Live Tweeting: Take to the Twittersphere and Trigger Debate

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  • July 25, 2012
Mark Bowering

Mark Bowering

Content Strategist

Take to the twittersphere!

Tweeting during live events is a tactic more and more companies are factoring into their social media strategies.

Live tweeting is a great way to increase brand awareness, consumer engagement and authority within a particular industry, and it can help businesses to break down barriers that exist between themselves and ordinary Twitter users.

It helps to make brands become more personable, rather than being seen giving it the hard sell all the time.

A running commentary giving instant reaction to a developing story creates a talking point. It sparks debate. It generates a buzz.

Branded3 case study: Predator Nutrition versus Panorama

To illustrate best practise in live event tweeting, Branded3 and Predator Nutrition devised a strategy in readiness for the airing of the Panorama documentary The Truth About Sports Products last week.

The title alone was enough to set alarm bells ringing as Predator Nutrition pride themselves on being a leading retailer of sports supplements in Europe. The content of the show could have potentially been damaging to the company’s reputation.

The programme itself, timed to air with the London 2012 Olympics just around the corner, investigated the impact of sports drinks on performance and scrutinised the claims made by some of the major sporting brands.

Cue a brainstorming session in our swanky new office last Thursday on the morning of the show going out, and a plan of action quickly formed, which included:

  • Post a brief preview post on the Predator Nutrition blog, and engage in activity to raise awareness of the show on Facebook and Twitter, inviting followers to tune in and join the debate.
  • Predator Nutrition to give instant reaction during the programme on Twitter and use the relevant hash tags that many TV programmes now include in their opening credits.
  • Search for the people featured on Panorama on Twitter and attempt to interact with them if they are active Twitter users.
  • Chat with the Predator Nutrition followers who tweet about the programme and RT their messages.
  • Post a follow-up article on the blog and continue the debate on Twitter and Facebook.

Pretty straightforward stuff, and we’re not claiming to have reinvented the wheel here, but you’d be surprised how many businesses fail to do the basics when it comes to putting their heads above the parapet on social media.

Brands that opt to stay quiet and bury their heads in the sand when topical issues arise more often than not miss out on significant PR opportunities.

There was never any danger of Predator Nutrition founder Reggie Johal ignoring the claims made in the Panorama programme. Anyone who has met or knows Reggie can testify that he’s incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about his business.

So, here’s what happened before, during and after 8pm last Thursday when it was screened on BBC1.

  • The preview piece received 92 likes, 23 shares and 37 comments on Facebook.
  • Predator Nutrition’s in-show tweet commentary received 46 RTs in total.
  • RTs from Predator Nutrition of comments made by their followers were retweeted an additional 30 times.

Predator Nutrition re-tweeted their followers comments

  • Predator Nutrition interacted with the show’s presenter, Shelley Jofre, gaining several responses and are now in the process of trying to sort a follow-up interview with her to further discuss the issues raised.
  • Predator Nutrition’s followers also interacted with the BBC journalist.
  • Predator Nutrition’s follower numbers increased by 30 between 8pm and 9pm last Thursday night, with Shelley Jofre the most notable new follower.
  • The after-show review piece received 68 likes, 14 shares and 44 comments on Facebook.

It’s important to also note that Reggie remained very respectful and professional when conversing with the Panorama presenter.

Reggie conversed politely with the show's presenter

The Prometheus experiment


Another interesting example of live tweeting – albeit on a very different scale – came in May this year during the build-up to the release of Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s latest epic sci-fi movie.

Channel4 aired an exclusive teaser trailer for the film during an ad break in Homeland with a call to arms for viewers to give their opinions using the #areyouseeingthis hashtag.

Plenty of people were seeing it and took to Twitter in their thousands to have their say. Over 24,000 tweets were reported to have included mentions of the hash tag or Prometheus on the Sunday night the trailer was aired. A selection of tweets featuring the hash tag were then used in the next ad break.

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What the Predator Nutrition and Prometheus case studies illustrate is that companies can quickly and easily create a buzz around a ‘live’ event across various social media channels – the tricky part is deciding when and how to get involved.

Get in touch if you want advice on live tweeting or on putting together social media strategies in general.

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