Time is a Virtue for Social Media Marketers

USA today ran an article today titled, “Yes, six people born in the 19th century that are still with us.

I couldn’t help but notice Bernice Madigan. We have two things in common: We both love the Kentucky Derby and we both agree that Zuckerberg needs to increase the age limit to include this warm soul into the Facebook world.

Hey Mark, can we at least let her real birthday be Facebook official?


One thing I’m sure Bernice knows all too well is that time is a virtue. For any community manager or social media team, you’re battling time. Timeliness equals relevance and the difference between viral superstardom and yesterdays news. After all, a brands 8 seconds of fame is more literal than figurative in social media land.

Brands that excel greatly at this understand the principal of time, context, and relevance. Gary Vaynerchuck, in his book, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” seems perplexed by brands that do not capitalize on today’s current trends.

“You’d think, given the advantages, that brands and small businesses would be scrambling to be first to market on these platforms, but most of their fear of failure….their perceived lack of time outweighs their sense of possibility. They are playing defense instead of offense. ”

— Gary Vaynerchuck

Oreo gets it. Do you remember their infamous tweet when the lights went out during the Super Bowl? 


Nissan was on top of their tweets with a timely tweet about Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge (aka Kate), expecting their second child. Just seven minutes after the news was announced, the Nissan Europe social and digital engagement team tweeted an existing ad, a picture of the interior of its X-Trail seven-seater vehicle, with a crown placed on each seat and the caption “Room for all the family” added. Conceived with the help of Digitas, the tweet reads: “It could be triplets and there would *still* be enough room for the Queen… #XTrail #SevenSeats #RoyalBaby.”


We even had our own bit of success during the World Cup when we targeted fans from opposing sides before the USA vs Ghana soccer match.


A community manager has a tough job. They have to keep their ears open 24-7 to anything that could be a relevant correlation for their brand and its fans. So if you’re the community manager for Woodford Reserve and while you’re perusing the internet, you stumble upon the story of Bernice in USA Today. What do you do?


Do you immediately make the correlation between the photo of Bernice enjoying a drink during the Kentucky Derby and think, this could easily be a story we could tell about tradition that would resonate with our die hard fans. Maybe share a recipe of a Woodford Mint Julep with her on Twitter. How quickly does your team work to create relevant content?

Timeliness of content even plays a major role in how media stories are shared. Take a look at what was happening on Facebook during the #Ferguson meltdown.

“If you’re not more engaging, more interesting, and more relevant than a person’s friend dumping ice water on their heads, then you have a challenge on your hands.”

— Alex Houg

Bernice recommends a steady TV diet of Wheel of Fortune, COPS, Jeopardy! and, more recently, Shark Tank. For social media marketers, we recommend a steady diet of timeliness, creativity, and relevance to a targeted audience if you even stand a chance of gaining newsfeed reach.

-Ryan Carter

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