Newsjacking on Twitter can produce short-term brand benefits, but finding strategies that deliver valuable information in real-time may have longer-term rewards.
So while Oreo pounced on the moment when the lights at the Super Bowl went out, earning it a lot of online comments and offline praise, that kind of magic moment doesn't occur very often. More often than not, companies clamoring on a twitter trend just add to a noisy feed and gain little attention and even less brand traction.
Hilton Hotels employs a different approach, as described in an informative blog post by Vanessa Sain-Dieguez, who leads social media planning and integration for the hotel chain. Using the Twitter handle @HiltonSuggests, Hilton Worldwide shares information in real time about the cities and destinations where its guests go.
"Our global Twitter team monitors Twitter search in real time and engages when we can offer help that matters to the user," Sain-Dieguez says.
She argues that the secret of real-time marketing isn't looking for how to chime in, but discovering ways to add value.
"Giving your audience what they need in a manner that is relevant, timely and useful is a successful long-term strategy that will keep them coming back again and again," according to Sain-Dieguez.
Many firms use Twitter as a listening post for consumer problems. That's fine as far as it goes, Sain-Dieguez says, but why not stretch that idea into proactive ways to be relevant and answer consumer questions.
"If you haven't figured out the service piece yet, make that your mission," she adds, "Successful real-time marketing occurs at the intersection of relevancy for the company, user and time."