On February 3, 2013, the social media universe went wild for one brand – Oreo.  After the lights went out during Super Bowl XLVII, Oreo released a brilliant tweet.
The Oreo tweet garnered over 10,000 retweets within the first hour alone. Over time, it’s received over 500 million impressions. The best part?  It didn’t cost a penny in media ad spend.

The lesson is, if you want to score big on social media, seize the moment – be contextual. But, cashing in on context requires advance preparation, quick wits, creativity and speed.

During the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Adidas’ social media team developed a mission which was, “To be the most talked-about brand at the FIFA World Cup”. The team achieved this but it required a lot of advance preparation. At the time, Adidas sponsored 9 of 32 teams and 100 players. The brand gathered beforehand, 1,000 images and 160 videos which were primed for use in reaction to different outcomes during the matches. It also created a Twitter handle for the official ball, The Brazuca. brazuca
Then, Adidas waited for perfect moments to deploy. The results were worth it: 1.6 million tweets, retweets and replies, and the official hashtag, #allin became the most-used brand hashtag on Twitter during the tournament.
In Nigeria, some of the best cultural memes have been contextual. Who can forget Twitter’s reaction to the unfortunate gaffe by a government official on Channels Television which sparked the “Oga At The Top” craze? .  The incident produced games, songs and t-shirts!
Oga At The Top Collage

Another angle to context is the ability to feel the pulse of your social media audience. Sometimes the topic of the day on social media is relationships or football or politics. A political message on a football crazy day will gain very little traction.

To score big with context, here are a few tips:
1. Take note of special events, holidays and celebrations. Such moments can deliver a HUGE captive audience on social media. For example, what’s your brand’s social media plan for Christmas Day? Do you have something planned like Westjet did?
2. Prepare ahead for events. Have a team on hand, especially a copywriter and designer to immediately react to opportunities. For example, the graphics on “Biting Suarez” and “Flying Van Persie” were classic content produced on the fly during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
3. Employ humour and creativity. It’s not what you say but how you say it and your own special interpretation of events.
4. Read your audience’s mood and cash in on it.
5. Have a follow through plan. A moment may get you recognition and the audience’s attention. What you do with it afterwards matters. So, have a plan in place.

Now it’s time to get cracking to find ways to use context in your social media campaigns.

Our next C in this series will be Creativity. Until then, I wish you success on your social media journey.