Guest Post on AdLibbing

Guest Post on AdLibbing

I wrote a guest post about synchronizing social media for the Ad Council’s AdLibbing blog. Full text below.

Take a look, and leave a comment with your thoughts!

Synchronizing Social Media: Why It Matters and How to Do It

Think about the thrill of a live concert, or the adrenaline pumping excitement of the final moments of a sporting event.

Now, imagine you’re witnessing the explosive finale song or the game-winning goal.

The crowd goes wild.

What makes that single moment so special? It’s a shared experience. Everyone is watching the same incredible action at the same time.

In short, timing is everything.

Now, let’s think about how that can apply to the online experience.

For example, there’s a reason why you choose to send out email blasts instead of sending out the exact same message to each person in your network one by one. When you speak to your whole audience at once, they can share and react to that message together. You have control of the timeline; you’re in charge of sparking the conversation.

The same goes for social media. At their core, social networks are asynchronous. People both publish their own content and graze on other people’s content through the day, filling in the dull moments.

A smattering of tweets or Facebook posts about your brand, product, or cause sprinkled throughout the day isn’t a bad thing, but it’s a lot less powerful than having your supporters share a message together. Your goal should be to concentrate the attention as much as possible, and reach as many people as you can.

So how do you “synchronize” social media? Here are a few suggestions:

Align with an event.

Have a product launch coming up? Are you hosting a fundraiser? Reach out to your supporters in advance and encourage them to send out a tweet or Facebook post on the day of the event.

Don’t forget to be specific. If your big event happens at noon, you can tell your followers to tweet between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m. to build up hype immediately beforehand. More importantly, it will generate plenty of buzz, and your network will take notice.

Have a legitimate call to action.

So you’ve got the buzz, but what do you do with it? Craft a simple, actionable message. Do you want people to donate to your cause? Provide them with a link to do so. Looking to gather feedback on your website redesign? Direct people to the appropriate forum. Make it as easy as possible for your audience to help you out.

Make it shareable.

You want your supporters (and their networks) to be part of a collective experience, so craft a message that they’ll actually be excited to share. A punchy headline with a short, easy-to-understand hashtag is key. At Thunderclap, we encourage campaign organizers to think like their potential supporters. Consider what type of messaging would inspire someone to rally around a cause, even if they’re unfamiliar with it.

Testing, testing.

What’s the best time of day to send out a message? What type of wording garners the most engagement? The truth is, there’s no right or wrong answer here. Experiment well in advance of
your event with time, day of the week, and language and keep track of what works best. Then, when it’s showtime, you’ll have it all down to a science.

Give these tips a try next time you’re using social media to make a major impact. When your supporters speak together, they’ll be sure to be heard.

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