Mat Zucker of OgilvyOne was lamenting his clients’ reluctance/inability to sweep into action when breaking news or events spur conversation about them online. He used as his example MTV’s lack of immediate response to the Kanye West incident at the Video Music Awards.
His proposed solution was a social media “SWAT team” charged with swinging into action to respond to such events, and turn them into potential money-making opportunities.
Most large companies are afraid of immediate, targeted response to breaking events involving their brand.
Marketing efforts are coordinated and planned for months or years with ad agencies and PR firms, who aren’t equipped to handle “rapid response.”
How does a company address the ongoing, immediate conversations happening about them in the digital space? The solution seems obvious to people like Zucker–and to us at Raidious: employ a team of content producers adept at all the social media platforms to respond to such events in the company’s voice.
The internet is not a media buy; at its most basic level it is a means of communication between two people. As companies are increasingly aware, they are vastly outgunned by the masses. If 100,000 people tweet about your brand, or three million people view and comment on a YouTube video criticizing your company, they can do untold damage to your marketing efforts and the money you’ve spent on them.
The alternative is to engage in the conversation and leverage these types of events into customer service opportunities and reputation management.
Ultimately, this parlays into monetization: you are talking directly with customers (and potential customers) while the topic of your brand is fresh in their minds. They see you as engaged and responsive, and are more likely to begin or continue to patronize your brand and services.
This opportunity is fleeting; the “news cycle” is very, very short. MTV waited a month to wade into the conversation–presumably so they and their strategists could come to an agreement on the response–and by then it was too late.
Rather than jumping on the loose ball and recovering the fumble, they watched from the sidelines and missed a potential game-winning touchdown opportunity.
The ability to be agile with your message its platforms, and to employ rapid response when customers are voluntarily engaged with your brand, are the keys to grabbing the pigskin and hustling it into the monetization end zone.