Sunday, May 11, 2014

Researchers - Keep Pace with Live Tweeting

As a Researcher, you're hit with new lingo and buzzwords every day, but here's one that you'll want to pay attention to in order to keep pace with your clients and their target audiences:  Live Tweeting. I've seen a lot of trends come and go during my career in Digital Marketing Research and as a student of Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, and believe it's imperative to pay attention to the rise of Live Tweeting, a behavior that's here to stay. The following two articles are worthwhile reads into how Live Tweeting isn't just for life's casual events, but for the major milestones as well.

Nothing is quite so heavy as death, but that didn't stop Last Comic Standing's Laurie Kilmartin from live-Tweeting the very last stages of her father's life. "Comedian Live Tweets her Father's Death" is a fascinating read that documents a recent series of Kilmartin's raw Live-Tweets from this quite unfunny time in her family's life. Her Tweets are honest and at times poignant, including subjects from medical updates on her father's condition, to her internal emotional tensions, to a discussion of coping: "Everyone copes their own way. I tweet, sister texts while Mom shouts, "I'M DOING A DARK LOAD, ANYONE GOT ANYTHING?"

Kilmartin is a prime example of how Live Tweeting knows no limits. 

Live Tweeting has been popping up at life's greatest moments as well. As a twenty-something, my newsfeeds are brimming with constant updates of everything from engagements to "belly-watch" updates from newly-expectant parents. And don't think I forgot the most documented event of all, weddings! In fact, Live Tweeting has turned into a business with the "Social Media Wedding Concierge," as featured in Taylor Casti's The Huffington Post article.  Whose special day would be complete without its own hashtag?

After analyzing these two eye-opening articles, I have developed three action items Researchers should implement in order to stay on top of developments in the world of Live Tweeting. In analyzing this trend (since your clients will be asking, if they haven't already), I recommend the following:

  • Define and Analyze: Live-Tweeting is taking many forms. It’s not enough to simply classify an activity as “Live-Tweeting” anymore. What mediums are involved? Is it cross-platform or not? Context matters.

  • Be Sensitive: With sensitive topics at hand, emphasize and overemphasize the privacy precautions that are being taken.

  • Objectivity is Key: You are a researcher. If you are becoming too emotionally impacted by a Tweet topic, step away for awhile or pass the project off.

One thing's for sure: people are becoming increasingly more candid on social media platforms, so expect the unexpected, and be prepared to measure a life from beginning to end, and everything in between.

Elizabeth Young, most recently of comScore, Inc., is a Digital Marketing Researcher. She is currently studying at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications, specializing in Media Management and Digital Marketing, and will be graduating with a Master's in Science in December, 2014. She can be reached on Twitter @ElizzleMR928 and on LinkedIn

No comments:

Post a Comment