March 25, 2015 rockorange

Why Social Media is No Longer Optional

By Rocio Gonzalez

Consider the role brands play around events like the Oscars or the Super Bowl. It’s clear that you can spend millions of dollars in commercials, and still your campaign can be outdone by a single, simple tweet.

We only need to look back a couple of years and remember Super Bowl XLVII, when — shortly after Beyoncé killed her halftime set — the power went out in The Superdome and Oreo seized the moment.

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It proved to be one of the most memorable branded tweets ever, particularly because it filled an unexpected vacuum that arose during a night when brands famously spend millions of dollars on a few seconds of airtime. It was a quick, nimble, and cost-effective piece of marketing. Oreo set the bar for brands to engage with consumers during high-profile live events.

Since then, many have tried to replicate that shine on Twitter and Facebook. Among them, DiGiorno — who could forget how, later that year, they caused a Twitter storm live-tweeting NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live”?

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Big brands have realized the importance of being on high alert during big events like these. Both Twitter and Facebook function as a forum for users to come together and comment, making for valuable tools of influence over the years. They’ve become indispensable elements of the viewer’s experience, a true “second screen experience.”

Last month, Lady Gaga “won” the Oscars and the Internet thanks to social media. Twitter said her Little Monsters generated the highest number of tweets per minute during the show, while Facebook estimates there were 214,000 Gaga-related interactions globally during her breathtaking performance. Lego also had a big night, even though “The Lego Movie” was snubbed. The brand garnered 47,290 mentions on Twitter alone during the Oscars — thanks to a rendition of the movie’s theme, “Everything is Awesome,” which was, appropriately, pretty awesome. It wasn’t nearly as huge as last year’s epic selfie with Ellen DeGeneres, but impressive nonetheless.

All this is to say, brands that are serious about their future need to be serious about social media. As we’ve said in the past, you have to go where consumers are congregating, so when we build a strategy for a client, it’s essential to bake in a social game plan. Social media is an incredible, powerful machine, and those brands that leverage it wisely can quickly rise above the noise. It’s more than just an afterthought. Ignore it at your own peril.

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