News used to be delivered through the papers or broadcasted on TV or radio. It took time for people to process, hold an opinion, and share it to the world.
But now, social media has become the source of news. Stories are increasingly broken on Twitter or Facebook instead of calmly reported by trusted anchors. Instead of waiting for the 6:00 evening news or the morning paper, people are avidly waiting as reports come in every 140 characters, every single photo, or every six-second video. And their opinions are shared hot and fast during the wait.
This period of anticipation for news becomes the perfect time for companies to join in, contribute, and shape the conversation, especially if they're the ones making the story. Through relevant messaging, they can raise brand awareness to a greater audience than before.
When the US Supreme Court upheld the legality of same-sex marriage, many people and brands quickly shared messages of support, including M2Social. The message by Virgin Holidays Limited, Virgin Groups lodging arm, was incredibly effective, short and sweet yet pushing sales.
Sometimes, bad examples are better. When the Arab spring occurred in Egypt, millions tuned in to #Cairo to learn the latest news. As the events unfolded, fashion brand, Kenneth Cole, tried to insert its new clothing collection using the hashtag to the annoyance and anger of many. Their message was completely irrelevant and in bad taste. Don't just insert the brand into anything.
The anticipation for the May 3 Pacquiao-Mayweather fight was at fever pitch a few days before the event in the blazing hot summer of the Philippines. Then McDonalds published, in print and social media, a piece of genius. It had everything relevant, symbolic, and punny.
Real-time Internet reporting of events have become the norm. Reporters come into the latest expo and immediately tweet or share the latest in a conference. In SlingshotMNL, the largest conference for entrepreneurs in the Philippines, even the non-participants got to feel what’s happening inside.
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