How Real Time Does Real-Time Social Media Have To Be?

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real time social media

The “be everywhere” epidemic begs the question for marketers and small business alike: How real time does real-time social media have to be?

Is it possible, feasible, or realistic to be a 24/7 brand or business?

And if we’re not able to be “on” 24 hours a day, seven days a week, how can our businesses embrace the immediacy of the internet?

Today, we’ll answer all of those questions on real-time social media and more …


Real-Time Social Media Stats

First and foremost, to understand the magnitude of what’s being published in real time on social media, I urge you to take a look at this interactive site: Social Media in Real Time.

Presented by Coupofy

Staggering, isn’t it?

Pew Research took a look at social media from 2005 – 2015 and uncovered more on social growth:

  • Nearly two-thirds of American adults (65%) use social networking sites
  • Young adults (ages 18 to 29) are the most likely to use social media – fully 90% do
  • Social media usage among those 65 and older has more than tripled since 2010

The takeaway?

“10 years ago on 7% of the US population used one or more social networking sites. Now that figure has increased almost tenfold, to 65%. Of those who use the internet a massive majority of 76% of American’s use social media.”

As the proliferation of social media and social media marketing grows, how will your brand continue to deliver dynamic content across the web?

3 Ways To Plan For Real-Time Social Media

It sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Planning for real-time social media?

Believe it or not, real-time social media isn’t some spur-of-the-moment awesome sauce tweet that sends your brand into the stratosphere.

As we learned with the Oreo “dunk in the dark” tweet, many brands have war rooms where clever content is being strategized and planned.

Here’s how you, too, can prepare to capitalize on real-time social media content …

Use these 3 tactics for better real-time social media marketing.Click To Tweet

1) Newsjacking

Though not one of my personal favorites, newsjacking has become a popular way to use trending topics for your own gain.

10 years ago on 7% of the US population used one or more social networking sites. Now that figure has increased almost tenfold, to 65%. Of those who use the internet a massive majority of 76% of American's use social media.

(Source: David Meerman Scott)

Jeremy Pearcy, CEO of Reservations at the Point, explains real-time marketing and newsjacking this way:

“Since consumer attention is already focused on the trending topic, or large scale event, and they identify with it, real-time marketing just takes advantage of what is already working to provoke engagement.”

 Just be careful that you are planning to newsjack something carefully.

Remember when Delta Airlines made the gaffe about giraffes in Ghana?

Don’t let that be you!

2) Tweet Chats

Since Twitter Chats happen in real time, they’re a great way to be seen, connect with like-minded peeps, and position yourself as a thought leader.

UpContent shares five ways to find the right Twitter Chat for your business or brand:

  1. Paying attention to your newsfeed. By participating in the Twitter chats your audience enjoys, you can nurture and strengthen those relationships.
  2. Using Twitter’s advanced search to find hashtags related to your niche or interests.
  3. Searching on Chat Salad or Tweet Reports.
  4. Taking a look at this carefully curated Twitter Chat Schedule doc.
  5. Tweeting out to your audience asking for recommendations.

As with any real-time social media content, Twitter Chats (good ones, that is) take time and planning!

3) Think Conversation

It’s no secret that here at B Squared Media our marketing mantra and tagline is, “Think Conversation, Not Campaign.”™

For our team, this means finding ways to enter into relevant, timely and valuable conversations with potential clients for our company and the companies of our clients.

How do we do that?

By …

  • Looking at/using trending hashtags
  • Using social listening and keyword monitoring tools (we love Sprout Social Teams for this!)
  • Checking out influencers, their content, and their Twitter Lists (we love Buzzsumo and Affinio for this!)
  • Putting a focus on real-time responses — or as real time as possible; we like to answer all incoming inquiries within 3 hours
  • Using segmentation to ensure we’re delivering the right content at the right time to the right audience
  • Remembering that social media is the direct line to the consumer — use it to test, for market research and as a playground for ideas!

Which leads me to consumer expectations when it comes to real-time social media …

What Do Consumers Want?

It’s pretty simple. Consumers want to use social media as a customer service communication tool (when it comes to connecting with companies).

But when Socialbakers published their Socially Devoted Index, customer care and response rates were found to be pretty pitiful:

  • Only 59.4% of queries posted via Facebook got a response
  • While 18.1% for those communicated through Twitter were answered

When you make it a priority to use real-time social media to connect with customers and give great customer care, it does make a difference.

Socialbakers says this about being “socially devoted”:

“If your brand responds to at least 65% of audience questions on Facebook and/or Twitter, you qualify as Socially Devoted. The benefits of Social Devotion are clear – Socially Devoted brands get 3.5 times more Interactions than their less-responsive counterparts.”

Combining customer care (showing up) with real-time social media (showing up where you’re wanted, when you’re wanted) is one surefire way to garner success with social media.

These 3 ideas can help with real-time social media marketing -- even if you can't be 'on' 24/7.Click To Tweet

What real-time social media tactics does your company use to meet potential customers online? Let us know in the comments section below!


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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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