Brands Using Twitter to Engage with Other Brands
Last week, I gave you Part 1 of our two-part Social Media Saturday special. In last week’s post, I introduced you to three brands who are using Twitter with personality and flair, connecting with their audiences on a personal level while remaining professional and promoting their brand.
From Southwest Airline’s Shark Week promotion to Kate Spade New York’s affinity for color to Nashville Severe Weather’s reliable (and somewhat humorous) weather forecasts, I showed you how these accounts are tweeting successfully by posting timely information their audiences care about within the context of their respective brands. The result is engaging, educational and entertaining dialogue in 140 characters or less.
This week, I want to focus on three brands that are using Twitter to interact with other brands. Even with the character limits, these brands are using their Twitter platforms to have actual conversations with others. They are using social media to truly be social, not just throwing a bunch of words into cyber-space and hope that something sticks.
Use Twitter to interact with audiences
Below are three examples of brands doing a great job of interacting on Twitter instead of just pushing their own message:
1. Lauren Conrad Cross-Promotes on LaurenConrad.com (@LaurenConrad and @LaurenConradCom)
The girl who got her start on a reality TV show in the early 2000s has turned herself into a successful and reputable celebrity and brand. Her lifestyle blog covers everything from fashion to healthy living to home decorating with an air of sophistication and class that still resonates with a larger audience.
Lauren has both personal and professional accounts on Twitter. She tweets from her own account, @LaurenConrad, while her marketing team tweets on behalf of her website and brand @LaurenConradCom. While mostly separate, the two overlap occasionally (but not in the obvious way where the same tweet is pushed out at the same time to multiple accounts). Lauren’s approach is to interact with herself and her brand.
For instance, last week, Lauren hosted a live chat on her website LaurenConrad.com. Her website account tweeted about the chat several times to promote the event ahead of time.But Lauren herself tweeted that she would be hosting a chat through the website. And, the site reciprocated the promotion by retweeting her.
Lauren’s personal account often links back to her website, which serves to promote her site and give her followers a sense of what her personal interests are. In this way, she is building rapport with her community. She is more likely to have fan support when she is ready to pitch a product because she has established a trusting relationship with her fan base. Establishing trust in this way is critical for your social account.
2. H&M Writes Jimmy Fallon a Thank-You Note (@hmusa and @jimmyfallon)
As comedian-turned-host of The Tonight Show on NBC, Jimmy Fallon does a great job engaging his fans on Twitter and incorporating their comments into on-air segments. He runs hashtag contests each week, asking for viewers’ answers to pressing questions such as #WorstFirstDate or #MyWeirdSecret.
Each week, Jimmy hosts “Thank You Note Friday”, a segment during which he writes thank you notes for mundane items. The online segment has moved to Twitter using the hashtag #ThankYouNoteFriday. While most contributors are Fallon fans and Tonight Show viewers, sometimes other brands join the fun.
Popular clothing chain H&M penned a thank you note to Jimmy for hosting hunky David Beckham, the face behind a new line of men’s bodywear for the store, on the show one evening.
It would have been easy for H&M to tweet out self-promoting messages, asking people to watch the show and then come shop David’s underwear line in their stores. But by using one of the show’s hashtags, H&M gains more attention from fans of its own brand and fans of the Tonight Show. The message is more effective because it is written in a format that resonates with the intended audience. And it shows us that the brand is willing to have a little fun.
This is great traction for Jimmy Fallon’s brand; he wants his fans to be interacting with his show online. In fact, that was one of the primary contributing factors to his high ratings.
3. McDonald’s (@McDonaldsCorp)
Over the past few weeks, you have probably seen pictures of, read about or participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge—a fundraising campaign supporting the ALS Foundation for which individuals are nominated to pour a bucket of ice water over their heads or donate to ALS within 24 hours and then challenge others to do the same.
The campaign has caught on with many individuals and celebrities, including Justin Timberlake, Bill Gates, Martha Stewart and Ronald McDonald. Yes, the mascot of the popular fast-food chain was nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge. Ronald responded via YouTube, and McDonald’s corporate Twitter account posted the video.
By participating in this popular social campaign, McDonald’s is not only helping generate awareness for the organization but also showing us that the company is paying attention to what is trendy. Social media content should be timely and relevant, and McDonald’s is doing both by filming Ronald McDonald dump ice water on his synthetic red hair.
What can we learn?
These six Twitter accounts show us that personality, timeliness and a little fun can go a long way toward engaging your online audience. While it is important to promote your brand and your product online, your Twitter account should be more than just sales pitches. By couching your message in current events, your content will engage your audiences and allow them to connect to you on a more emotional level. All of which will combine to help you develop brand loyalty.