Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The beauty of social media is it’s a process of refinement, and I’d say that based on my own trial and error of tweeting out controlled contest messages, it really doesn’t work to impact the value of the brand.
Due to the increased noise level of contest tweets on Twitter, I’d caution any company to create a formalized contest tweet strategy. True, that with a formalized strategy, you can control those who RT your contest or promotion, BUT it really misses the mark of communicating the brand’s personality, and in this day and age, brands DO have a personality. If you’re trying to be warm and friendly, the approach then looks robotic, autonomous and a bit non-approachable—even if it’s F-R-E-E.
Earlier on, Axiom did a Twitter contest known as Twegg Drop to raise awareness for a non-profit. We created a formalized Twitter strategy and after evaluating the key performance indicators, we felt it would have been better to have followers and contest participants originate their own tweet, in turn, conveying the gut instinct of the brand, not what the company wanted the person to say about the brand. After all, who wants to feel “forced”?
There are a couple of ways you can avoid controlled contest tweets:
Witness the power of a hashtag: Because hashtags are simple word aggregators, it makes it very simple to get your message across WITHIN the right context. Dell has a contest right now for free notebook computers, and I have to say the set-up is all wrong:
“I just followed @DellDigitalLife for a chance to win one of 10 Dell Mini netbooks! More info at: http://bit.ly/DellTwitter.”
Where is the hashtag? Yes, the impact of this tweet can be measured thanks to URL shorteners like Bit.ly (we use it here at Axiom!), but inclusion of a hashtag makes the message much easier to find. How about #DellMiniContest? Suddenly, all the tweets are pertaining to the contest, not just @DellDigitalLife when you perform a search.
Avoid using ‘ I followed’ anything: Talk about brand selfishness, it’s a huge turn-off to keep the message focused on you and not on the person with whom you’re sharing the message. It’s really simple to fix this “I followed because” business by simply allowing the person in the Twitter space to take control, meaning give it up to them to recommend the following:
Wow! Check out this great contest by @DellDigitalLife! Win a free dell mini http://bit.ly/DellTwitter #DellMiniContest
With this example, it’s not obvious to follow Dell but if you want to know more about the contest, it’s definitely implied.
Now, Twitter is definitely a place where your contest can go viral—especially if you’re Google or Best Buy. Adding these simple nuances to your Twitter contest will definitely increase the outreach and give you KPIs across the board—tonality and all.
What about you? Any strategies you’ve used for Twitter contests that you’d like to share.