Here’s some more examples of Twitter being used for marketing purposes. You might also wish to check out an earlier post on the very subject from a few weeks back. Just to clarify one of the comments made at the end of that post, I consider marketing to be any point where a customer interacts with an organisation, be it through online, offline, packaging, advertising etc. marketing is not always about an actual sale, but it could be to build awareness, or change an opinion or a behaviour. Here are bunch of examples demonstrating how organisations are interacting with their stakeholders using the brief 140 character Twitter message.
1. Greater Manchester Police
For a 24 hour period last month the Greater Manchester Police tweeted every single 999 call they received. The point was to highlight to the public and politicians the complex issues that they have to deal with on a regular basis. These issues aren’t reflected in measurements or league tables yet can account for a large amount of manpower. (Source)
2. Have I Got News for You (HIGNFY)
This recent post on Mashable by an American TV executive outlines why TV producers should be using, or at least monitoring, Twitter. It outlines positives such as getting real time feedback on shows, to respond to fans queries and quash or substantiate rumours. The long running BBC satirical quiz Have I Got News For You, now in its 40th series, goes one better by ending the opening credits with the Twitter hashtag #bbchignfy. Acting as a call to action to join in with the online HIGNFY community to dicusss the show. I hadn’t thought about checking Twitter out during the show, until I saw the hashtag on the screen.
3. Kamchatka Move Website to Twitter
This Argentinian Creative agency moved their website to Twitter. In an interview with the agencies founder, Ignacio Acosta, on Wall Blog he explained the move was to take advantage of the short 140 characters of Twitter messages and the media rich tweets of the new Twitter service. This allowed the agency to explain what they do in as brief a message as possible with links to further content. Their website acts as a portal to the Twitter page, and explains to navigate the different sections of their profile through the ‘followers’ section. Each follower on their page is actually another part of their ‘site’ such as clients, portfolio, contact etc. You can check their Twitter profile here. This will certainly not be for everyone, but does show how the structure of a profile can be tweaked to benefit an organisation.
UK retailer Uniqlo had a unique way of using its under construction page for its new e-commerce website. When the site was down users would see a page with 10 items from their online store. Users could set the price by tweeting about it, the more tweets the lower the price with some items going for less than 50% of their original price. This is a great way of putting a spin on what could of been a run of the mill holding page, it got fans tweeting about the store, the re-launch of its e-commerce website, increased awareness of it and no doubt helped drive traffic to it when launched. (Source)
5. Local Court Reporters
With recording equipment not allowed into court rooms, the New York Times reports on a recent murder trial in Connecticut where journalists posted updates via Twitter. The live stream from reporters was followed across the state, by the public and newsroom journalists. During the verdict a live stream from the court room was even broadcast on TV. These instant updates bring real time information to those who seek it in a more accessible way than other traditional media and social media platforms.
6. Ted Baker
To promote the Ted baker brand in the US, last Friday the clothing company opened the first Twitter operated styling studio. It involved eight US fashion bloggers styling two models. They had 450 items of Ted Baker clothing to choose from, hair stylists, make up artists and three runners to assist them. The catch? The models would be in London with the stylists and the bloggers would be tweeting instructions from the USA watching a live stream. The challenge is called #TakeOnTed and the finished styles are up on their Facebook page now. The challenge wasn’t only open to the US bloggers (who have over 50,000 followers between them) but Ted Baker also took on six wild cards from Twitter to take part and style the models. The work of the wildcards is also up on the Facebook page, where the eventual winner will be chosen based on the amount of ‘likes’ they receive. For their efforts one member of the public will win $500 for taking part as a wildcard.
These are six very diverse examples of Twitter being effectively used by an organisation to reach out and connect with its audience. It’s still surprising when I come across people who just don’t ‘get’ Twitter, and truth be told I didn’t when I first started using it. It’s a simple enough proposition – 140 characters of text, but it’s its simplicity that confuses people. Instead of looking at how many words you can fit into 140 characters, instead look at how the message can be applied and in what context, because the examples above demonstrate Twitter as a versatile and adaptable medium with strengths that other social media platforms don’t have.