Making Your Brand A Star

Now that the Academy Awards have come and gone, the unofficial award season comes to a close as we all wait for Spring to arrive. Brands certainly used the season to make huge social media statements early in the year, but have we really evolved to understand the power of real time marketing or are we still counting likes?

Last week during Social Media Week, there were tons of discussions about best practices, opportunities and social success metrics for brands. Not surprisingly content generation was key to most of them. After the Oreo “Lights Out” Superbowl post went viral, brand managers everywhere took notice of the reach of good content. So, when the Grammys and Oscars came around, the social media world was watching closely and prepping brands from AARP to Special K. I suspect there were many discussions about the true merits of real-time content generation compared to planned relevant content creation. (Though arguably, we should be focusing on social media beyond a campaign or event and more as a marketing strategy used to drive business.)

Look at any event and users are discussing and sharing the stars themselves. Interestingly, the most tweeted name during the Academy Awards wasn’t an actor or actress or director or movie – but Adele. Can brands really break through if Jennifer Aniston can’t? It depends on the point of view. A brand might not break through to the whole world, but surely they can be part of their audience’s life.

Much has been made of command centers and operating social media like a newsroom. Although listening will remain paramount to all strong social media programs, the return on that investment may not pay out more than planned content. Monday night JCPenney was one of the few brands that launched a campaign during the telecast. They had an arsenal of social content ready to go. The flip-flop was my personal favorite:

They also used promoted tweets taking advantage of real time events.

Maybe the on-demand creative is more about creatively buying paid social media – not necessarily having an art director on speed dial around the clock. Sure Oreo received a ton of press after the Superbowl, but did they sell more cookies because of it?

There are many costs and risks associated with on-demand content, yet we still know fans respond just as positively to great planned content (and those brand managers are less stressed). We don’t want to lose sight of the simple fact that people don’t share content because they like a brand, they share it because they like their friends. Good creative always finds an audience if it’s during an event or on a Tuesday. Where and when will you put your resources to create it?