Thursday 08 December 2016

Friday Five: Elements for Real-Time Engagement

Whether it was the Super Bowl, the Oscars, a trending topic or situational response, real-time engagement efforts are at an all-time high for brands right now. While it’s difficult to predict the unpredictable or prepare for the unknown, there are many strategies that brand teams can put in place in order to best adapt to the changes of social media.

These five considerations will help organize a brand for real-time engagement.

1. Compatibility Between the Opportunity Brand Objectives – Lauren Ross

Evaluate the event or trend in the context of your brand. Can the brand add value to the conversation or offer a unique position? Does the opportunity fit within the brand’s content and engagement strategy? Just because the topic is generating a lot of buzz, doesn’t mean it’s relevant to your brand’s audience or warrants involvement on behalf of a brand.

2. Building the Real-Time Engagement ”Dream Team” – Gina Gretchko

Pick your players wisely. Day-of, your real-time team should reflect back to your objectives for the program, ensuring every player has a deliberate purpose. Take account of the resources needed to achieve your desired results, and consider various scenarios that could come into play. Carefully arrange the right team of disciplines – from strategy and creative, to legal and brand representatives, to community management – and confirm how much support is required from each. Then, work to ensure the assigned players have a clear picture of expectations and their roles, understanding how each might affect one another. At the end of the day, a truly integrated approach will avoid missteps in execution and be critical to your success.

3. Planning with Fluidity – Annie Elzey

Eighty percent of the work should be done before the moment takes place. This includes identifying the value your brand can bring to the conversation and how to deliver that value with content. It is possible to produce skeleton creative templates, such as an image that can be quickly manipulated for real-time publishing. The team must be able to adjust pre-planned content to adapt to unforeseen situations, audience reactions and emerging trends. If a Twitter hashtag emerges, a brand team should consider how it fits within the conversation, while adding value. On the contrary, efforts can quickly decline in quality when brands try to force relevance. Successful real-time engagement relies on planning as much as possible and instinct. Though, in both cases, process should be put in place to allow plans and instincts to be double-checked before moving forward to ensure accuracy, ethical/regulatory compliance and authenticity.

4. Persistent Measurement – Nick Lucido

It’s essential to consider ways to measure your efforts from the get-go. After setting the objectives and goals for the activation, consider what the key performance indicators of these tactics will look like. Determining this framework and ensuring you have the people and platforms necessary to obtain this data will help your analysts pull the proper figures in real time. After the activation is complete, consider developing a recap report that includes benchmarks for future activations to help more accurately determine success.

5. Transparency Stakeholder Communication – Bill Mrazek

It goes without saying that brand teams need to constantly communicate changes in strategy and newly discovered opportunities; but it’s crucial to take that a step further and maintain communication with all stakeholders involved (partner agencies, client contacts, brand influencers, etc.). Maintaining communication and transparency throughout activations will ensure a consistent brand voice and messaging, not to mention allows everyone involved to make adjustments when a tactical audible is called.

These steps will help a brand prepare for real-time engagement opportunities, as well as unearth any weaknesses and/or opportunities that were unforeseen.

Where do you see real-time engagement from brands moving? And how have you seen real-time engagement from brands evolve?

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