Discovery: Real Time Social Media
“To build customer loyalty; to build a brand — we need to keep customers engaged in a continuous dialogue.”
This statement was written in 1995; when the internet was still in its infancy, before social media existed and when marketing communications was still anchored on traditional forms of marketing and enormous media budgets.
In 2014, the rapid evolution of technology and the fundamental changes in consumer behaviour have forced marketers to adapt and importantly, the above statement is in fact more relevant now than ever before.
Technology’s rapid evolution and the emergence of social media has also created an environment where customers are always accessible; always connected, where the power is firmly in their hands; where their voice is always heard. As a result they expect relevant and sometimes personalised, in-the-moment communication from brands. A real-time social media strategy has become more and more essential for marketers.
The Discovery team in eightytwenty over the last number of months has been rolling out a real time social media offering for a number of our larger clients. Its purpose is simply to start and join in relevant conversations and to engage with customers using topical content. This short article will detail what is included in this new initiative and what it means for brands today and in the future.
In the last 5 years especially, marketers have seen an increasing consumer dissonance from traditional marketing and acknowledged its continuing threat to brands and agencies alike. We need smarter ways in which to speak with our customers, to add value and to ultimately create lasting relationships. Social media presents marketers with that opportunity; an ever increasing and highly active audience.
With a social media planner, a social media manager, a team of community managers and a creative studio, we offer a comprehensive social media service that allows clients to remain front of mind when it matters the most. The team is supported by a real time process that includes content planning and twice daily editorial meetings for each client in addition to a number of social media intelligence tools that allows the team to monitor and analyse social conversation. The process and tools in place allow us to supplement already planned content with ad hoc, highly topical editorial content and respond to requests and mentions online. Subsequently, the insight garnered from the listening and analysis equips us with a clear picture of the brand sentient and health. Once published, content is then performance measured and fed back into the creative teams and community managers as iterative learnings.
In the time since we have launched our real time social media offering, we have seen the dramatic affect it has on our clients’ relationships with their customers. Clients have better opportunities to create authentic relationships and with a future almost certainly dominated by mobile, the importance of real time in social media and indeed broader marketing communications will become patent. With less importance on planned campaigns and more attention of responding to trends and shifts in consumer behaviour, real time will become a cornerstone of the new marketing agenda.
In as little as 5 months some of our clients have gained 30,000+ followers and have been recognised as major players in social media. We can firmly attribute this success and growth in part to real time social media content. The ‘always on’ approach has accelerated follower growth and increased brand advocacy significantly in just 5 months.