Saturday, 12 May 2007

Using Twitter For Marketing Part 4: Campaigns

Part 3: The Public Eye
Part 2: Events
Part 1: Intro

Okay, I'm going to wrap up this series with this post. I think I've said more than enough about Twitter for the time being. There's no doubt in my mind that services such as Twitter can be used successfully for marketing purposes in a number of different ways. There's also no doubt in my mind that Twitter can be highly addictive!

I think Twitter could be used in campaigns to add a new level of engagement. I'm not talking about just sending out one way tweets (many followers but no friends) trying to spruik products. I'm talking about integrating it with other content to form a closer connection between audience and brand. Such a campaign could involve working with Twitter and Second Life, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, a blog, a microsite, an event, long form content, an existing reality tv program, you name it.

This kind of approach is already beginning to be used, but not with Twitter yet (as far as I'm aware). Coca-Cola and new marketing company Crayon a have recently launched the Virtual Thirst promotion within Second Life. They are taking entries for a competition involving ideas for a virtual vending machine. Entries can be submitted via Second Life, Youtube, MySpace or email. I've noticed that Coca-Cola (no doubt on the advice of Crayon), have responded well to some initial criticism about the competition prize with a YouTube video from one of the Coca-Cola marketers, and in turn, a video response has been submitted back. My point here is that Twitter could just as easily be a part of the marketing mix in this kind of new marketing campaign, as it offers another avenue for engagement, and a new means of interaction and communication.

On another note, I've seen numerous mentions of brands on Twitter. Even as I write this I can see a Tweet from one of my Twitter friends that simply states "Crimes against humanity part 5: Sony Ericsson Phones" and the next tweet, "care to elaborate?". I've seen mentions of everything from iPods to pizza odered on the web. People seem to like talking about the products and services they use (and don't like to use), especially mobile phones and related services. It seems to me that there is an opportunity for certain brands to engage and respond in an unintrusive way by Twittering.

I'm not talking about having a brand presence that screams "we're here so love us", and I'm not suggesting that brands go chasing down potential followers in order to attract as much attention as possible. Some brands (and their agencies) seem to have taken this approach to both MySpace and Second Life and at best it can be annoying, at worst it can seriously backfire. What I'm talking about is having a presence, but listening, learning, responding and engaging with each community in an appropriate way.

If you have any other ideas for how twitter could be used for marketing, or would just like to comment on what has been said, please do leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you about Twitter.

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