Brent Barnhart
January 20, 2019

How To Manage Real Time Social Media Marketing

Social media is all about living in the moment, and with new content formats like live video and stories, the platforms are keeping this trend on course. Real time social media marketing equals reach for your brand, but it can be a headache to manage. Here are our tips on how to seize the moment.

“Oh boy! I just love waiting in line!”
Yeah, said no one ever.
If we want something these days, we want it as quickly as possible.
And nine-times-out-of-ten, we can get it pretty damn fast.
The latest blockbuster? That’s what Netflix is for. That random knick-knack we forgot to pick up at the store? Thanks, Amazon Prime!
Listen: we’re marketing in an era of instant gratification.
Oh, and so those folks who crave immediacy and can’t stand waiting? Those are your customers.
If you want to stand out to those same customers and engage new ones, you need to go all-in on real-time communication.

Actionable Examples of Real-Time Communication via Social Media

Timely back-and-forth not only creates a stronger connection between you and your audience but also help you exceed their expectations.
After all, nobody wants to be seen as the slow, out-of-touch business on the block, you know?
Real-time communication is easily one of the most important trends facing social media marketers today. In this quick guide, we’ll break down some practical and creative ways that businesses can engage with customers in real-time.

Live Video

There’s a reason why both Facebook and Instagram are pushing Live video so hard.
People freakin’ love it.
In fact, Facebook themselves claim that Live videos score six times the engagement of regular ones.
Why, though? Consider first the FOMO (fear of missing out) effect. Live broadcasts carry a sort of buzz that isn’t possible with pre-recorded footage. Much like someone might tune into a series finale or major sporting event, live video carries a sort of “must-see” feel.
Another big upside of Live video is that audiences receive notifications informing followers that you're broadcasting. This makes compels followers to check out your content beyond Facebook’s fickle algorithm.
Oh, and don’t forget the fact that Live video is interactive. Beyond real-time communication such as likes and comments, Instagram’s recently rolled out some new interactive features for Live broadcasts. This includes stickers and Q&A buttons to engage your viewers.
The beauty of live video is that it doesn’t have to have to boast any sort of insane production value. If you have a smartphone and tripod, chances are you’re good to go.

Ephemeral Content

Time-sensitive content such as Instagram Stories is all the rage right now.
And although Stories and daily updates may not be “real-time” per se, they are a fantastic way to capture moments as they happen.
This approach to creating content is compelling to followers and likewise can be made off-the-cuff. Unlike traditional Instagram posts which require optimization via hashtags, captions and filters, Stories content only takes a few seconds to put together.
This visual Story from Sydney Tourism is a shining example, hyping up followers to check out an event that’s happening now.
Stories can also be used to break news and create a sense of hype around an announcement or product launch as evidenced by Samsung Australia.
 Businesses can likewise collect ephemeral content from fans and followers as part of their Instagram hashtag strategy.
This is a prime way to both encourage real-time communication between fans and curate user-generated content to fill up your feed.


Chatbots are perhaps the best example of practical real-time communication brands are adapting.
Although the valuable legwork of customer service to a bot might be daunting, bots are one of the few ways businesses can truly make themselves available around-the-clock.
Through pre-programmed messages and AI, chatbots on Facebook Messenger can serve as a knowledge base, recommend products or direct buyers to a flesh-and-blood representative.
Supplemented with social customer service via Twitter, chatbots provide a rare opportunity for businesses to put real-time communication on autopilot.

Dynamic Remarketing

Businesses are scrambling for ways to make sure their ads get in front of buyers ASAP.
Through social media marketing, you can do exactly that.
For example, Facebook remarketing ads are capable of taking a buyer’s shopping history or on-site behavior and serving them a social ad immediately after hopping from your site. This style of advertising keeps your brand revelant in the minds of shoppers as they move from Point A to Point B online.
Such ads are also noted to be insanely effective. Major brands such as Renault are proven success stories of social media remarketing, directly targeting past site visitors and eventually converting them through follow-up ads on Facebook.

Social Listening

Social media has become a massive channel for customer service due to fact that it’s so simple and immediate.
As a result, your customers’ expectations are pretty high in terms of getting a response. Twitter notes that the majority of people reaching out for customer service on social expect a response within one hour.

“But What About Long-Form Content?”

Good question!
Long-form content such as blog posts and high-production value videos aren’t going anywhere in the era of real-time communication.
After all, these types of content are absolutely crucial for thought leadership, branding and SEO value.
The real-time communication side of these pieces of content is using social to drive engagement to your brand (and by proxy, your content) on a daily basis.
For example, you’ll often see brands post preview snippets or videos on Twitter or Facebook to give you a taste of their latest piece of content. These can be repurposed and recycled as simply hammering your followers with the same link over and over isn’t exactly within the best practices of social media.
Beyond promoting content, businesses should look at social as a channel to keep their content fresh in the minds of their followers. At Hello Social, we regularly hype our content but also engage followers with the hot-off-the-press memes which our fans totally dig.\
The takeaway is that you should keep publishing long-form content, but likewise brainstorm how you can use real-time communication to draw attention to it.
And with that, we wrap up our guide!

Is Your Business Keeping it Real...Time?

From content to customer service, anything you can do to embrace real-time communication is a major point in your favor.
Remember: your customers don’t want to wait. They don’t want to see the same stuff they’ve seen a million times before, either.
By sticking to the principles and practices of real-time communication and fresh content, you’ll stay in good standing with your customers without worrying about growing stale.

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