Companies are seeing the return on investment for real-time marketing, employing it to primarily form customer relationships, promote events and as a complement to their existing content. A report from eMarketer explains how some companies are using real-time marketing. Companies have begun allocating more of their marketing budgets to as a result, citing numerous benefits.

Chart 012516

Here are a few examples of certain companies that use real-time marketing to their advantage:

Sega. The company’s star mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, has gained quite a popular following on Twitter. Not only has he given “speedy” responses to fans, but he’s also interacted with companies. One recent tweet, featured below, has him chatting with the official Denny’s Twitter account, where it replies, “the pancakes, they gotta go fast.” Of course, video games featuring the zippy hero are also commonly mentioned on the account, but the ability to “play” along with other accounts is something fans can’t get enough of.

taco bell date 01 2014Taco Bell. While the fast food chain has made it clear that Taco Bell is an ideal place to go for a late night snack, it’s also expanded its social reach through connections with fans. One of the first brands to go all-in on Snapchat, the fast food company continues to find an audience of“crazy engaged” fans there.

Waffle House. The popular late night dining chain has made a splash for itself on Twitter as of late, interacting with fans and finding connections with popular events. For instance, with last night’s NFC Championship victory against the Cardinals, the Carolina Panthers found an unlikely connection with the chain – and it was quick to take note, as pointed out below.

DiGiorno Pizza. This delectable dish has made a name for itself on Twitter, first with tweets that tied in with the WWE account and its wrestling programming, and lately with more “let’s talk great about our product” tweets that really hit it off with fans.

Domino’s Pizza. This pizza chain also hit it off with fans on Twitter, with nearly a million followers in tow. However, along with making clever jokes in relation to new products it’s introduced, it’s also very topical, with several posts recently discussing the blizzard that blanketed the East Coast – and the pizza delivery masters that will stop at nothing to do their job. These kind of stories have been very supportive amongst fans, and earned the company a few new followers in the process.

Chart 2 012516

A recent study conducted by Econsultancy indicated that only about 17 percent respond in real time to voices of customers thoroughly, while 49 percent only do so partially. Meanwhile, 34 percent don’t follow the practice at all. Could there be a change in the future? Judging by the popularity of certain accounts on the social media front, it’s certainly worth a try.

At least, that’s what Sonic would probably say. Especially after pancakes.