Stroll over to internetlivestats.com and take a peek at how many people are active on Facebook, uploading to Instagram, tweeting, and watching videos on YouTube. At the moment I checked, there were 1.4 billion active users on Facebook alone – that’s a hell of a lot of people posting pictures of their newborn babies, click-click-clicking click bait, talking sports and publicly sharing their personal preferences, needs and opinions. All these posts, comments, likes, shares and clicks make up the “moment of now.”
The image above is all too familiar these days. Not only have people buried their noses in their phones, they have buried their lives in social media. They live moment-to-moment, and these moments are key communication opportunities for any and all brands – by communication I mean marketing, reputation and customer service.
So how do you own the “now” moment?
You have to listen right now. I’m not talking about having a Facebook page or Twitter account and posting regularly. I’m talking about listening based on the behaviors and interests of your customers, peers and competitors.
You see, many marketing, communication and customer strategies are based off quarterly research and focus groups, where information is gathered, a strategy is created and a plan is executed – okay, so technically this is brand listening, but it is very static and doesn’t take into account what is happening right now.
Right now news is breaking, trends are taking shape, and people are shopping for new cars, working on home improvement projects, planning weddings and in need of customer service (to name a few).
Right now they are posting, publishing, liking, clicking, commenting on things that identify their needs and desires at this very moment.
And if your brand doesn’t have a social listening (I prefer to call it social intelligence) program, you’re missing out on what is happening right now. Sure, you’re targeting audiences via social ads, sponsored content, etc. – all part of today’s successful marketing campaign – but you need to understand how now is affecting today, tomorrow and the future. Successful marketing has always been tied to relevance. Being relevant in today’s socially connected world takes the insights your customers, peers, and competitors are broadcasting at this moment and using them to communicate back to them right now.
When you understand now you can better serve your customers, you can gain the advantage over your competitors, use that intelligence to develop new programs and products, and protect your brand’s reputation. I’ve developed a social intelligence program that has identified trending scams, revealed planned attacks on the brand, and even identified employees misusing company policies.
If you haven’t invested in understanding now, you can’t own now. And if you don’t own now, someone else or something else will.
About the author:
Billy Draper has worked with more that 100 brands representing 20-plus Fortune 500 companies in 19 industries during the span of his 15-year career. He’s marketing professional with expertise in digital transformation and strategy, creative execution and leadership. In each positions he has held in his career he has developed and implemented groundbreaking initiatives leading to measurable business achievements. He now helps enterprises empowering Customer Powered Marketing solutions with BirdEye.