The Process of “Real Time”

Preparing, creating and posting social media in real time blew up ever since Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” Super Bowl tweet a few years ago. Everyone lauded it as the future of brand’s on social (don’t get me wrong i thought it was awesome). When they submitted it to Cannes, their were 14 people on the credits for the tweet. FOURTEEN PEOPLE FOR ONE TWEET.

Can you imagine that many people having to touch one piece of creative to get it out at a moment’s notice?

A month later I was at SXSW listening to a panel of “real time experts” discuss how it was the future of social media advertising. I listened to the panel rip the Grammy’s work I did because we didn’t have one “viral” moment like Oreo did. I wanted to scream that there are so many more important numbers: conversion, sustained conversation, engagement, etc. There are ways to suceed without having that one “big” moment. But I guess that’s for another article.

What I’m trying to say is: create the content that’s right for you, and don’t freak out if you don’t have that one “big” moment. Anyways regardless of the reason, the most important thing is being prepared, and having a good process. Here’s what has worked for me:

1. Identify opportunities

Whether it be a sporting event, awards show, royal baby announcement, or new Beyonce album, it’s important to first internally identify the moments that you want to elevate. How do they sync with your overall strategy? Just because Zayn left One Direction and it’s trending on Twitter doesn’t mean your yogurt company needs to say something.

2. Determine likely scenarios

It’s always impossible to tell how something is going to go, but discussing internally the likely scenarios will allow you as a team to be more prepared when they happen. Taylor Swift wins and she has spoken negatively about your brand in the past? You can quickly answer to internal stakeholders why you don’t have anything prepared and decided to pass on the moment.

3. Make creative

Flesh out a look and feel for each of the scenarios that you determined to be worth posting about. While it might be frustrating to do a lot of the work upfront, it will be helpful when the moment comes.

Also try creating copy and design templates in case something unpredictable happens.

4. Get approval

Have the team that’s worked up into this point sit down, and work through to the point that you are all happy.

PRO TIP: once you have all agreed, show someone that hasn’t been involved at all. I swear this is a life saver. Someone in a different department, PR, etc. Sometimes you get so engrained in doing something that you hope resonates that you overlook something.

5. Use a social management tool

To avoid spelling errors, posting wrong image, etc use a social management tool to upload creative before hand and double check everything is correct.

6. Go Live

When the moment happens, push appropriate creative live.

7. Unpredictable situation

If something that you couldn’t have expected happens, fall back on your template, creative options you have already written, and adjust based on what happens.

Before pushing, always always always show at least one other person.

8. Listen and respond

Listen to your consumer. See what they are saying, how they are responding to the creative, and what the conversation is. Respond as appropriate.

9. Tear Down

Discuss with the team how it went, what you could do better in the process, and how to do a better job next time.

That’s it. If you have questions, feel free to hit me on Twitter

*All ideas, thoughts, opinions, and ramblings are my own, and don’t reflect those of my employer, or anyone else.

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