Plan for expected moments

Twitter's Dara Nasr outlines how brands can anticipate these key moments to connect with consumers.

Connections lie at the very heart of Twitter. Twitter users connect to those who share the same interests, and – with a billion tweets every two days – those interests can be broad or very niche. All represent opportunities to engage.

When big events happen in the world, they happen on Twitter, and never is that more true than during live sporting events.

We saw a massive 24.9M tweets about the Super Bowl earlier this year, and we’re expecting to see a succession of huge sporting moments blossom across the platform over the course of the World Cup.

The real question is how to engage with users in the lead-up to and during this global event. We have tried to simplify the process with a simple framework establishing key moments in which to connect. These are Everyday, Campaign, Live andUnpredictable.

Unpredictable moments

Unpredictable moments are exactly that… unpredictable. Many marketers worry that – to succeed in real-time marketing – you must master tweeting about the unpredictable. This is not the case. Focusing on the other three is more strategic, less of a drain on resources and easier to manage.

Everyday moments

Being connected to everyday conversations aligns brands with people’s passions and interests. The World Cup may not have started yet, but we are already seeing detailed conversations about everything from the pitches to the balls to team travel. Being connected to these discussions allows a more natural transition to, or association with, those live events when they take place.

Live moments

By “live,” we mean during the games themselves. Big sporting events create huge spikes in conversation on Twitter: 7 out of 10 most tweeted-about moments in 2013 were sports-related. According to Millward Brown’s “Twitter as a Live Medium” study, 66% of Twitter users watch live events and 77% of Twitter users watching live events frequently use hashtags.

Our use of Twitter’s targeting capabilities enables advertisers to be central to the conversations playing out around the World Cup. Acting promptly drives engagement, and a trick here is to plan for expected moments: a goal, for instance, or a red card or team penalty.

Campaign moments

Finally, aligning Twitter with your wider World Cup advertising campaigns can prove successful. We know 90% of online public conversations about TV take place on Twitter, and the synchronicity of watching and tweeting is known as “social acceleration,” which extends potential discovery and reach for brands. In fact, 60% of our users tweet while watching TV, demonstrating the impact of second screening.

A recent piece of Mixed Market Modeling (MMM) research in the telecom space carried out by Marketshare showed that Twitter advertising in conjunction with TV advertising reduces the cost of acquiring new subscribers by 36%, making it a compelling combination.

For soccer fans, Twitter has become a default second screen for shared sporting moments with fans, teams, journalists and players tweeting the latest updates and news, and keeping track of what’s happening.

Embracing connections in today’s world is the key to great marketing. Sports – and the World Cup, in particular – offer brands fantastic opportunities to reach audiences and win hearts and minds.

The investment perspective
Cannes Lions 2014