Real-Time Marketing…What Is It?

March 23, 2015

While social media shares characteristics of traditional marketing methods, there’s one element that sets it apart from the rest: it’s a living, breathing tool in a real-time atmosphere that is constantly updating and refreshing. It’s this characteristic that is allowing brands and businesses to further connect with their consumers and the world around them as their lives unfold.

This concept is the fuel behind one of social media marketing’s hottest trends: real-time marketing.

What is it?

Real-time marketing involves unplanned or impromptu content which correlates to current or recent cultural happenings. Brands use real-time marketing to connect with conversations and discussions surrounding “trending” topics, such as entertainment, sporting, political or technological events.

One of the best examples of real-time marketing is Oreo’s now famous tweet during Super Bowl XLVI. While gameplay was paused due to a power outage, Oreo tweeted an image of an Oreo cookie on a black background, with the caption “You can still dunk in the dark”. The tweet garnered more than 15,000 retweets and is considered one of the best “advertisements” from the game.

How do I do it?

As social media in itself is already a real-time platform, real-time marketing is an easily adaptable strategy for most brands. Observe what is trending in both the world and social media; Twitter and Facebook have sections on their homepages spotlighting topics gaining a lot of buzz on their networks. To get started, try using a trending hashtag within a tweet from your account or create a graphic that connects to a current topic to share on Instagram or Facebook – these are both simple ways to participate.

If a major event is taking place, have a team member on hand to participate in social media conversations and take advantage of any messaging opportunities. During the Super Bowl, Oreo had a 15 person social media team ready to respond to any situation. They saw an opportunity to connect to an event millions of people were watching while also subtly promoting the Oreo brand.

What else should I know?

While real-time marketing is a popular tactic, it may not be the right fit for your business. As it’s typically executed while events are unfolding or shortly after recent events, real-time marketing requires less time for strategizing than your regular planned content. Make sure your messaging is still appropriately in tune with both your company’s values and your audience’s expectations. Don’t try to connect to an event or topic that is not supportive of your brand’s beliefs.

Is real-time marketing and social media still a new concept to you? At Fresh Creative, we can help with every step of your social media strategy. Contact us today to get started!




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Fresh Creative is a full-service digital marketing agency serving international, national, and local clients. Local areas include Lebanon, Hershey, Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Lititz and Reading, Pennsylvania.