Twitter seems to be all the buzz in recent months in the online space, with marketers trying to determine how best to utilize this new vehicle. There have been quite a few unique executions as advertisers are feeling their way around this tool. Let’s take a look at how some brands are utilizing this space:
In April, right before tax day, Turbo Tax decided to use their twitter profile as an open forum for users to submit tax questions and have their tax professionals reply back to them. In order to promote this feature, Turbo Tax launched a search campaign which featured the 5 most recent tweets as their AdSense ads. While it’s a great idea in theory to raise awareness of their Twitter service (and eventually gain followers), the execution was a bit questionable. In this instance the tweets are conversational rather than content-specific. When viewed in an environment other than Twitter, there can be a substantial disconnect in the conversation. The example below is a snippet of the tweets from April 13th, prime tax time. As you can see, what makes sense via the company’s tweet stream may come across as irrelevant to the user when viewed in a search environment.
Another example of how companies are using this new space is with Land Rover. Leading up to the New York Auto Show this year, Land Rover prompted consumers to join the conversation via their hashtag – #LRNY. The messaging was found in out of home environments and instructed users to either follow the brand on Twitter or contribute to the conversation. Did it work? Considering the effort was practically free, to get such a high volume of users interacting with your brand is a huge success. During the week of the auto show, Land Rover saw a 62.5% increase in conversations involving the brand. Giving users this outlet to offer praise, feedback, and criticism is invaluable to future brand strategies and marketing efforts.
A final example and hand’s down the best execution I’ve seen to date is Best Buy’s new twelpforce campaign. Best Buy is currently running spots promoting a new service they’ve launched. The spots do a great job of visually explaining how the service works. Users are directed to the website at the end of the spot to engage with twelpforce. Via the twitter feed, users submit their tech-related questions and Best Buy employees have signed up to answer them to the best of their ability. This initiative is still in its infancy as it just launched a few weeks ago. At last check, the twelpforce page had over 6,900 followers. In the age of automated everything, I think customers will appreciate being able to correspond with an actual person to get advice and questions answered.
Marketers are still testing the waters and trying to determine the best way to use this new social media platform. We are regularly asked by clients whether they should be on twitter and what they should be doing in this space. While there are many facets to consider, I would say to first establish if it makes sense with your marketing strategy. Then determine if you’re able to execute an initiative utlizing online media, offline media or a combination of both in a unique and engaging way. There has to be a clear purpose behind the effort and not just a desire to play in this latest arena. As advertisers become more comfortable with the space, it will definitely be an area to watch.