Image via Huntley Paton under CC BY-SA 2.0

Why Brands Need to Own the Moment on Social Media

With the current obsession with Netflix—42.5 billion hours last year to be exact—there is a fear in marketing and entertainment that we have stopped living in the moment. Does real-time marketing then still produce results on social? The short answer is yes. The long answer is YASSSSS!

We’re actually creating more moments. And the Great Internet War of 2016 will be fought over live events. Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter are all trying to own the moment. Years from now we will tell our grandkids tales about a legendary battle between a ghost, a blue bird, and a Zuckerberg.

Whether it’s the 19 channels featured on Snapchat Stories, Twitter’s Moments and integration of Persicope, Youtube’s aim to own real-time discussion during the Super Bowl, or Facebook’s new Sports Stadium, this will be the year where one social network claims ownership of the moment. It used to be Twitter but the competition is stronger now. May the odds be ever in their favor.

Where the audience leads, brands must follow

When I work with brands we’re not working on eight week projects anymore. We’re tailoring content that is ready for the latest trending conversation. Your brand should be doing the same. You can’t predict every moment but you know that large live events will trend.

In marketing, always go where the audience is. That’s simple. It’s far easier to work with an existing audience than it is to build one on your own. Granted, there is more competition, but don’t let competition scare you. No competition means no one’s paying attention.

So why now, why this year?

Live events generate social media moments

Sports and entertainment understand that the more we’re talking about something, the more we’re watching. Fantasy football, daily fantasy, make people watch even the most boring NFL game between two 4 win teams on a Thursday. There is an added incentive—whether it’s bragging rights or the seemingly impossible quest I go on every week to pick the nine best players of the day to become an instant millionaire.

Conversations about live events do the same. When you’re watching Game of Thrones, Scandal, or The Bachelor, you want to watch it live so you can interject your opinions into the conversation or get an enhanced viewing experience. We, as a culture, have FOMO. No one wants to be the last person to know. People watched Netflix’s Making a Murderer because they saw friends posting white hot anger about it to their Facebook feed. Eventually, you had to watch it because it was a moment.

And that’s the point. When something is a “moment” we can’t miss it. So whether it’s news, sports, or entertainment, social media is where moments live.