Live-Tweeting: The Little Black Dress Strategy

It’s no secret that the Oscars – and really any live event with a large viewership – have become double screen affairs. As 36.6 million people watched the Oscars, they took to Twitter to voice opinions about everything from the red carpet to winners to John Travolta’s face touching.

With the volume of content posted during these events, live-tweeting can be a great way for brands to join in on a trending topic and find new fans, but the potential to flop is also high. We weren’t entirely sure why Jack in the Box was tweeting about the Emmy’s trophy, for example, or why Bon Appetit compared dresses to tomatoes:

Creating the perfect live content is a lot like finding the perfect dress. Some stars have the personality to pull off daring red carpet looks, and likewise, some brands are so relevant to the awards or simply have the social currency to pull off big live-tweeting campaigns.

For the rest of us, however, it’s easy to look like just another brand reaching for a connection when live-tweeting. Enter the Little Black Dress Strategy. Just like it’s namesake, it’s a classic, low-risk strategy that looks good on everyone. If you’re thinking about live-tweeting during the next major live event, we invite you to consider the LBD.

It’s Always Relevant

The best thing about the Little Black Dress is that it’s timeless, and therefore always relevant. Your live-tweeting strategy should be the same. Develop content that will look good no matter what, and then accessorize based on trending topics that are relevant to your brand. Your content should add value or interest to a user’s second screen experience, not shamelessly self-promote.

It’s Unoffensive

The Little Black Dress obeys all fashion laws, and you need to make sure that your live-tweeting strategy obeys all actual laws. This is where brands can really mess up. First, make sure you’re legally allowed to use the name of the event as a non-sponsor. If that’s a go, get your content pre-approved by all of the brand’s internal legal departments. Finally, thoroughly research every nominee to ensure that none of your content will offend.

It’s Safe  

When it comes to live-tweeting, the name of the game is better safe than sorry. We know this may seem counterintuitive to marketing pros, but we’ve seen too many brands crash and burn with content that probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Play it safe, and save a really out-of-the-box idea for a different time. Otherwise, you run the risk of showing up in red rubber gloves.

It’s Fresh

And you need to be too. Repeat after us: do not schedule tweets. There needs to be a living, breathing human behind every tweet, favorite, and retweet. Start monitoring the buzz around trending hashtags early on (as in the day before) for spots where your brand can fit in. And, most importantly, watch the actual awards so you understand the references being made online.

Just like all eyes are on the outfits of celebrities as they walk down the Red Carpet (sorry, Reese), brands who choose to tweet during America’s watercooler moments automatically have a magnifying glass held up to their content.

If you make a mistake, it could do serious damage to your brand’s reputation. Follow these guidelines, and you’re sure to avoid landing a spot on the Worst-Dressed list. And while we can’t guarantee you’ll be the Best-Dressed of the night, sometimes a classic look trumps daring fashion.