6 Ways Marketers Can React in Real Time to Social Media Search Results
Many fans happily used four-letter words on Twitter to describe how excited they were on to be able to buy Activision's "Call of Duty: Black Ops" on its release date, Nov. 9. While the bawdy vocabulary points to the fact that a brand can't control exactly how it's portrayed in social media, it also points to how a proactive approach can aid in positive perceptions before a marketer needs to worry about real-time social media posts in search results.
In other words, Activision's groundwork before launching the new game—such as providing pre-populated tweets, emails and posts for Facebook and MySpace with links to the game trailer, "There's a Soldier in All of Us"—exemplify how a marketer can influence what consumers will see in real time on search engine results pages (SERPs) that now include what's being said on Twitter, viewed on YouTube, or posted to other social media sites.
"Real-time search amplifies consumer opinions by bringing them directly to the SERP," says Dan Malachowski, senior marketing strategist for Chicago-based SEM firm Performics. "Thus, real-time search can potentially turn into a real-time brand gripe engine. This makes managing brand reputation on the social sites more important than ever. Being proactive is the best way for marketers to ensure that they won't have to be reactive."
To provide advice on how marketers can approach real time search and SEM with an eye toward customer relationship management, Malachowski is joined by Angela Brown, marketing manager at agencyQ, a Washington, D.C.-based digital marketing agency; and David Meerman Scott, a Lexington, Mass.-based marketing strategist and author whose most recent title is "Real-Time Marketing & PR."
1. Get a handle on Twitter handles, Facebook pages and vanity URLs, Malachowski urges. For instance, the fact that Activision hosted the trailer on www.callofduty.com/blackops was more proactive than not having the Twitter handle @blackops, which belongs to a "cat" and is very similar to the top worldwide trending topic of #blackops. While the branded account @codblackops tweets about the game, @blackops tweets: "Stupid gamers follow me 'cuz they don't know I'm a cat. I think that's funny." (The COD site's "Forums" tab does redirect readers to "community manager" @JD_2020 to chat about the game.)