Get on your bikes – real-time marketing is key to social engagement

The riders in the Tour de France passed along the top of the road where I live today and, although the action itself lasted less than two minutes, the area was in lockdown from seven in the morning. Thousands – literally thousands – thronged to our little part of North East London to line the streets, cheer and wave their flags.

And then the rain started to fall. It didn’t dampen the spirits but it did show how seizing every marketing opportunity can really pay off. The staff of an estate agent lining the route were despatched to hand branded umbrellas to the waiting crowd and then take photos to be shared on social platforms and, no doubt (or at least I hope) sent to the local newspaper as part of their coverage.

Okay so it’s not every day that you get a major sporting event like the Tour de France passing through but that doesn’t mean to say that managing your marketing ‘in the moment’ shouldn’t be a priority.

“Newsjacking” an event or a news story as a hook for your PR or marketing message can help you gain valuable PR exposure and engagement on social platforms. Brands and agencies that resort to pre-scheduling every post fail to understand how real-time marketing can help make their business or their clients’ business part of the social conversations that satisfies people’s hunger for discussion around news and events.
The message is you need to identify the opportunity and then be quick – quick to organise, quick to broadcast and quick to engage.

Top marks went to biscuit brand Oreo last year year when they responded to a blackout at the stadium staging the US Super Bowl with a Tweet showing a picture of an Oreo with the caption “you can still dunk in the dark”. This was retweeted 15 thousand times and earned twenty thousand likes on Facebook during the black-out. This was a brand that spotted an opportunity at a moment’s notice and captured it.

Whether you’re an Oreo or an SME, you can no longer afford not to be alive to the power of real-time marketing.