What Happened: Last week, Twitter introduced a new product for marketers called Event Targeting. The new feature consists of three primary tools: the event calendar, event insights and event activation. The event calendar does exactly what you would expect – surfaces major global events related to holidays in the U.S., UK, France, Brazil and Japan, and allows brands to determine which events make sense for their marketing strategies. After identifying which events you want to target, event insights allows you to learn more about the audience based on the previous year’s data. The last tool, event activation, allows you to create a campaign targeting the events and audiences of your choice with just one click.
What This Means for Brands: When play was suspended for 34 minutes during Super Bowl XLVII because of a blackout, it proved enormously inconvenient for members of the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. It did, however, provide an epic win for Oreo, whose “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet is still viewed as one of the prime examples of timely marketing to this day. Whether it’s the Super Bowl, a presidential debate, or the latest installment of the “Sharknado” franchise, Twitter has always allowed brands to insert themselves into the conversation surrounding an event in real time. With the release of Event Targeting, Twitter is simply making it easier for brands to activate around live moments than ever before. Brands can now filter events by location, date or type of event, and then estimate the total audience reach, gender and device breakdown of relevant events based on last year’s data. One thing Twitter’s Event Targeting feature doesn’t do, however, is predict the unexpected. So while it’s great to plan ahead, if your brand wants to have its own “Oreo moment,” it doesn’t hurt to have a social media team in place when the event goes live, too.