Real-Time Tweeting Connects Brands with Digitally Engaged Consumers

Read the latest about the increasingly popular live-tweeting trend. Brands are experimenting with this trend to interact with their millennial consumers told by the PRSSA Blog Team.

By: Rachel Mooney

Last month I sat down with friends to watch one of my favorite movie musicals premiere on live television, Grease: Live. Within seconds of the musical airing, I was already on my iPhone posting my first tweet of the night. The excitement to watch this live event got the best of my social media obsessed hands, and before I knew it I was live tweeting the entire musical.


I have to admit, there’s a thrill you get when you receive the notification that someone liked your live tweet. It is as if you are all watching the event together–just you, your intimate group of friends and the entire Twitterverse. Social media, a tool that often gets criticized for taking users “out of the present,” was connecting me to entire digital community to enjoy a live program together.

It is not just us PR students who engage in live or real-time tweeting. Although many users consider Twitter simply as an app for publishing our thoughts, company brands have been increasingly adding real-time tweeting to their digital marketing strategies over the past few years. Live events such as the recent Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards are opportunities for brands to participate in the digital conversation, rather than only observe the conversation. This strategy however can be a hit or a miss for a company.

Brands that successfully execute real-time tweeting reap the benefits of engaging their consumers. On the other hand, the brands that don’t follow a well-developed strategy often do not resonate well with their audience. Real-time tweeting could even create an avoidable PR crisis if a “clever” tweet is executed distastefully.3

Ever since the 2013 Super Bowl blackout when Oreo tweeted their infamous “you can still dunk in the dark” graphic, brands have felt the pressure to participate in real
time marketing. Oreo’s single tweet reflected the cleverness and authenticity that brands now aim for when developing tweets in real-time.

In order to understand a company perspective on how to craft the perfect strategy, I looked at SocialTime’s article explaining how to find success with real-time tweeting. These tips focus on the importance of strategy, relevance and engagement. Just as I used my personal voice while tweeting about Grease: Live, companies need to make sure they maintain their brand voice when tweeting in real-time. If a popular culture event is not relevant to the brand or its followers, then it may be best to sit that round of live tweeting out.

Although real-time tweeting (AKA real-time marketing) sometimes receives mixed reviews from communications professionals, I believe it can be a great tactic when properly executed by social media teams. We are in the “Engagement Era” of marketing, and real-time tweeting is the perfect opportunity for brands to build relationships with their consumers, to interact, and to join the conversation surrounding culturally relevant topics.

During the next widely publicized event, take note of how your favorite brands react online. As consumers, you become the judge of the brand’s engagement success. The Academy Awards are the next live event in the primetime world, airing this weekend on ABC. It will be interesting to see which brands partake in real-time tweeting, and which brands choose to take the observation route and continue with their scheduled content calendars.




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