the best platform for us to share our experiences? Social Media.
The challenge for businesses and brands is therefore to find those moments – moments that people spend with their family, moments of economic and political changes, moments at work, moments of leisure (etc.) – capitalize on them, understand the behaviors during these moments and make them actionable. This is why companies shouldn’t neglect social media activation, curation and monitoring.
In the meantime, we are noticing a shift in expectations people have regarding brands. People expect to be bothered less about the latest product news or deals. On the contrary, it is interesting to see that consumers are asking not only for support in the product or service but also for escape from their daily routine. They want to relate to the brands in much diverse ways through social media. Brands are therefore expected to play both the customer service expert and the lifestyle disruptor.
All the data generated in real time on social media is massive. In 1 hour, Facebook counts 3 million shared links, Twitter computes 21 million tweets, Instagram adds up 146 million likes and 4 million comments, and YouTube gets 167 million views. The statistics speak for themselves. Big data is at the heart of social media and builds strong insights on consumers’ emotions and needs. Hence, through social media monitoring and analytics, brands and businesses hold a multitude of opportunities at each hour of the day to capitalize on real-time events and deliver a relevant message to the right person at the right time : this is what we call real-time marketing.
If you are working in marketing and PR, your actions should be focused on developing a business culture that encourages proactiveness and reactiveness: read potential buying signals, engage reporters to shape stories, listen and instantly engage to your customers.
We are recognizing a mutation of traditional advertising toward new practices catching people attention on daily contact points through micro moments. The key to this particular trend? To be there when consumers need your content the most, and to deliver the right information to the right audience at the right time, that is, be the finest real-time marketer! This is all a question of capturing and engaging your audience during those micro-moments, those events in consumers’ day-to-day lives that prompt them to take action: search a product, notice a want or need, buy something, and most of it all build affinity with a brand. To be moment-ready, you should understand when, where and why micro-moments occur for your consumer and how your brand fits in. Your brand should be there across the entire customer journey, so that at each stage, your relationship with the consumer grows stronger. All in all, you need to focus on one key word : “valuable”. What value does your social content provide to your followers? Does it fit with your follower’s lifestyle? Do you create true experiences?
If you are considering becoming a real-time marketer, focusing on the now is crucial. Nowadays, ideas must emerge in minutes rather than days or weeks. This is why many brands have war rooms where clever content is being strategized and planned. It can sound illogical, but yes, you can plan real-time social media marketing. While you might think brands come up with incredible content on the spur of the moment a lot of planning goes into real-time marketing. Although the content is released in real-time, it is not necessarily made in real-time. You should capitalize on trending topics that your followers can relate with and research upcoming events that your fan base will be talking about. These events do not have to line up with your industry. For example, Kit Kat has nothing to do with the Super Bowl but its fans watch it. Shortly after news broke that the iPhone 6 plus could bend in your pocket the brand tweeted the following:
This type of marketing practice is called newsjacking, capitalizing on the popularity a news story to generate tons of media coverage and amplify your sales and marketing success. Every inbound marketing should be doing news jacking, tweet chats, and think conversation, not campaign. The idea is to build your brand as a relationship.
How to converse with your community in real-time
Identify your potential consumers and understand your community, detect micro-moments during which your brand can deliver valuable information, build a plan, choose best channels for your positioning, be authentic and most of all create conversations with your community through live streaming, live messaging, live location sharing.
Life is about moments. In fact, millennials value experience over owning things. Sharing our every moments on social media became the new living. People love to feel part of a “moment,” and live videos give them that perspective.
Live streaming can give your followers a glance into your world in real-time. Nowadays, all social media platforms are fighting to be the go-to platform for live content. Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Snapchat, YouTube Live and Periscope are examples of successful social media platforms for live streaming.
The power of live streaming on social media platforms is tremendous. You can interact in real-time with thousands, nay millions, of potential or existing consumers. However, if you’re investing time in live-streaming, make sure you do it cleverly. Live-streaming is a seamless part of your content strategy. Make sure the content you are sharing live has value and is enough stimulating to be shared live. Don’t be afraid to experiment at first to understand what value you are bringing to your audience with each type of stream. As most live-streaming platforms have a chat feature, ensure as well you’re engaging with your fans.
Many businesses just take advantage of those new social media tools to follow the trends but do not understand the real value behind it. Live streaming give sense to the moment on social media. It builds an experience for your audience and convert this same audience into followers or customers.
Chatbots represent a major component of staying connected with people 24/7. Brands are not managed by super-heroes who don’t need their dose of sleep or free time to feel ready for their next day. Additionally, no human being is capable of answering to all users queries instantaneously.
Chatbots are live chats built with artificial intelligence. This technology is your best friend for engaging a personalized conversation right away, catching your audience attention at a micro-moment.
Messaging is interesting because suddenly you are talking to someone who has a personality. Chatbots need to bring value to a user by delivering quick, on-the-go and personalized engagements, and not just replicate what a business already offer in other channels. We can make great use of chatbots to suggest products to consumers, to provide customer support, to spread news, evoke a brand’s positioning and much more. For example, Patron Tequila made a great use of Twitter’s new feature aiming at promoting ads designed to pull consumers into personalized experiences within direct messaging. They created a Bot Tender that help you with cocktail recommendation with the Patron Tequila.
Traditionally, messaging apps like WhatsApp allowed users to share their location so that people could meet. Facebook started to launch in 2014 “nearby friends”, allowing people to receive a notification when friends were in the same area. Last March, Facebook introduced as well Live Location in Messenger. It makes it simple for people to share where they are with their friends and family. One month ago, this was Snapchat’s turn to launch a new feature about live location. Indeed, Snap Map lets you see what is going on in a given place in real time. Snap Map is capitalizing on the moments lived by people from any places. You can instantly see what experiences are living not only your friends but also people all over the world and where it happens. The new feature could become very useful among brands looking for new ways to benefit from live updates from across the world as well as for location marketing actions. Nescafé was the first French brand to pull out Snap Map. The idea was for people to get together in a shared location and try to win a NESCAFÉ full coffee break kit to share with their entourage.
Live streaming, live messaging and live location can be described therefore as “moment marketing”. As real-time marketer, you should follow closely these 3 trends in order to capitalize on real-time events and catch the attention of your audience “in the moment” with valuable content. Remember that every great business is built on trust and trust fosters brand loyalty. We can guarantee you that tech disruptors and marketing gurus are far from over to innovate and change our habits and possibilities. Namely, AR and VR are new and exciting ways to immerse and excite audiences. Facebook clearly sees a big future in virtual reality social media. Their social virtual application, Oculus Rooms, allows users to hang out with friends in a virtual environment. In that shared space friends can draw, play games, share photos, and experience 360 video together. Conclusion? The role of live video and real-time engagement will undoubtedly rise and revolutionize the way brands interact with customers.
— By Laurie Hasid