Twitter focuses on real-time

25 September 2014

SAN FRANCISCO: Microblogging site Twitter is looking to build on some real-time marketing triumphs at high-profile events and to extend this activity into a range of occasions, a leading executive has said.

In the 20 months since biscuit brand Oreo caught social media's attention with its famous "You can still dunk in the dark" tweet during a power outage at the 2013 Super Bowl, marketers have been looking for ways to emulate that success.

Ross Hoffman, director of brand strategy at Twitter, told Advertising Age that in addition to popular sporting and entertainment events – this year's Academy Awards brought another much-retweeted post in the form of the host's selfie with the stars, using a Samsung phone – he was exploring new avenues such as product launches and event-based sponsorships.

"When marketers are integrated in television, they're running media across the entire web for a specific moment in time," he said. "Twitter can be a connective tissue across all of that."

Accordingly, Twitter has developed a "war room" it calls Hatch to offer expertise and advice and encourage marketers to take the plunge. Hoffman stressed the importance of advance planning.

"Probably about a quarter in advance, we'll prepare a laundry list of questions for a brand and an agency really getting at the root of what they want to do: [whether] it's around an event, a product release, a key time of the year," he explained. "We want to think about the innovation that we can push with them."

By the time of the event itself "we'll have one to three pretty good ideas about where we'll be going". And, equally importantly, processes will be in place to deal with the marketer's nightmare of it all going wrong.

On that point, Hoffman said he was starting to see a better relationship between marketers and their legal departments as they reached a better understanding of the platform and its possibilities.

He also suggested that brands that were regular Twitter users were best-placed to tap into prominent occasions in real-time, when paying for a presence was going to be significantly higher.

"If you're continually building that following, building the reach, building that muscle memory, getting your agencies more nimble, that's when you can exploit those major moments," he said.

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff