Scott Goodacre

World Cup 2018 FOMO hits fever pitch

Ever since Oreo’s infamous ‘You can still dunk in the dark‘ tweet during the 2013 Superbowl, brands all over the world have invested time and money in trying to capitalise on real-time events on Twitter.

It was arguably a bit simpler back then, as Twitter displayed posts in a chronological order rather than putting brands at the mercy of the platform’s algorithm. These days companies need to try a little bit harder if they want to make an impact.

Of course, not every event is applicable to every account. The fear of missing out – FOMO – clearly hits some harder than others. This year’s World Cup has seen a few notable examples of companies trying just that little bit too hard to make an impression.

Heinz meanz FOMO

Take Heinz, for example. Their @HeinzUK account (with less than 4,000 followers, which surprised me a bit given the size of the company) is currently paying to promote this tweet:

It’s hard to know where to really start here. First of all, the link between the England and Colombia match and a sausage sandwich is tenuous at best. The best I can do is picture the Heinz logo as a sort of goal, given how it frames the plate. That’s as generous as I can be. All of the replies indicate that nobody else has no clue what the point of it is either.

After the match, which England won 4-3 on penalties, they started promoting the following:

This is, admittedly, a little bit better. There was a sausage, now it’s gone, and the “that hit the spot” comment is a clever little pun. And being “hungry for the next one” isn’t bad either. But again, there’s absolutely no link between what they’re promoting and the topic they’re addressing.

McCain’s tried to get involved with the match too, but I can’t help feel this would have been improved if they’d actually renamed their account as it’s not a bad pun.

This is their best performing organic tweet from the game, too. Most of their non-promoted activity has single figure retweets and likes, which is a pretty damning vote of confidence from their 5,000+ followers.

Lidl help?

Lidl’s real-time attempts make a bit of sense given that they’re in partnership with the England team. Their inclusion of real-time marketing also seems to have been planned out and actually thought-through. They have a few promoted tweets from the match, which have reasonable engagement (although relatively low considering they’ve got over 350,000 followers), but one tweet in particular stands out from their organic activity:

Look at the numbers on that. By tapping into a popular – and current – meme, while also echoing the thoughts of the watching fans (this is a UK account remember), they’ve struck social gold. Their voice was very much pro-England – again, making a lot of sense considering their partnership and the account’s audience – which has struck a chord with followers.

Real-time done right

Real-time marketing is an art. While a lot of planning can go into an event – especially when the dates are known long in advance – actually being able to pull something relevant off immediately following the end of a game is hard.

Just because you’ve planned to do something at full-time in a game like this doesn’t mean you actually have to if you can’t quite make it work. History won’t remember the brands that did nothing at full-time, but it will remember the ones who tried and failed to enter themselves into the conversation.

As with any marketing activity, brands need to consider their audience before getting involved in something that’s taking place live. What are they interested in? Is there any relevance? Can I make a comment that is meaningful and adds to the conversation? The reason tweets like those from Heinz and McCain’s fail is because the audience doesn’t have a clue what they’re looking at.

Jessica Smith of Social ‘n Sport summed it up well in a recent blog post:

The internet doesn’t need more brands chasing the flavor of the day. It needs more brands focused on a consumer-centric POV and adding value to the space. It’s time to stop wasting so much energy on chasing the next topic of the day and time to focus on your brand, your story… the one you uniquely own. Build a POV and know that it’s okay to not jump in on every conversation. In fact, it takes a lot of guts these days to say no. Build a POV that empowers you to do so.

How to make people like your brand on social media

People buy people. It’s a sales mantra that I’ve seen repeated time and time again. If you think about it, it does make sense. Why would you buy anything from someone you don’t like?

Being ‘liked’ can be easier to achieve in person. As so much of communication is non-verbal, demonstrating positive body language, working on your intonation, and showing off active listening skills can help forge relationships relatively quickly. It’s not as easy online. Continue reading

Ofcom and marketing generalisations

This week – probably more than any other week during my time as a trainer – I’ve spent a lot of time discussing stereotypes and generalisations with our learners.

The goal was to work with the learners to help them establish better profiles of their target audience without relying on potentially damaging generalisations such as “everyone under the age of 25 uses apps”, and that people over 50 don’t use the internet.

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They [stereotypes] are no more stupid than bundling billions of people together because of their birth year and assuming they all like digital stuff, connections, enjoying quality moments and launching a new brand to offer the aforementioned nonsense in airline form.

Mark Ritson: Only crap marketers mistake stereotypes for segments

How to create ‘dark Moments’ on Twitter

Back in 2011, Apple joined Twitter. Not that you’d know about it, mind, as they’ve famously never tweeted. Or have they?

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The online resources I use for digital marketing

This is a list of the tools I’ve found useful over the years, as well as any new ones that I can see being useful in digital marketing. Most will be free, but there may be one or two that have paid-for features. I’ll mention this where appropriate. All links are in alphabetical order.

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Message from the dark side: The rise of ‘dark social’ and how you can use it in your business

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You couldn’t be further from the truth.

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2 ways to use private social media accounts in your marketing

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The 80/20 rule: What it is, how it can help you, and how to use it

I’ve long been a fan of what’s known as the 80/20 rule on Twitter. For those unfamiliar, it means that 80% of the content you share on social media should be someone else’s — the remaining 20% should be your own.

No-one seems to have told brands though, and it’d take a brave social media manager in a small organisation to try and change this. Most management teams simply want to know how a social network is driving conversions —and therefore relentlessly spamming your own content is the best way to do this (after all, the more you shout about something the more likely people are to buy it, right?).

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