Beyond serving as a primary channel for discovery and amplification –- "This video popped up in my feed and you’ll never believe what happened next!” –- social also acts as net that captures stimuli from other media. This echo chamber effect is what makes the channel so valuable.
But in order to extract the full value, brands need to capitalize on key moments of stimulus with social strategies that don’t simply rely on war rooms around big events. Indeed, dunking in the dark is so 2013.
To be sure, when it comes to stimulating stimuli, there’s no bigger or better medium than television. As a platform, TV is being disrupted by time-shifting and cord-cutting — but it’s still the number-one place to reach consumers en masse with emotional resonance. The big screen filled with sight, sound, and motion is unparalleled in its ability to capture hearts and minds. And must-see-TV still must be seen live thanks to social FOMO (fear of missing out) and spoiler FOOF (fear of our feed).
Back in October, I shared 10 ways to make your TV strategy more social, and vice versa. One of those tips was to “sync your social ads with TV programming and advertising.”
Sure enough, this tactic has been gaining traction in the marketplace, and self-serve technology is available for marketers to launch social campaigns based on TV triggers. Best of all, you can preset the parameters so placements go live automatically, and you don’t need staff working around the clock waiting for the appropriate aperture.
Here are 10 alliterative avenues for brands to seize the moment via social and create shared media experiences.
1. Ad Aura:87% of consumers multitask while watching TV, and 71% of them visit social media sites during commercials with 64% doing so during a show. Reach your audience in true surround sound and show simultaneous ads across second and third screens while your TV spot airs. If you’re Microsoft, you could have a commercial for Xbox running while a Cortana video pops up on Facebook, and a Master Chief pic shows up on Instagram. Talk about the “halo” effect!
2. Commercial Conquest: Why stop at syncing your ads across screens? Piggyback off attention generated by your competitors and run your ads against their spots. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance, right? Well, Esurance could run ads every time a Geico spot airs, saying its quoting process takes half that time.
3. Program Plumage: If you really want to own a certain TV program but can’t do one of those fancy brought-to-you-with-limited-interruption-by-big-brand sponsorships, consider blanketing social media for the duration of an entire show. A “killer” tactic for Tide would be running ads throughout “The Walking Dead,” with tips for handling blood stains.
4. Pod Package: Another option is buying ads during just the commercials on certain shows. TV buyers know the conundrum of paying premiums for certain pods in an ad break. On the second screen, you can own them all. Lysol could take a plunge with calls-to-action telling folks to run to the bathroom before the show comes back on. And maybe even toss in a #toiletweet for good measure.
5. Category Claim: Go even broader than plumaging a program or packaging a pod and claim a whole category of content. Pair your ads with all things animated or dramatic or Kardashian. People magazine could target all reality shows and offer an inside look at the latest celeb dating, dining, and divorcing.
6. Audience Annotation: Know what audience you’re trying to reach — but not which TV programs will deliver them? Leverage Nielsen data to deliver social ads during any programming consumed by specific segments. The obvious example is Unilever targeting women 25-54 — but an unexpected twist might be using creative that encourages the ladies to “Axe” the guy on the couch next to them to try some new deodorant.
7. Regional Riff: TV advertisers, throw away your DMA and dig into digital geo-targeting in addition to any of the above content and audience selects. National advertisers like T-Mobile can dial up some local hotline bling with different ad copy on the second screen to speak to each region. Or Taco Bell can go loco with local ads across screens.
8. Event Edge:Nothing sets social media ablaze like a big moment in a live event. Think Artist of the Year at the Grammys, or anytime Kanye grabs the mic. Using keyword triggers like Beyoncé, Burt’s Bees can send Queen Bey a timely tongue tilde.
9. Political Punch: You can’t change the channel now without encountering some political commentary or campaign ad, and it’s only going to get noisier in the final months before the U.S. presidential election. Turn all the hot air into cool creative with social posts that connect your brand with key issues. Sanders addressing wealth inequality? Fire up the Powerball lottery promotion. Trump sharing his plans for immigration? Cue the Home Depot ad for drywall.
10. Sport Stomp: Sports will forever be the stuff of live consumption. It’s virtually impossible to hide from spoilers these days. And watching a game is so much better when you can talk trash with your friends on social media as it’s happening. Brands have an incredible opportunity to get in on the action. Imagine running a Nike ad every time a goal is scored in soccer or a home run is hit in baseball? Now stop imagining and just do it!