Brands should break the process if you want real-time social to work

Paraphrasing some recent advice at our Social Speakeasy from Jerry Daykin of Mondelez International, “If you want to become a real-time engagement focused business then you need to break some of the traditional marketing practices”.

Advice that is mirrored in our brand survey results on real-time social engagement. Where brands recognise that without a more flexible internal process for sign-offs and approvals, they will struggle to meet the demands of real-time marketing. Currently traditional structures, processes and skills are causing some of the biggest challenges to real-time social engagement…

  • 31% find gaining quick approval on posts difficult
  • 62% say that managing out of hours engagement is a struggle
  • 38% claim creating content on the fly is a challenge

Traditional marketing processes are often slow. The more established and complex an organisation, the greater the requirement for sign-off, approval and internal communication. If real-time is to become the norm, then brands will need to change.

Processes have to be redesigned. But planning doesn’t need to go out the door. In fact, thinking ahead is essential to making real-time social a success.

The research reveals that brands know what needs to change. 73% are already planning ahead as well as publishing in real-time.


Almost half know that they need to respond to customers at speed. So why is it difficult to change the process? I think that there are two areas that need resolving fast:

1. Hire skilled resource
But there are not enough people with the right skills. In fact 45% of brands say that this is one of the biggest challenges. There isn’t time to wait though, as brands need to have people with the right capabilities now.

Instead of looking for ready-made hires, brands need to invest in training and best practice from the top down. Workflow needs to be clear and staff with the relevant basic skill-sets needs to be given the right knowledge to allow them to work in social engagement autonomously.

2. Get the tools in place
Managing social without monitoring tools is not only risky, but leaves your brand engagers blind to the conversations. A good, robust, tool will save time and ensure conversations and content are relevant to your audience. Used properly it will help you optimise a campaign and better still, aid in measurement to prove ROI. Without one, tasks become much harder and more time consuming.

With these two foundations in place, it becomes easier to justify breaking the traditional marketing process. The skilled social media managers instil confidence so that multiple approvals are no longer required. The right tools justify fast decisions and allow brands to create more content on the fly and responses that are personalised.

So as usual in marketing, success comes from people, technology and great processes!

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