The pace of communication is speeding up every single day, with billions of pieces of content being produced, more people connecting through social networks, and consumers wanting to interact with brands online. There’s no doubt that you have to be on social networks now, if you want to be found, hired, and grow your business. The difference between today and years ago is that search engines and social networks are populating new content, and prioritizing it, so it becomes more visible to the end user. Think about Google Instant and how it returns search results for you as you type, and Twitter search, where you receive the latest results as they occur. When you subscribe to blogs, you immediately get the next entry when it’s published now, instead of waiting. This means we have to be faster because the hare beats the tortoise online.

Real-time branding

How fast you react to an angry customer, a media inquiry, or a job opportunity can fundamentally change your career or business for the better or worse. My good friend and mentor, David Meerman Scott, is releasing his latest book called Real-Time Marketing & PR tomorrow, including a free eBook with fascinating research. You can read his blog post about the book, or download the eBook free here. David emailed all one hundred of the Fortune 100 companies to see how fast they would react to a question he posed. Here are the results:

  • 28% responded back to him, and he was unable to reach 11%.
  • 5% responded to his email in less than 1 hour.
  • 3% of the companies could be contacting on social networks.
  • The majority of companies that responded in real-time had generating a positive return on stock price.

Your brand

If you want to establish a strong personal brand (or a corporate brand), then you need to be there for your audience because if you’re not, then someone else will be. Consumers today are looking for fast responses from companies or individuals because technology is changing fast and the work environment is much more demanding now. The faster you respond the better because the consumer has so many choices now. If you don’t back to someone quick enough, your competitor will and you’ll lose business. The problem will real-time branding is that your brand is at stake 24/7, and it requires a lot of time to perfect your response system.

Your turn

How prepared are you for real-time personal branding?