Monday, November 25th, 2013 | 5 min read
Thanksgiving is upon us. In addition to long car rides and overeating, consumers will be searching for cranberry sauce deals on Twitter, browsing Pintrest for green bean recipes, and using Facebook to watch viral videos of cats dressed as turkeys. It’s an important time of the year for brand marketers to be engaging with their advocates and audiences on every social media platform, wherever the trends are driving their attention. As we discovered last year in our analysis of social discussions surrounding Black Friday, these social platforms have become the primary online medium for brand-to-consumer, and consumer-to-consumer conversations, especially during high seasons of consumer activity. During the most hectic retail period of the year, consumers turn to social media to learn, engage, and share.
Brand marketers use social to constantly promote and share deals and information during holidays and events like Thanksgiving, and can also determine the effectiveness of their advertising in real time. As national retailers spend millions of dollars on holiday advertising, they don’t have to wait until sales numbers come in to determine whether or not the ads were effective.
Discount shopping, airline delays and overeating are undoubtedly going to be among the trending topics of the week. We can expect brands in those spaces to be engaging with their audiences at higher levels than usual. Last year, Instagram reported that over 10 million photos mentioned Thanksgiving-themed words in their captions on Thanksgiving day, with more than 200 photos posted every second. The company shared that it was “excited to see the intimacy and immediacy of the Instagram experience…over the holiday season.” People celebrate Thanksgiving in real time, and brands need to be there engaging right alongside them.
There are also ways for brands outside the food, retail and airline industries to promote themselves in a time-sensitive, real-time way without looking desperate. Think of it this way: the companies behind television ads don’t have to be directly applicable to the program they are sponsoring, so engagement with trends and consumers doesn’t have to be either. It just needs to be done well.
Find ways to track the conversations and trends of your audience, using tools like Dachis Group’s Brand Trend Dashboard, to tap into the real time conversations of those consumers who matter to you. Consumers interact with brands via social networks every day to gather information, share feedback, or advocate. Use the trends surrounding Thanksgiving as a moment to insert yourself into their conversations.
Here are some Thanksgiving real time marketing ideas for any brand marketer this year.
Brand marketers no longer need to wait for their audience members to tune into ABC on Wednesdays at 8; they just need to follow the same trends that their audience members are following every single day, seven days a week. And during major holidays and events like Thanksgiving, those conversations are expected to increase dramatically. Find your audiences, and connect with them in real time!