Regardless of your political affiliations, it’s tough to deny that the digital team for the Obama administration has successfully migrated the State of the Union address into the modern era with seamless integration of social media and digital strategy.
The White House takes a rolling thunder approach by starting the conversation in advance, effectively facilitating conversation during the speech and continuing the dialogue following the event. Pre-announcement momentum building is an incredibly valuable – and often overlooked – part of the strategy for any big event or announcement. Not only does it set the stage for day-of and post-event activities, it also helps extend the momentum beyond just a moment in time. Below are a few of the top lessons and examples brands can take away from the White House’s three-phase approach.
1. Pre-event: Use the time before your event or announcement to begin driving buzz and conversation around the topic or issue at hand. Start driving attendance RSVPs and raising awareness and interest. Provide shareable and compelling content. Give your audience a look behind the scenes.
2. Day of event: Thanks to your pre-event momentum, by the time the actual event rolls around, your audience should be excited and looking forward to the event. A few important factors to consider: Make access to the event easy and universally available (via online or social feeds), keep the experience and messaging consistent across platforms and devices (including event hashtags), and plan your “live” Tweeting in advance to ensure accuracy and quality content.
3. Post-event momentum: Draft off the buzz created from your event by continuing the dialogue with your audience and driving sharing through visual content.
While most brands will never have an event or moment in time of the same magnitude and broad-based interest as the State of the Union address, the rolling thunder approach is very applicable to smaller scale events and activities. Be it a trade show or a product announcement, start thinking about how you can extend that moment in time. Perhaps your pre-announcement storytelling centers on the evolution of a particular product or industry and leads up to the moment the latest innovation is unveiled. Or, approach the storytelling with a look behind the scenes. (e.g. Here’s the process our engineers take when rolling out product updates.)
Brands large and small should start thinking about each event or announcement as more than just a moment in time, but rather, an opportunity to facilitate an ongoing conversation with their audience.
Questions, comments? You can reach me @KKnBend or comment below.
*Data according to HubSpot: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33800/Photos-on-Facebook-Generate-53-More-Likes-Than-the-Average-Post-NEW-DATA.aspx