How SMBs Can Tap into Tent-Pole Events Through Social Media

02/26/2016
Advertisers often focus on the major tent-pole events throughout the year, devising campaigns and TV spots for moments that capture the public’s attention. The Oscars are the latest example of a major water-cooler conversation-worthy event, a list that also includes March Madness and this summer’s Olympics.

While these events are prime targets for major advertisers, there’s no reason that small, nimble brands can’t leverage the excitement of a major media event for themselves. Smart SMBs have a real chance to leverage the popularity, with a fraction of the budget, if they think creatively.

 
Social media is a great place to start, because that’s where your customers will be carrying on conversations and sharing moments during the event itself. Big brands roll out paid campaigns on social channels, but SMBs can easily jump into the conversation by sharing smart messages and creative content through their free accounts.
 
For the Oscars, SMBs can build creative messaging around some of the films themselves. Mechanics can build social messages around “Mad Max,” a film where cars are almost as important as the actors. “The Martian,” which features a subplot about growing food on Mars, is a great way for a gardening center to remind customers that spring is almost here.
 
March Madness is a time when millions of consumers are watching scores or checking social media for updates when they should be at work. This is a great time for gyms or sporting goods retailers to chime in with special offers. Doctors or chiropractors can also take advantage of the interest in the sporting event by doing research ahead of time on typical injuries that happen during basketball games and tweet that information (or a link to their sites) if and when an injury happens.
 
Looking ahead to this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, plumbers can have fun facts ready about how many miles of plumbing the Olympic stadiums have. Travel companies can provide some travel tips or sites to see in Rio and throughout Brazil.
 
These are just a few of the ways SMBs can insert themselves into conversations. It’s as easy as simply doing a bit of research and coordinating the social posts to go out when consumers are engaged in the conversation. For SMBs willing to invest a little more, they can build specialized landing pages or potentially run display campaigns with themed creative that ties into the event.
 
Above all, the key is for SMBs to not be deterred by the big money that brands spend to become official sponsors. With a little creative thinking, it’s possible to capture the conversation.