How to Increase Twitter Engagement in Real Time (And Why You Should)

Lauren Owens - August 10, 2015

Social media users thrive on the now, the new and even the next. Unfortunately, many brands are left trying to play catch-up. This invariably leads to brands attempting to capitalize on the momentum around a moment or hashtag by doing or saying something tired or even regrettable. But you don’t have to be that guy in order to engage your audience in real time. You have to be smart about it.

Before You Tweet: Ask Yourself, What Does the Moment Mean?

There are times when social media users simply don’t need to see branded (unsponsored) content. And, sharing branded content around big moments can come off as needy and even off-putting. Because of the sensitivity around many moments, particularly big geo-political moments, its best for brands to lay low, and even put regularly scheduled content on hold until Twitter gets back to business-as-usual.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t, ever, capitalize on the now. You just have to be smart about it. This means putting a smart team in place to manage your brand during big cultural events such as the Super Bowl or the latest version of Sharknado. Before the event, the team should be armed with artwork and consider the various scenarios that could take place at said event, in order to create content around it. Consider that, as Business Insider reported, the big Oreo tweet from a couple of years ago was 18 months in the making.

Connecting with a Niche Audience in Real Time

Of course, we’re not all Oreo, and we don’t all have Nabisco-sized marketing budgets, and that’s OK. Even if you have a smaller, more local or niche audience, you can still take advantage of the moments in your wheelhouse, using the hashtags around conferences and local events. The trick is to be consistent, be friendly, and use the multimedia tools at your disposal, adding video and imagery.

Here, the basic rules still apply:

  • Put a smart team in place that is solely dedicated to representing your brand on social media during the event.
  • Arm this team with the means of making great multimedia content – this doesn’t have to be an expensive videography team, but it should be someone who’s handy with a camera.
  • Engage with users, influencers, even other brands, in a friendly and earnest way.
  • Use a tone that is brand-appropriate and appropriate to the event itself.

Sharing Video in Real Time

Video sharing isn’t only for the big media companies. Consider all of the real-time events that you might take video of and want to share with your audience. This could be anything from a big city corporate run, to an industry conference, or a technology or fashion show. Using an app like SnappyTV, you can upload, edit and share your video easily across your social media platforms. This enables you to be on that corporate run and share the event with others, in real time.

Sponsoring Moments Using Twitter Amplify

Twitter Amplify is a sponsorship model that enables brands to share, and relive, exciting moments from sports and other real-time events. The Amplify model includes brand integration, including a 6-second pre-roll ad. At its launch, Amplify was for big brands only, and now it’s available to all, and is much easier to use, under the name Auto Amplify.

With Auto Amplify, you set your sponsored content up ahead of time – this could be a pre-roll ad, or a sponsored Tweet or hashtag – with the option to automatically promote Amplify tweets. (As with other Twitter ads, you create your audience and set your budget.) Then, when the media company that truly “owns” the moment uploads their video content, your ad could roll ahead of it – depending, of course, upon your budget, the audience and the competition for that spot.

To get an idea of how it works, check out this Amplify Tweet here, added by Fox Soccer promoted by Heineken:

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